New York Yankees: James Paxton Leaves Game With Injury

New York Yankees, James Paxton

The New York Yankees might have lost another player to injury with starting pitching James Paxton leaving Friday night’s game against the Twins in the third inning.

According to several reports, Paxton had soreness in his left knee – a good sign being that it wasn’t his throwing arm. A cortisone shot in his knee will likely be the treatment for the recently dominant pitcher.

Paxton threw just 60 pitched before the Yankees went to the bullpen – Jonathan Holder entered the game and the Twins scored. The run was unearned for Paxton who exits with a 3.11 ERA and was throwing the ball well.

What will the New York Yankees do now?

The Bombers will give Paxton an MRI tomorrow to see what’s wrong with his knee. It’s likely just inflammation and will require a few days of rest – hopefully it’s nothing more than a minor ailment, similar to what DJ LeMahieu suffered.

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Losing another starter doesn’t help a team that’s plagued by injuries to start the season. Ace, Luis Severino, and relief pitcher Dellin Betances are both out for an extended period of time, putting the pitching unit in jeopardy.

Losing Paxton could force the Yankees to pursue Dallas Kuchel, formerly of the Houston Astros. While it isn’t ideal by any means monetarily, Dallas would upgrade the unit instantly and take some of the stress off the reserve players.

New York Giants: The Book Is Closed On The Kyle Lauletta Experiment

It’s a far cry from how things were when the New York Giants first drafted Kyle Lauletta. At first there was a bit of an optimistic feeling as the Giants took a player that looked pretty good and appeared to be undervalued because of playing for a school that few would have followed, one that plays in the FCS Division of NCAA football. It looked like Lauletta had some potential and had been undervalued, and with Eli Manning struggling, a lot of fans were quite willing to see Lauletta hit the field quickly.

That, however, didn’t go as planned. Lauletta did manage to get on the field during his rookie season but the outcome wasn’t what anyone expected. Not everyone thought Lauletta would be good, but most didn’t think it would be as bad as it was. Five incompletions, one interception, and a passer rating of zero. It doesn’t help that roughly a month or so earlier, Lauletta severely hurt his reputation with the team by being involved in a dangerous driving incident.

But a lot of quarterbacks have bad rookie seasons and rookies usually get another season or more to prove themselves, right?

Well, it doesn’t look like the Giants are going to be that patient with Lauletta, who wasn’t drafted with a high enough pick to justify that patience.

The most obvious sign of this is that the team spent the number six overall pick on Daniel Jones, meaning they want to try again with finding Eli Manning’s successor. And after that pick, Lauletta seems somewhat forgotten.

No one is talking about a quarterback competition between Daniel Jones and Kyle Lauletta. But everyone is talking about Jones sitting behind Manning and eventually starting. In some ways, that’s just how these things work. The player drafted in the top ten is always going to be expected to become the starter eventually.

However, that’s not the only sign. Depending on how things go, Lauletta might not even end up the third string quarterback. The Giants didn’t just draft a quarterback, they’ve also signed a relatively notable one as an undrafted free agent. That’s Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey, who recently helped lead Syracuse to a 10-3 season and a win in the Camping World Bowl.

Dungey was highly rated after the draft and according to Syracuse.com had offers from five teams at the time that he finally agreed to join the Giants.

It looks like Dungey will be in the mix to be the one behind Daniel Jones and Eli Manning in the order of quarterbacks, and if that’s the case, it’s hard to see Lauletta remaining a legitimate option. Is giving up on Lauletta completely the right move? Maybe, maybe not. There’s not really much chance for Lauletta to compete when Jones was drafted with the sixth pick and is expected to start at some point, to prevent the pick from being wasted.

And if the Giants go into the season with three quarterbacks, Dungey looks like the more likely option to be the third one than Lauletta does.

It’s mildly frustrating to see the Giants spend a pick on a quarterback who received a small amount of hype and then see that quarterback drop out of the standings completely the next season, essentially meaning the pick was a complete waste, but in the NFL Draft, no team is perfect. Busts happen. And after one season, it looks like Kyle Lauletta will go down as one of the early draft busts in the Gettleman era.

New York Yankees: Miguel Andujar is on his way to New York

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

The New York Yankees are finally receiving some reinforcements after a string of tough losses centered around a lack of offensive production.

