New York Yankees Hire Carlos Beltran To Join Front Office

The New York Yankees are hiring retired baseball player Carlos Beltran to play a front office role, as per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. 

Beltran has previously rejected an offer from the club to join the ranks several months ago, but after a two-decade long career, it seems as if the game has come calling his name once again. remaining engaged will allow the Yankees to play off of his connections and expertise with the sport.

Beltran shares the same agent with Manny Machado, which seems to be a big reason for the hiring. He could play an influential role in luring the big-name free agent to the Big Apple.

What’s Beltran’s official role?

Carlos will act as the special assistant to the general manager – Brian Cashman. Beltran played with the Yankees from 2014-16, which offers additional value to the deal as he’s familiar with the team and how they operate.

Beltran retired in 2017 after helping the Houston Astros claim a World Series title.

The veteran will likely be Cashman’s right-hand man moving forward, and will play a part in recruiting young latino players, or so one might think. His playing career and influential persona will be a huge benefit, and that might be one of the better free agent pulls the Yankees have had this offseason.

 

 

New York Giants: Should Kyle Lauletta Start The Last Two Games?

New York Giants, Kyle Lauletta

Kyle Lauletta has been one of the more talked about backup quarterbacks this season, but not always for the right reasons. Lauletta has been in the conversation not because of out performing the current starter, but because it looks like New York Giants legend Eli Manning is on the decline and could be playing his last season as the team’s number one quarterback. With a quarterback competition likely to start in 2019, there’s a lot of pressure on Lauletta as the backup QB that’s already on the roster.

But it looks more and more like the Giants will definitely go to the draft to acquire new talent at the position, instead of trusting in their 2018 fourth round draft pick. It was always a longshot for Lauletta to start, but the rookie didn’t help himself with a poor performance in his only regular season appearance, which saw him throw no completions and one interception. One game later, against Tennessee, Lauletta was left off the active roster.

Things are different now, however. The Giants aren’t in the race for the playoffs, having been mathematically eliminated with their 17-0 loss to the Titans. With this in mind, should they start Lauletta for the remaining two games of the year?

Despite the awful debut, it’s important to see what the team has on their hands with Lauletta. If Lauletta plays badly against the Colts and Cowboys, for example, it could spell an early end to his run as even a fringe contender for the starting job. A couple of really good performances, on the other hand, could show Giants management that drafting a quarterback high in the draft isn’t necessarily required.

It would take a lot to convince anyone of that, though. It’s unlikely, statistically, that Lauletta has a turnaround during the last two games of the season if given a chance, and amazes the coaches with a overachieving performance. But similar things have happened in the past and it’s impossible to know if Lauletta is that kind of player without a proper sample size. After all, the rookie only has five pass attempts for the entire regular season.

This would come at a price. If Lauletta doesn’t have a miracle turnaround, it would lower the team’s chances of winning. This could be either a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. While many will say that the Giants should try to win at all costs, a compelling argument can also be made that losing the last two games of the season would benefit them in the future by giving them a better pick in the draft.

If the season was over right now, the Giants would finish with the 8th overall pick. That position could get better or it could worsen depending on what happens through the last two games, but from a purely pragmatic standpoint, starting Lauletta would increase their chances of a higher pick. That’s not the only reason or even the main reason that the Giants should consider this, however. The chance of a higher pick is an extra bonus, while the main appeal is the chance to evaluate the current backup quarterback and see if Lauletta will seriously compete for a role next season or not.

Don’t count on the Giants actually starting Lauletta in the Indianapolis and Dallas games, though. He was left off the active roster for the Titans loss, something that doesn’t spell good things at all for his chances of getting playing time in the future.

Suns get Second Road Victory against the Knicks

The Knicks came into their second game on a back-to-back looking for a win at home.  They hosted one of the league’s worst teams on the road, the Phoenix Suns.  Coming into the game, the Suns only had one victory away from home.  Once that stat came over the television, I knew we were in trouble.

First off, the Knicks tossed up yet another stinker this past Sunday at Indiana.  To be honest, it might have been the most boring Knicks game thus far this season.  The Pacers were able to control the entire game with their defense shutting down the Knicks in all areas of the game.  The game was ultimately a big yawn and the Knicks fell 110-99.

Last night at home against the Suns, the Knicks came out better, kinda.  Recently, the Knicks have been starting games on the wrong foot, very sluggish.  It appeared last night started that way again until the young guns started grooving in the first quarter.  The game turned in the Knicks favor with Deandre Ayton sat down in the first quarter for a breather.

