New York Yankees Origins: Three Chapters of Pennock

New York Yankees

The 11th former Boston player to join the New York Yankees ranks, lefthander Herb Pennock was acquired from the Red Sox on January 30, 1923, just a few months before Yankee Stadium was to open.

The Bombers shipped three players to Boston for Herb, along with $50,000. But he would prove to be more than worth the expense, notching 162 wins in the next 11 seasons in the Bronx. His victory in the sixth game of the 1923 World Series brought the first of a parade of Championships to the Yankees.

Appearing in four World Series with the Yanks (3-1), during which he posted a 5-0 record, Pennock also saved two October Classic battles, earning the last one in the Babe Ruth “Called Shot” game in Wrigley Field in 1932.

Dark Days

Unfortunately, a dark chapter in the Pennock history was to ensue. Herb had pitched in Philly for the A’s to start his career, and then he would serve as the general manager of the NL Phillies after he retired as a player.

The City of Brotherly Love, its team, and their fans would prove to be anything but, and Pennock and his team stood as the most virulently opposed to playing the Dodgers once they broke the color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson in 1947.

Herb threatened to pull his team when the Dodgers came to Philly, a threat he did not follow through on. But Robinson suffered perhaps the worst verbal abuse and taunting that first trying year when his team played in Philadelphia.

Final Days

And then Hall of Famer Pennock became the first of two Yankees to have died on January 30, when he passed away in 1948 on the 25th anniversary of the day the Yanks had traded for him. Pennock pitched from 1912 to 1934, compiling a 240-162 record with 33 saves overall.

Joining Herb on this list, second baseman Aaron Ward (1961) debuted with the 1917 Yankees and garnered 45 home runs with 390 rbi’s in New York through the 1926 season. One additional year each in Chicago and Cleveland improved those numbers to 50/446.



New York Giants: Teammate Describes Nick Foles As Franchise QB

Will Nick Foles become a future quarterback of the New York Giants? It’s not the most likely outcome, but out of everything that could happen during this offseason, it’s also not the most unlikely one either. Foles has been the main name suggested when it comes to veteran quarterbacks that the Giants might be able to bring on, and it’s not hard to see why. Not only did Foles win the Super Bowl last season, but the Eagles quarterback is expected to be a free agent.

The idea of Foles joining the Giants has drawn mixed opinions. On one hand, Foles performed alright in Philadelphia and came through for the Eagles when it mattered. On the other hand, Foles isn’t even the top quarterback on his current team and the Giants don’t have a Super Bowl winning roster to help make up for average or below average QB play.

One player that has an opinion on the possible move is Chris Long, Eagles defensive end and a current teammate of Foles. Long, however, isn’t too pleased with the prospect of Foles possibly making the jump from Philadelphia to New York.

“I would hate to see him with the Giants just because I hate playing my friends, and if I end up back in Philly I’d have to play him twice a year. But I think whoever gets him is going to be very lucky. He’s a leader. He’s a franchise-type quarterback,” Long told NJ Advance Media.

Long also admitted that it looks like Foles will be moving on because of the quarterback battle with Carson Wentz. “The tough thing is we have another franchise quarterback, a guy who is homegrown and is going to be a great player for a long time to come.”

Foles isn’t the first option that Giants fans want, and the more popular route would be to stick with Eli Manning and attempt to develop a rookie quarterback from this year’s draft. However, the Giants going for a veteran to compete for the quarterback job can’t be ruled out completely, and if they go that direction, it definitely seems that Foles will be in the running for the job.

Knox Not Being in the Rising Stars Game Is Not a Good Sign for Knicks Fans

Welp, as we all know by now, Kevin Knox did not make the Rising Stars team for the US.  New York Knicks twitter went up in arms when the news broke.  Many fans were saying, “rigged” and/or “how is Lonzo or Bagley in over Knox?” All I know is, this is not a good sign for Knicks fans.