Third baseman, Miguel Andujar, is on his way to the Big Apple where he will return after a potentially serious injury – small labrum tear. Murmurs that he could have season-ending surgery sprouted after the injury occurred, but he has made great progress through the ailment and will return over the weekend.

The New York Yankees are struggling in the run department:

In the Yankees’ last two games, they have put up just three runs. Several unexpected players had been shining in the absence of the regular starters, but it was only a matter of time before they came crashing back down to earth. Not to mention the players on hot streaks all succumbed to injuries themselves.

Gio Urshela was hit by a fastball on his left hand, DJ LeMahieu came up gimpy with a leg issue, and Clint Frazier sprained his ankle landing him on the 10-day injured list.

But, getting Andujar back should help the team significantly. While he’s only hitting .231 on the season, we know he’s capable of much more. I believe the Yankees will feature him as the designated hitter while Urshela remains at third due to his defensive prowess.

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In addition to Andujar return, center fielder Aaron Hicks has finally begun live action and played in a game for the first time in two months. His return should be within the next week or two. Frazier, on the other hand, is scheduled to come off the injured list on Friday and make his way back to the starting team over the weekend.

While Cameron Maybin hasn’t been terrible, getting Frazier and his hot streak back should be beneficial.

Series Preview: New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

The New York Yankees will head home to the Bronx following a lengthy west coast trip,  finishing 6-3 on the week. They will take on a strong Minnesota Twins team, who are currently 18-10 and are leading the AL Central. Having dropped the last two games, the Bronx Bombers look for another series win.

Game One: James Paxton vs. Kyle Gibson

James Paxton is coming off a three-game winning streak, with his last outing being against the San Francisco Giants. Paxton went 5.2 innings, allowing two earned runs and fanned eight. The strikeout count has been high for the Yankees’ left-hander, as he tied the club’s record of 12 strikeouts in consecutive outings. Paxton currently has 51 strikeouts on the season. The Twins are throwing RHP Kyle Gibson, credited with a 4.88 ERA on the year. After starting with a 7.36 ERA, Gibson has settled down; only allowing three earned runs in his past two outings.

Game Two: J.A. Happ and Jake Odorizzi

J.A. Happ‘s start to the season has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. A recurring theme has been apparent in each of his outings, where he has allowed runs in the early innings of the game and then settling in through the later innings. Yankees’ offense has helped Happ, as they been able to come back from run deficits. Regardless of Happ’s early struggles, his most recent outing against the San Francisco Giants was dominate. Going the distance (7.0 IP), Happ allowed five hits and no earned runs.  Twins’ crafty RHP, Jake Odorizzi, is coming off a strong outing against the Houston Astros, where he outdueled Astros’ ace, Justin Verlander. Odorizzi, commanding his slider and cutter, was able to shut down the Astros offense in only 86 pitches.

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Game Three: Domingo German and Michael Pineda

Game three will be one of the most anticipated games this series. Domingo German, who has stepped up in Luis Severino‘s absence due to injury, has been everything the Yankees needed. Taking the ace role, German has a 5-1 record with a 2.56 ERA. Ex-Yankee, Michael Pineda will be taking the mound for the Twins. Yankee fans remember Pineda’s dominance in the Bronx, as he was considered the ace of the pitching staff during the 2014 season. This season, Pineda has struggled. Coming off a two-game losing streak, Pineda is credited with a 6.21 ERA in 29.0 innings pitched.

Players to watch

Yankees’ hitter Luke Voit poises a threat at the plate, as he is coming off a hot week on the west coast. In the last seven days, Voit batted .435 with seven RBIs and two home runs. Twins’ shortstop Eddie Rosario looks to do damage at the plate, as he leads the team in home runs (11).

New York Yankees: Clint Frazier Should be Good to Return to Lineup on Weekend

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

The New York Yankees outfield is currently decimated with injuries. Who’s to blame – the strength and conditioning staff or just a bad string of luck? Nonetheless, outfielder Clint Frazier, who was placed on the 10-day injured list, is scheduled to return for the weekend games.

Frazier sprained his ankle and didn’t believe for it to be serious until it continued to bother him forcing him out for a week and a half. The speedy hitter was having a tremendous start to the season at the plate, earning a .324 batting average with 22 hits and 6 homers.

Having his offensive production back but also defensive abilities will be huge for the ailing team.

