New York Yankees: What Lies To Start The Second Half

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius

The New York Yankees open up the second half of the 2019 season on a 10 game homestand against three different teams. All three teams are in different directions. One is well under .500, one is at about .500, and one is well over .500.

Toronto

The team starts off by taking on Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Toronto Blue Jays for three games. The Blue Jays are at 34-57. We honestly don’t know who will start the games for either team. Because of the all-star break, teams can alter their rotation as needed.

It probably wouldn’t be Masahiro Tanaka on Friday since he pitched in the all-star game. We likely wouldn’t see him until the weekend.

Tampa

Afterwards, the Tampa Bay Rays return to town for yet another series. They sit at 52-39 and 6.5 games back from the Yankees for first. The Yankees will see Yonny Chirinos and Blake Snell in two of the games, and probably a bullpen game in the third.

Colorado

To finish the 10 game homestand, Nolan Arenado and the Colorado Rockies come to town for some interleague action. Colorado sits at 44-45, but is still well in the postseason picture. This will be the first time DJ LeMahieu and Adam Ottavino face their old team. No starting pitchers have been listed yet.

It’s crucial that the Yankees get off to a hot start in the second half to pull away in the AL East.

New York Yankees: How Did Players Fare In The All-Star Game

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

Tuesday evening was the MLB All-Star game, and all five New York Yankees players selected to the team played and had an impact. Keep reading to find out what each player did in the game.

DJ LeMahieu

DJ went 0-for-2 in the game, but played clean defense in his four and a half innings of play. He grounded out to the pitcher in both at-bats.

Gary Sanchez

Gary Sanchez went 1-for-2 and caught a solid half game. He ripped a double to left in the fifth inning and flied out earlier in the game.

Gleyber Torres

Gleyber Torres pinch-hit for DJ LeMahieu in the fifth, and went 1-for-2 in doing so. He struck out his first time up, but reached on an infield single his second time up to the plate.

Masahiro Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka pitched the second inning, allowing one hit but struck out one to kept the game scoreless. Gary Sanchez caught him as usual. Tanaka actually ended up as the winning pitcher, as the AL won 4-3.

Aroldis Chapman

Aroldis Chapman came in the ninth to get the save, and did so by striking out the side. It was actually a much needed inning of work, as this past week was a bit shaky for him on the mound.

It’s great that the Yankees players performed well at the all-star game, but now it’s time for the second half stretch run.

New York Giants: Three Potential Veteran Cut Candidates

Training camp officially begins for the New York Giants on July 25th. The Giants will begin to put together their final roster as players will compete for positions.

Last offseason, many surprise cuts were made, such as fan-favorite cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The Giants are bound to surprise again this offseason. With multiple positions open for competition, a few veterans will be cut. Here are three likely cut candidates for the 2019 NFL offseason:

Kyle Lauletta:

While Kyle Lauletta might not technically be a “veteran,” he is still a serious potential cut candidate. The Giants have four quarterbacks on their roster currently, and it is hard to believe they will keep more than three. Kyle Lauletta is not likely to be one of the three.

The Giants’ starting quarterback is still Eli Manning. Behind him is the heir apparent rookie Daniel Jones. Then, finally, we have the positional battle between Alex Tanney and Kyle Lauletta. Unfortunately for Lauletta, Tanney is the more likely quarterback for the Giants to keep.

Lauletta was drafted by the team in the 4th round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He was a dark horse to become the Giants’ next franchise quarterback but failed to live up to the hype during his limited playing time in 2018. The Giants have always been fond of veteran leadership from the backup quarterback position, and Alex Tanney provides just that.

Tanney might not have a bright future or an impressive career stat line but does provide veteran leadership. Alex Tanney earned himself a contract extension with the Giants and it is unlikely that they would have extended him if they did not plan on keeping him through the summer. So, unfortunately, that means that the sophomore Kyle Lauletta will likely be moved out of New York.