Knox had the fan base excited after his great performance in the Las Vegas summer league.  The future looked bright for the 19-year-old.  Then, he had a very shaky start to the season and the ankle injury didn’t help his case. However, a few months into the season, Knox became a different player and started to provide optimism once again.

Knox started becoming more aggressive, confident and showing fans that he can be another young building block for this franchise.  Don’t get me wrong, I like what I’m seeing from Knox, now, but I’ve got a bad taste in my mouth over his rising star game snub.

Knox is averaging 12.3 points per and 4.2 rebounds a game.  Marvin Bagley, 12.9 points and 6.6 boards. Despite, two higher rebounds per game, Knox should be in the game over Bagley. Knox has better upside over Bagley, period.  Lonzo Ball is averaging. 9.9 points, 5.4 assists and 5.3 rebounds per contest.  Knox should also be in over Ball, hands down.

Althoug stats aside, this isn’t a good sign for Knicks fans.  I know the fans are excited over Knox and his progression throughout the season, but him not being in this game is bad.  You want to see your top lottery pick excel.  I know it also means nothing, in a way, but if the league doens’t see him as a rising star then what should we think?

It’s different for us because we’re Knicks fans and we watch Knox every game, but not being in this game is a major red flag.  Again, we all know he should be in, but he’s not.  Knox himself came out and said this is “motivation” for him, but that is anything else for us fans.

Maybe it will be motivation for Knox and maybe he will continue to improve, but this hurts.  He’s still young and has the potential, we all have to take a step back on Knox.  Maybe the NBA knows something that we don’t, with the Knox snub?  Maybe the they overlooked him and I sure hope they did, so for now, I’m holding my excitement for the rookie, for the moment.

New York Yankees: Polarizing Prospect Has Hit Developmental Road Block

New York Yankees, Estevan Florial

The New York Yankees are one of the more historic franchises when it comes to trading/signing the best players around the MLB, but lately, they have been growing from within.

With the emergence of Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, and others, they have begun to shift the narrative from great deals to even better home-development.

The New York Yankees need to help their youth grow:

The next wonder-kid on the list is Estevan Florial, an uber-athletic outfielder that is one of the more polarizing talents in the Yankees’ farm system. His abilities are off the charts, but at this point, it’s a matter of extracting them from the depth of his struggles.

Florial has struggled immensely with strikeouts and recognizing pitches in the minor leagues. In 2017, he struck out a hefty 148 times over 476 at-bats. In 2018, he struck out 92 times over 325 at-bats. That’s a tad over 28% of his at-bats. Now, the strikeouts are worrisome, but you can get away with a high-rate if you can hit for power. For comparison’s sake, Aaron Judge struck out nearly 37% of his at-bats last season. But, he launched 27 homers in the process.

Florial slashed .178/.294/.260  in the Arizona Fall League last year, recording no homers and two steals. Given the sample size was just 21-games we can give him the benefit of the doubt, but some analysts think he’s far from reaching his potential.

New York Yankees Reliever Danny Farquhar Could Offer Good Value In Bullpen

On January 21, 2019, the New York Yankees signed journeyman reliever Danny Farquhar to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training.  Farquhar is not just another depth pick up for the Yankees, he’s the survivor of a serious illness that knocked him out of the sport for nearly a year.

On April 20, 2018,  Farquhar went to the dugout after pitching and collapsed.  It was later learned that he had suffered a ruptured aneurysm which caused his brain to hemorrhage.  He was lucky to be alive and determined to return to Major League Baseball.

The only reminder of an aneurysm, a scar on the left side of his face and numbness throughout his entire head that doctors say may never resolve.

The Big Leagues are calling:

Back to baseball for Farquhar, but this time it’s with the Yankees, who he had a brief, brief stint with back in 2012 when he was acquired from the Oakland Athletics off waivers and three days later traded to Seattle Mariners in the deal that brought Ichiro Suzuki to the Bronx.