New York Yankees: Clintz Frazier is nearly back

According to NJ.com, Frazier ran nine 60-yard springs and participated in drills which included sudden stops and short bursts. He stated that he didn’t seem to have any problems with his ankle and should be good to go soon.

In addition to Clint, third baseman Miguel Andujar has been playing in the minor leagues regaining his form. He seems to be nearing a return after a potential season-ending injury scare. A small tear in his labrum was cause for concern, but he is making impressive progress through rehab.

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On Wednesday, Andujar went 1-for-4 with two RBI’s for the High-A Tampa team. However, fellow rehabbing teammate, Troy Tulowitzki, suffered a setback with his calf and will likely take a bit more time to make a return.

I imagine the Yankees will proceed with caution if they pull Andujar back up to the majors. They will consider utilizing him as a designated hitter while he gauges his shoulder movement. He’s not yet proven he can make the throws from third base across the diamond, but the Yanks could surely use his offensive capabilities.

 

New York Giants: The Rookies Have Chosen Their Numbers

New York Giants, DeAndre Baker

The New York Giants are coming off an important and controversial 2019 NFL Draft. Their rookie class features a lot of defenders, but also a quarterback whom they took with the 6th overall pick, Daniel Jones.

Fans are excited to see these players get in action. Luckily, the fans will not have to wait much longer. The Giants are beginning their rookie minicamp today, Friday, May 3rd. It is a two-day camp so it will run through Saturday, May 4th.

With the rookie minicamp starting this weekend, the rookies needed to officially select their numbers. Here is every rookie’s number heading into the 2019 rookie minicamp:

Rookie Numbers:

Daniel Jones, Quarterback, #8:

Daniel Jones, the 6th overall pick out of Duke will be wearing number 8 with the New York Giants. In college, Jones wore number 17, but that number is already taken by Kyle Lauletta.

Of course, these numbers are subject to change. Nothing is final, so if Lauletta is moved off the roster prior to the regular season, Jones could get his number 17 back.

Daniel Jones is the heir apparent to the Giants’ quarterback position. Number 10 has become an iconic number for the Giants with Eli Manning’s historic career. Let’s all hope that we have the same feelings about number 8 at the end of Daniel Jones’s career (unless Jones switches numbers prior to the start of the regular season).

Dexter Lawrence, Defensive Tackle, #97:

The 17th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Dexter Lawrence, will be wearing number 97 at the rookie minicamp. Lawrence was the Giants’ second pick in the draft.

At Clemson, Lawrence wore number 90. Number 90 is already taken by another young interior defensive lineman, R.J. Mcintosh. Mcintosh was drafted in the 5th round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

DeAndre Baker, Cornerback, #35:

DeAndre Baker was the Giants’ third pick in the first round. They selected him with the 30th overall pick. DeAndre wore number 18 in college, but in the NFL, defensive backs are not allowed to wear that number. So, instead, Baker will wear number 35.

Number 35 was worn by safety Curtis Riley last season. Riley was not a well-liked player by Giants fans. Hopefully, DeAndre Baker can change the way we view number 35.

Oshane Ximines, Outside Linebacker, #53:

The Giants did not have a 2nd-round pick, but they were lucky enough to have X-man fall to them at the end of the 3rd-round. Oshane Ximines will wear number 53 for the Giants at rookie minicamp. Ximines wore number 7 in college, but that is obviously an invalid number for linebackers in the NFL.

Number 53 is a special number to many Giants fans. Hall of Fame linebacker Harry Carson wore number 53 with the New York Giants. Oshane Ximines will have big shoes to fill with this number. Many fans believe this number should be retired, so Ximines will need to prove to fans that he is worthy of number 53.

Julian Love, Cornerback, #37:

In the 4th-round of the draft, the Giants got an absolute steal. They selected the underrated cornerback Julian Love out of Notre Dame. Love is considered by many to be a 2nd-round talent, so the Giants were lucky to land him in the 4th round.

Love wore number 27 in college, but that number is already taken by Michael Hunter. Love will still get to rock his number 7, but with a 3 in front instead of a 2.

Ryan Connelly, Linebacker, #57:

Ryan Connelly was drafted by the New York Giants in the 5th round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The former high school quarterback will wear number 57 with the Giants. His collegiate number, 43, is already taken by Ronald Zamort.