Cody Latimer:

Cody Latimer missed 10 games last season due to injury. The receiver flashed strong potential when he was on the field, but he was rarely ever able to suit up. The Giants’ receiving corps has its two primary receivers set, but there seems to be a positional battle brewing for the third receiver position.

Cody Latimer is likely the Giants’ leading candidate to win this position, however, he has some serious competition. Corey Coleman is a young, speedy receiver that the Giants picked up last season. Coleman is a former 1st-round pick who never reached his potential, but it is not too late for him to evolve into a solid receiving threat.

If Corey Coleman can take a leap and show major improvements during 2019’s training camp, then Cody Latimer’s value on this team takes a significant hit. Additionally, the Giants can save a little over $1,000,000 in cap space by cutting Latimer. If the Giants get pressed for cap space, Cody Latimer could be another cap casualty.

Janoris Jenkins:

This is the least likely of the three cut candidates, however, it is a possible surprise. The Giants drafted three cornerbacks in the 2019 NFL Draft (four if you count Sam Beal). Janoris Jenkins is currently being pegged into a veteran-teacher role, but that could change.

Julian Love, DeAndre Baker, Sam Beal, and Corey Ballentine are all talented young cornerbacks who could take Janoris Jenkins’s spot if the Giants feel the need to save some cap space. Janoris Jenkins had a down year in 2018 and has a huge contract to live up to.

Janoris Jenkins has a cap hit of $14,750,000 in 2019. New York can free up $7,750,000 if they cut him this year. He would also account for only $3,500,000 in dead cap space next year if they decide to cut him.

Being that Janoris is 30 years old, it would not be too outlandish for the Giants to move on from the aging vet. If New York decides that they need to free up cap space, Janoris Jenkins might become a cap casualty.

Curiosity caught the New York Knicks?

New York Knicks considering Amar'e Stoudemire in return?

The New York Knicks could be doing some more due diligence this off-season.

Yahoo! Sports Chris Haynes reported that the Knicks were in attendance for workouts involving former Knick Amar’e Stoudemire and Monta Ellis.  The Knicks were one of 12 teams seeing what these former NBA stars still have in the tank.

Stoudemire, 36, has been playing, on-and-off, for the Hapoel Jerusalem since 2016.  He averaged 12.6 points per game in 2016.

Monta Ellis, 33, last played in 2017 with the Indiana Pacers where he averaged 8.4 points per game.

Both players believe that they can still play and can contribute to a NBA team.  Maybe, they want a run at a title before they officially hang it up?

It seems pretty odd that the Knicks would be in attendance for these former NBA players workouts.  The Knicks, who have been on this re-building with youth kick, might just be curious with these possible comebacks.  It could have been possible that the Knicks were looking for that veteran leadership and mentor-ship for their final roster spot.

However, with the reports of Marcus Morris ditching the San Antonio Spurs for the Knicks, this could only have been morbid curiosity.  Do not expect the Knicks to sign one of these over-the-hill players.  Those New York Knicks are no more.

New York Jets can have one of the best safeties duos in 2019

New York Jets, Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye

Already having one of the most dynamic and versatile safeties in Jamal Adams only helps the New York Jets reach a level of quality the defense has struggled to maintain in recent years. Adding a healthy Marcus Maye to the mix could be the key to unlocking a dominant group in the secondary.

Adams’ aggressive style of play is impressive, as he’s capable of covering the length of the field and making plays in all facets of the game. Playing 137 snaps as an edge defender in 2018 gives him the skill-set to rush the passer. He also played 172 snaps at slot corner, 40 as a wide corner, and 489 snaps as a box safety and 281 deep.

According to PFF, Adams earned grades over 77.0 at every position metioned — he’s a true “swiss army knife.” Allowing just a 67.3 passer rating against him in coverage, he’s proved that he can be trusted against receivers and close to the line of scrimmage. Bringing back Maye from injury will only help him excel in his strengths.