In 2018, prior to his illness, Farquhar had pitched eight innings for the Chicago White Sox with a 5.63 ERA, 6 H, 5 R, 3 HR and a 0.750 WHIP.  Farquhar has a 3.93 ERA in 253 appearances in his career, including time spent with the Blue Jays, Athletics, Yankees and White Sox.

Yankee fans are eager to see whether Farquhar can break into a bullpen that already features such names as Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Zach Britton, Adam Ottavino and Chad Green, along with Jonathan Holder, Luis Cessa and Jonathan Loaisiga.

The Yankee bullpen may, in fact, be built to have a historic season as top heavy as it is in hard-throwing superstars, but there is still plenty of competition for the remaining spots in the bullpen. Holder, Cessa and Loaisiga and a complement of pitchers from the minor leagues, such as Domingo German, David Hale and Chance Adams will all be competing with Farquhar for a spot on the roster.

Fans across baseball, not just Yankee fans, are hoping Farquhar succeeds this season, overcoming what were serious odds against him just over a year ago.  Who knows, maybe Farquhar becomes Major League Baseball’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2019?


New York Yankees Need Young Pitcher To Make The Leap To ‘Ace’

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino began the 2018 season on fire, earning a 2.31 ERA before the All-Star break, making him a clear candidate for the Cy Young award.

After the break, Severino struggled mightily, unloading a porous 5.57 ERA with a 5-6 record. His quality nose-dived, supposedly because of tipped pitches – there were reportedly no injuries that played a part in his struggles.

The fact of the matter is, the Yankees have numerous No.2 quality pitchers. They don’t have a true “ace” or Justin Verlander-type if you will. The potential is there for Severino to become one of the league’s most dominant pitchers if he can resolve his past issues.

Maybe bringing on Mariano Rivera to help develop and refine the pitchers’ skill-sets will make a difference in Luis’s game.

The current Yankees rotation:

The Bombers currently have Severino, J.A. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and CC Sabathia in the starting rotation. Happ is likely the lead-dog heading into the 2019 season, especially after an impressive 2018 where he finished the year with the Yanks 7-0. Tanaka is always a trust-worth option and improves as the game progresses, but there is simply not a lead option that you can trust to win games when it counts the most.

Making the jump from “very good” to excellent on a consistent basis is difficult to accomplish. Severino has the abilities, but can he mentally retain the idea of being the best? That’s the question. Sometimes, that mental challenge can be too much, but I’m confident the 24-year-old has what it takes.

The bottom line, the Yankees are in full win-now mode and are looking to grab a 28th trophy in the season ahead. Severino will undoubtedly play a big part in that journey, but he needs to refine his fundamentals and soak in as much information as the Sandman has to offer.

New York Yankees Could Be In The Market For Starting Pitcher

With the free agent market dwindling as the winter months pass, the New York Yankees have certainly made a splash without signing a big-name free agent like Manny Machado or Bryce Harper.

Signing players like DJ LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki have added value in terms of veteran leadership and defensive prowess, while the addition of Adam Ottavino provides strikeout efficiency to the bullpen. The Yankees only managed to grab one starting pitcher by trading their most talented prospect in Justus Sheffield for Mariners ace James Paxton.

While Paxton offers solid value despite a history of injuries, the starting pitching unit will likely see a boost in effectiveness in 2019.

The New York Yankees need to keep active in the free agency market:

The Yankees have undoubtedly added value and improved the team this offseason, but there’s more work to be done and adding another pitcher could be a possibility.

Who’s left on the market?

1.) Dallas Keuchel

The Houston Astros star pitcher has been an above average pitcher in the MLB, but his cost would likely be too high for the Yankees to bite. He earned a 3.74 ERA in 2018 and has a career ERA of 3.66.