Darius Slayton, Wide Receiver, #86:

The Giants drafted wide receiver Darius Slayton in the 5th round. He was their second 5th round selection in this year’s draft. Slayton will wear number 86, despite his collegiate number 81 being available.

Corey Ballentine, Defensive Back, #25:

The versatile cornerback/safety Corey Ballentine will don the number 25 with the Giants. He wore number 1 at Washburn, but that is another number that cannot be worn in the NFL at Ballentine’s position group.

George Asafo-Adjei, Offensive Lineman, #78:

Big George was the Giants’ first 7th round pick. George has received a lot of hype from Giants fans as he was the only offensive lineman taken by the Giants in the 2019 NFL Draft. Fans have high hopes for Big George, as we all look forward to seeing him compete for the starting right tackle job.

Chris Slayton, Defensive Tackle, #99:

Slayton was the Giants’ final selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. Interestingly enough, Slayton will wear the final number possible. He wore number 95 at Syracuse, but promising young lineman B.J. Hill already possesses that number.

An interesting thing to note: not a single 2019 Giants draft pick will wear the number they wore in college at rookie minicamp.

A Look Over The New York Yankees May Schedule

A lot of easy, must win games were on the schedule in March and April for the New York Yankees, but injuries derailed the idea of an amazing start. Don’t get me wrong, 17-13 is a fine start to the season, just not what the Yankees wanted.

Now in May, the Yankees have a balanced schedule, some tough games and some easy games. Some AL East games, and some inter-league games. Let’s take a peek.

May 3rd-5th: Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins are currently red-hot, and sit first in the AL Central at 19-10. They are fresh off taking three of four from the Houston Astros. They are led by Jorge Polanco with a .336 average and Eddie Rosario with 11 home runs. The Yankees have three against these guys, and winning two of them would be a successful series. Plus, Miguel Andujar is scheduled to be in the lineup on Saturday.

May 6th-9th: Seattle Mariners

The Mariners are another club that is playing good baseball, currently at 18-15 and second in the AL West. They have however lost their last four, including being swept in a two game set to the Cubs. Domingo Santana, Dee Gordon, and Jay Bruce are just a few of the guys that could potentially eat the Yankees alive. This is a four game set, and the Yankees need to win at least three.

May 10th-12th, 17th-19th: Tampa Bay Rays

These six games aren’t gonna be easy. Tampa sits at 20-11, atop the AL East. Tampa has such a balanced team, and a fantastic manager in Kevin Cash. They also have a perfect mix of veterans and young-guns, and have continued to play well in their “rebuild”. The Yankees need to win five of these six games. It would be great to get to first place and stay there.

May 13th-15th, May 20th-23rd: Baltimore Orioles

Nothing less than winning all six games against the Orioles should be considered a failure. Sure, 11-21 isn’t great, but they are playing pretty good for what they have. Trey Mancini is having a fantastic year, batting .342. After these two series, the Yankees only face the Orioles for one more series in each park all year.

May 24th-26th: Kansas City Royals

The same applies as the Oriole series, nothing but winning all of these games should be considered a failure. The Royals are also at 11-21, and the Yankees took three of four from them in a series a few weeks ago. More notably, that’s when Aaron Judge got hurt. It is so important to win these games, especially on the road.

May 27th-29th: San Diego Padres

Remember our good friend Manny Machado? Well, he returns to the Bronx in a few weeks with his Padres. But, Machado is struggling a good bit, batting just .235. Fernando Tatis Jr. leads the Padre offense, but was recently injured. The Padres sit at 18-14 and 3rd in the NL West. The Yankees need to win the series.

May 30th-June 2nd: Boston Red Sox

The 14-17 Red Sox roll into town for a four game set, sitting fourth in the AL East despite their star-power. However, it appears they are starting to figure things out, coming off a sweep of the Athletics. The Yankees need to find a way to win the series.

Record Prediction (May 3rd-June 2nd): 21-7, first in the AL East.

New York Giants: Why Oshane Ximines is the Giants’ Most Underrated Draft Pick

New York Giants draft Old Dominion defensive end, Oshane Ximines.