The youngsters for the Knicks then took over in the first half and it all started with Emmanuel Mudiay.  Mudiay, who led the Knicks with 32 points, seems to be playing with a lot more confidence these days and is settling in as the number one point guard.  He was oozing with confidence and it was seen with his all-around play.  Frank Ntilikina had a strong showing off the bench knocking down back-to-back threes and also had a beautiful hook shot in the paint as the shot clock ran out.  Kevin Knox continues to progress as a player with the Knicks, despite shooting 50% from the floor last night.

The Knicks were able to move the ball last night with a young lineup and make open shots.  However, it was their defense that was not up to par, yet again.  the interior defense and switching players has been the Knicks Achilles heel for I don’t know how long.  Players, not just on the Suns, but any team seem to get to the bucket with ease and the Knicks just stand out looking with “ah shucks” look on their faces.

Last season, the Knicks always seem to come out flat in the third quarter.  We did not really see that as much this season, but we say a glimpse of it last night.  The Suns came out firing and out scored the Knicks 41-17.  The Knicks didn’t seem to have an answer for Devin Booker, who tied his seaosn high with 38 points.

Even without the services of Tim Hardaway Jr, out with a sore right heel,  Allonzo Trier for the fourth straight game with a strained left hamstring and  Mitchell Robinson, sprained left ankle, the Knicks always play down to their opponent.  They play the best teams tight and the worst teams lackadaisical.  This game was certainly a shaking my head game.  The only positive is the Knicks improved their draft position.

New York Yankees’ Didi Gregorius Describes Enduring Grueling Injury

The moment New York Yankees‘ Didi Gregorius suffered the injury that ultimately sent him into the surgical room, he knew one thing and one thing only – he wasn’t coming out of a playoff game.

The Yankees still needed three outs in the inning in the first-game of the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway. Gregorius knew that his season was over the second he lost all feeling in his arm. As the numbness faded and feeling began to rush ever-so quickly back into his arm, he made a choice.

Didi told the training staff what he was feeling, and they addressed it with treatment, just to send him right back out onto the field. But, at the end of the day, it was the short-stop’s decision.

The moment New York Yankees’ Didi Gregorius knew he was hurt:

“I came back to the infield, I was telling the guys, my elbow… I think I tore everything,” Gregorius stated. “I can’t throw, I can’t feel my arm.”

“I did the best I could with one arm,” he said. His throwing arm was torn to pieces, which attests to the Tommy John surgery he endured and is now rehabbing.

The Yankees will begin the 2019 season without their best infielder, which makes the likes of free agent mega-star Manny Machado that much more enticing.

How did Gregorius perform last season?

Gregorius finished 2018 with a .268 ERA with 86 RBIs and 27 home runs. Didi broke the record for the most home runs by any Yankees shortstop in history.

The Yankees will ultimately need to find a replacement for their most efficient defender, and if Machado doesn’t make his way to New York, they could look toward Freddie Galvis to fill the hole. Galvis has playing experience with the Phillies and Padres, with an average BA of .246 over a seven-year span. He would ultimately act as a stop-gap for Gregorius as he heals from the injury.

‘Moving forward, we can only hope his rehabilitation is smooth and steady, but any complications could mean the Yankees playing without their starting shortstop for a nice chunk of the 2019 regular season.

Why The New York Yankees Should Consider Pitcher Adam Ottavino

While the New York Yankees‘ primary need this offseason was starting pitching, they answered that by trading for Mariners ace James Paxton. Along with that, GM Brian Cashman re-signed J.A. Happ to a two-year deal with a third-year option. Should the deal be confirmed, then Cashman can turn his sights to the bullpen, which needs two quality arms.

David Robertson, Zach Britton, and Andrew Miller all come to mind as suitable options. If none of these work out, then maybe Cashman should turn to a man with a devastating slider.

Adam Ottavino: RHP

2018 Stats (COL):

6-4, 2.43 ERA, 75 Games, 112 SO, 6 Saves, 77.2 IP, 0.991 WHIP, 2.6 WAR

Adam Ottavino is coming off a season in which he set a few career bests. These include ERA (2.43), ERA+ (193), Strikeouts (112), and K/9 (13.0). He was the top arm in a Colorado Rockies bullpen that posted a 4.62 ERA, fifth worst in MLB. This is a year removed from 2017, in which he posted a 5.06 ERA, his career worst as a reliever.

He got off to a hot start in 2018, where he was 3-0 with a 0.56 ERA, 30 strikeouts, and only four walks in March/April. He held opposing batters to a minuscule .082/.182/.102 batting line through the season’s first full month.

His hot start was a sharp contrast to some of his fellow Rockies relievers to start the year. Southpaw Jake McGee had a horrible season, never finishing a month with an ERA under 4 through the entire year. Former Indians setup Bryan Shaw had a poor first half, including June, where he posted an ERA just under 13.