Keucehl’s primary strength is his command, and that’s where he lives and dies as a starting pitcher. His pitches simply aren’t good enough to make him a dominant option down the stretch, and if his command isn’t consistent he struggles. His strikeout rate is simply discouraging — 6.72 k/9 rate, 0.75 strikeouts per inning.

If you compare him to a pitcher like Luis Severino, who finished last season with a 3.39 ERA and recorded 1.15 strikeouts per-inning, you can see that the optimism and potential for Keuchel have already reached its peak. He would be a costly pickup and wouldn’t be worth the investment for the Yanks.

2.) Gio Gonzalez

The former Nationals and Brewers lefty has had a relatively average career. He has a 3.69 career ERA and is 33 years-old. While Gonzalez has plenty of experience, he’s not a No.1 or No.2 pitcher, I see him as a No.3 that can play a rotational role with the Yankees.

His price tag likely wouldn’t be too high and the value he would bring to the club is solid. With the Nationals last season, he recorded a 4.57 ERA. He was traded to the Brewers where he finished the season with a 2.13 ERA and recorded three wins and zero losses.

Last year was the first time he recorded more losses than wins in eight seasons, which could spell trouble. Theoretically, he could slip in behind CC Sabathia and act as a reserve option if the big-guy struggles to finish the season. At 38 years-old, counting on him to be a consistent option and remain healthy is a stretch, so bringing in an affordable alternative like Gonzalez wouldn’t be a bad move.



New York Yankees: Clint Frazier Details The Symptoms That Ended His 2018

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

New York Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier might want to take a moment to thank his lucky stars after suffering through extreme concussion symptoms and coming out on the other side unscathed.

Frazier detailed his experience, and he mentions feeling like he was in “a state of euphoria,” according to the New York Post. The year was full of up-and-down memories and experiences for the Yankees, but Frazier doesn’t remember portions of it. His suffered from short term memory loss and still can’t recall some events that occurred in 2018.

“I felt like I wasn’t physically there, like something I couldn’t get out of. I was scared,” he said on Tuesday. “There were times I’d be driving like I was on auto-pilot or something. I’d look around and think, ‘How did I get here?’ ”

The return of Red Thunder:

Despite the scary mirage that draped itself over the young speed-hitter, his services are being called upon by the men in Pinstripes. The attributes that once made him an appealing prospect seem to be present, and he’s confident that his health won’t be an issue moving forward.

Frazier will have the opportunity to beat out veteran left-fielder Brett Gardner for the starting spot, and his youth certainly gives him the advantage.

Clint Frazier must be careful:

“You ever been on a treadmill, going really fast, and then suddenly hop off?” Frazier asks. “There’s that brief moment when you don’t really feel your feet. That’s what I felt like all the time.”

The Yankees need to ensure that he’s back to full health and is ready for the work-load ahead. Compromising his health and restarting the symptoms again would be catastrophic.

Hopefully, he returns with no limitations and can make a difference on the starting team right off the bat.

New York Yankees: Neil Walker Signs With Marlins Despite Return Rumors

New York Yankees utility man Neil Walker has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Miami Marlins, for two million dollars. Entering this off-season, there became a lot of talks about the Yankees possibly resigning him for another year.

Before the Yankees got Troy Tulowitzki and had announced they had serious interest in Manny Machado, Walker may have been an option to start the season at second base while Gleyber Torres shifted to Shortstop to fill the shoes of the injured Didi Gregorious.

Yankees’ Walker 2018 performance:

In 2018, Neil Walker had statistically his worse season after getting off to a dreadful start, before finally picking it up just before the all-star break. He hit .219. had an OBP of .309, and had a slugging percentage of .354, all career lows. Though he did have several clutch hits to start rallies and a couple walk-offs.

He wasn’t able to really get it going until he saw more of a role with the team. He first saw an everyday role when Gleyber Torres saw DL time in July, then playing some RF when Aaron Judge was injured and Giancarlo Stanton needed to rest or DH to nurse hamstring tightness.