While going to a smaller school often gets players looked over, talent always has a way of finding its way into the right hands. Old Dominion edge rusher, Oshane Ximines, is a perfect example of how an underrated player can make his way to the NFL. The New York Giants drafted him in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

The fact of the matter is – Ximines was an anticipated late round pick. The Giants had him graded as a second-round talent but managed to grab him in the third. He’s a strong and agile pass rusher that will provide a uniquely strong fundamental play-style from a smaller school. He’s the first player to ever be drafted out of Old Dominion.

What are the New York Giants getting in Oshane Ximines?

Ximines has the natural instincts to succeed at the next level, the question is – can he adapt to the increased physicality and speed of the NFL?

General manager Dave Gettleman thinks so:

“He has legitimate counter pass rushing ability, counter pass rushing moves,” Gettleman said after the draft. “Most of the kids coming out of college have their move when they come off the ball, or they come of the ball they know what they want to do, and if the tackle thwarts them, they don’t know what to do. They’re not power rushers, they get stuck. Oshane can counter punch.”

Oshane has a diverse array of skills and moves, something most prospects don’t have coming out of college. He has developed counters and more advanced abilities to help him succeed at the next level.

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Over the course of his collegiate career, he racked up an impressive 32.5 sacks, 11.5 of which came last season in his senior year. He also earned 18 tackles for a loss. Now, while these numbers stand out, they don’t scream success. The teams Ximines played against at Old Dominion won’t even resemble the quality he will face in the NFL.

It will likely take some time to adjust, but there’s no question he has the drive to reach his potential.

New York Knicks Hypothetical: Vince Carter To The Big Apple

Disclaimer — this is a hypothetical signing for the New York Knicks.  Let’s just say Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have signed. Pen to the ink, they are in the Big Apple.

The Knicks may have some extra cash available to sign a veteran or two to the minimum. With the intriguing pairings that could come to the Mecca, some vets may want to join in on the fun. I envision something along the lines of the Cleveland Cavaliers when LeBron James returned.

One player that most recently indicated that he will be returning for his remarkable 22nd season, Vince Carter.

Now, before fans scream ‘NOOOOO’ as they read, hear me out. We all know it seems like half of the older generations of players have been a Knick at some point in their careers.

Let’s go through a few names we all know and love.

Tracy McGrady, Eddie Curry, Mike Bibby, Keith Van Horn, Samuel Dalembert, Jose Calderon, Antonio McDyess, Dikembe Mutombo, Larry Hughes, Rasheed Wallace, Jason Kidd, Chauncey Billups, Ron Artest, Luc Longley, Glen Rice, Vin Baker, Matt Barnes, Penny Hardaway and Marcus Camby (twice).

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These are just some players that have had a been with a handful of teams.  It only seems appropriate that Vince Carter adds the New York Knicks to his list of teams. Carter has been on the Raptors, Nets, Magic, Suns, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Kings and Hawks.

The New York Knicks were known back in the day for signing older veteran players. The new regime does not seem poised to bring in these veteran players again. However, it is only right that before his outstanding, high flying career ends, that Vince Carter puts on a Knicks jersey.

New York Yankees Receive More Injury News – Troy Tulowitzki Suffers Setback

The New York Yankees have scored a total of three runs the past two games, being swepped by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The lack of true starting talent is beginning to infiltrate the scoreboard as the Yanks went a few weeks squeezing out close wins on the back of Gio Urshela and late miracles.

However, several starters are close to returning, but their shortstop seems to have suffered a setback. Veteran infielder, Troy Tulowitzki, re-strained his left calf in a minor league game on Wednesday night, exiting the game after going 1-for-1 and playing in the field.

New York Yankees: Gleyber Torres has picked up the slack

Luckily, Gleyber Torres has done a solid job holding down the starting position in the absence of both Tulo and Didi Gregorius who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Torres is fielding a solid .971 with three errors in 27 games. He’s also hitting .271 with 5 homers this season.

Tulowitzki isn’t the most effective hitter at his age, but he’s a premium defender that brings multiple Gold Gloves to an infield that struggled to keep runs off the board in 2018. His return would be beneficial in that category, but Torres has shown he can be the starting option at SS while DJ LeMahieu plays second base.

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To be quite honest, I like the combination of Voit, LeMahieu, Torres, and Miguel Andujar in the infield. There’s some inexperience there, but the only way to improve that function is through playing. Especially if they’re the future of the team, they must learn how to win and lose together through injury struggles such as this.