Part of his success comes from his trademark slider, which he threw 46.4% of the time in 2018. Serving as the setup man for closer Wade Davis, Ottavino was huge with runners on base. With RISP, batters hit a measly .147/.267/.221 slash line against Ottavino. Part of his success this year was thanks to his trademark sweeping slider, which he threw 46.4% of the time. Starting in August, he began to struggle, posting an ERA of 4.61, as well as a 4.26 ERA in September.

The 2018 season was the only good full year that Ottavino has had. He similarly started 2015 on the right foot, not allowing a run in 10 appearances before a torn UCL sidelined him for the rest of that year. The rest of his career has been mostly mediocre.

 

What The Ideal New York Yankees Batting Lineup Would Look Like In 2019

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

Whether you like the idea of big-bat Manny Machado coming to the New York Yankees or not, in this specific scenario we are going to include him in the narrative, simply because he offers the most value as a batter in free agency.

While the Yankees will get their chance to “wow” Machado on Wednesday, a few days after his first meeting with the Chicago White Sox, the deal to bring him to the Big Apple is far from complete. The Bombers aren’t willing to pay the two-time Golden Glove award winner more than $300 million, which is completely fair, considering they took on a massive 13-year, $325 million deal when Giancarlo Stanton came over from the Marlins.

Nonetheless, both are extraordinary batters with the ability to change any game on its head in the blink of an eye.

What would the ideal New York Yankees lineup be next season?

To start off the order, I imagine Aaron Hicks coming to the plate. The outfielder had a solid 2018 and can bat from both sides of the box, making him a wild card. He batted .248 and earned 119 hits in 480 at-bats.

Second up, Aaron Judge. The Yankees’ youth phenom had a stellar year despite suffering a wrist injury that kept him out for a short spell. Judge has the power and hit efficiency to get on base (.392 OBP). He tends to earn a large amount of walks due to a justified intimidation factor (127 in 2017).

Third up, Giancarlo Stanton. The slugger strikes out a lot (211 in 2018) but also hits a ton of home runs (38). His third spot is perfect, as an out isn’t detrimental at that point in the lineup if at least one player is on base, and your best hitter is coming up at No.4.

The clean-up spot would be theoretically manned by Machado, who amassed 37 homers and just 104 strikeouts last season. That’s 106 less than Stanton in about 60 less at bats – those numbers jump off the page. He’s a highly efficient batter than finds a way to get on base. He’s the perfect player to have in the No.4 spot with players in scoring position.

At five, Gary Sanchez fits the bill. Despite a lackluster 2018 at the plate, the Yankees’ catcher is a more than capable hitter. If he can refine his abilities next season and get off to a good start, he has the potential to be the perfect man behind Machado.

The sixth spot resides with Luke Voit/Greg Bird in my book. Voit had a great campaign last season but has been inconsistent throughout his career. To be quite honest, his success was an anomaly. Look for manager Aaron Boone to play the hot hand on any given day, as both seem to be in play to have a fair shot at the starting first-base job. This spot in the lineup us arguably the weakest, simply because it’s a big question mark.

At seven, I like Miguel Andujar. Some might thing this is too low for the third-baseman, but I’m a big fan of a balanced lineup. Placing Andujar at seven only provides strength to the bottom half of the lineup and will help the top effectively score runs. The third-year pro batted .297 last season, recording 27 homers and 170 total hits. His impressive campaign will surely see him retain his normal role as a significant hitter in the lineup.

The eight spot will go to Gleyber Torres. While he started off strong, Torres fell off toward the end of last season. His ability is certainly there, but his inconsistency makes me question is strength at a higher spot. Putting him after Andujar makes the most sense, as he will be put in a position with a man on base more often than not. Testing the young second-baseman is a must early on in his career, and this is the perfect way to bring the best out of him.

In the final spot, I would like to see Clint Frazier make a name for himself. Going into his third-year, Frazier has a career batting average (AVG) of .238. Allowing him a chance to move up the lineup with good performances is essential. The idea of placing youth towards the bottom is a challenge, and this is where you can weed out that players that need more developement or need to prove they can be consistent. Frazier will be the gateway to the top of the lineup, making him an important piece to the puzzle, but also an essential piece when it comes to helping Andujar and Torres round the bases.

The lineup:

1.) Aaron Hicks

2.) Aaron Judge

3.) Giancarlo Stanton

4.) Manny Machado

5.) Gary Sanchez

6.) Luke Voit/Greg Bird

7.) Miguel Andujar

8.) Gleyber Torres

9.) Clint Frazier

Comment below what you think the Yankees’ lineup should look like!