Walker had previously not seen OF action, but needed to when the team was in a ‘next man up mentality’. He also learned how to play third base after Brandon Drury had gone down with an early season injury, and knowing that they may need help on defense with Andujar having fielding skills that need development.

How he will impact the Marlins

Walker will serve as a veteran in another utility role in Miami, but most likely playing more first base. Ex-Yankees Starlin Castro and Martin Prado occupy second base and third base, and the most support will be needed at first base.

The Marlins no longer have a true first baseman after they traded Justin Bour to Philadelphia, now signing with the Los Angeles Angels. The Marlins have a very young, underdeveloped team that needs veteran support and all-around depth. I know that Walker would much rather play for a contender, but this is a good fit for him.

New York Giants: Major Rumors Surrounding A Draft Day Trade

The New York Giants could look to draft Dwayne Haskins with the No. 6 overall pick.

The New York Giants are reportedly searching for their successor to Eli Manning. There are a few quarterbacks expected to go in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The top quarterback prospect is Dwayne Haskins Jr. from Ohio State University.

Many believe the Giants will be targeting him in the draft to succeed Eli Manning. However, the Giants are picking 6th, and there is a chance other quarterback-needy teams might trade ahead of the Giants to take Haskins. But if the Giants want to prevent that from happening, they could make a trade of their own.

Giants And Cardinals Trade Rumors:

The Giants hold the 6th pick, which might put them in a precarious position when drafting a quarterback. The Arizona Cardinals hold the 1st overall pick in the draft this year. Last year, the Cardinals traded up to the 10th pick to draft quarterback Josh Rosen. Because of this, they do not need a quarterback and could trade their pick away to a quarterback-needy team. That team could be the Giants.

If the Giants want to prevent teams like the Broncos, Jaguars, Dolphins, and Raiders from taking their quarterback of the future, they could trade for the 1st overall pick. Then the Giants could select whoever they wanted. If the Giants were to make this move, they would do so in order to select Dwayne Haskins.

It is rumored that the Giants and Cardinals have been in contact regarding a trade for the number one pick. The rumor states that the Giants called to ask the Cardinals their price and the two teams have been in contact since. Trade talks have not been confirmed, but a few outlets have been circling this rumor around this week. This rumor is very exciting for Giants fans, but unfortunately, at this point, it is only a rumor.

What Would It Take To Make The Deal?

If the Giants were to make the Cardinals an offer, Draft Tek‘s NFL Draft Trade Value Chart could help us project what the Giants might need to give up. The 1st overall pick has a value of 3,000 points, and the 6th overall pick has a value of 1,600 points.

The Giants would have to give up the 6th pick, of course. But on top of that they would likely need to give up at least two more picks. The Giants’ second round pick is worth 530 points, totaling the two Giants picks at 2,130. In order to make up the 870 points the Giants are missing, they will likely need to throw in their 2020 1st round draft pick. The fact that the Giants would be getting a quarterback with this deal may inflate the price. So if the Giants need to throw in a 2020 second-fifth round pick also, that should come as no surprise.

In 2004, the Giants made a draft day trade to acquire Eli Manning. Manning was selected first overall by the Chargers, so it was essentially like they were trading for the 1st pick. The Giants held the 4th pick and selected Philip Rivers with the intent to trade him to San Diego. The Chargers and Giants did strike a deal, bringing Manning to New York.

The Giants traded Philip Rivers (the 4th pick), a 2004 third round draft pick, a 2005 first round draft pick, and a 2005 fifth round draft pick in order to acquire Eli Manning. Some would call that a king’s ransom. Most would consider it a fair deal considering Manning lead the Giants to two Super Bowl victories en route to a Hall Of Fame carer.

If the Giants want to move up to select Dwayne Haskins (or any other quarterback), the 2004 trade for Manning could be a good model to project what they would need to give up in 2019.