While the 2017 second-round pick only played in six games and 392 snaps last year, he made his time on the field count. Earning a solid 81.7 overall grade with one interception and two passes defended, he’s a capable safety in the deep part of the secondary. Shining in coverage only break the surface of his potential, as he’s a sure tackler and cover-option alongside Adams.

Pairing the two will present the Jets with two fantastic safeties and ultimately lock down the secondary where the cornerbacks may struggle at times.

Maye commented on his return from injury this season:

“You just have to be smart and practice like a professional, know the situations, play the game between your ears more,” Maye said in June, via the New York Jets website. “But once I get out there and get the green light, I’m definitely going to go.”

Shoulder and thumb ailments sent him to the injured reserve last season, and a fill bill of health in 2019 should see the defense excel to a point beyond their 24th ranking for pass-yards allowed.

New York Knicks: Could Ignas Brazdeikis be better draft pick over Barrett?

New York Knicks, Ignas Brazdeikis

While it’s too early to tell whether Duke star and New York Knicks 3rd overall draft choice RJ Barrett will become the force he’s expected to be, second-rounder Ignas Brazdeikis has shown incredible production so far.

The Summer League is generally a time where the teams can gauge their young talent and begin to see them take developmental steps before the regular season. Barrett, who’s averaged 21% from the field, has underwhelmed, but it’s not something we should worry about given his age and youth.

However, appreciating the success of youngsters is important. Brazdeikis has been on fire since starting with the Knicks, putting up 30-points in his latest effort against the Pheonix Suns, hitting a game-tying three-point shot with 25 seconds remaining on the clock.

What are the New York Knicks getting from the Lithuanian?

As a freshman with Michigan in the Big Ten conference, Ignas showed great offensive versatility and the ability to make an impact in that facet. He averaged a solid 14.8 points-per-game in 2018 (sports reference), but with more talent around him at the NBA level, I believe he will continue to grow and produce efficiently.

The Canadian earned Big Ten Rookie of the Year honors, displaying a diverse array of skills that will help him succeed at the next level. The 6-foot-7 forward has above-average ball-handling skills for his size, which enables him to push the ball up the court with speed and effectiveness.

He created a lot of fast-break opportunities with this skill and I anticipate he will continue to utilize it in his rookie campaign. The ability to stretch the court and play fast is something that the Knicks have failed to do in the past — stopping opposing team’s momentum and creating some of their own was difficult, but Brazdeikis offers that to the Knicks.

Being a crafty finisher and athletic player on offense will help him earn playing time, but he will need to develop his defense if he wishes to be a regular player on the floor. There’s much he needs to work on, but he’s starting out at a good level at just 20-years-old.

 

New York Giants: Tight end unit may take an interesting turn this offseason

New York Giants, Evan Engram

The New York Giants have plenty of talent at the tight end position, so much so, they’re likely to cut at least one player to address other positions of need.

Having Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison, Scott Simonson, and rookie CJ Conrad at tight end is rather unnecessary. All of them serve a different purpose, while Conrad is the only true dual-threat (potentially). Ellison is capable of catching passes and holding value in that sense, but he’s a primary blocker that serves mainly a single purpose.

I’m really intrigued by Conrad and what he has to offer coming out of Kentucky. He’s a big body in the run game and can be an impact player in the passing game — I believe he will steal starting time away from Ellison and Simonson.

Ellison is my cut candidate from the group as he holds the biggest cap hit and is seemingly becoming less of a necessity as the Giants add youth to the position. Counting $5.75 million against the cap, Rhett also has a $2.5 million dead cap hit, so the team would save $2.75 million if they cut him, a nice chunk of change that could make a difference at a weaker spot.

How will the tight ends factor in for the New York Giants offense?

Engram, a primary receiver, will be a frequent flyer on the offense as per usual. His consistent injuries pose a problem and I’m convinced he will miss more time during the season as he’s currently dealing with a hamstring issue. His injuries will give options like Simonson and Conrad more time to develop and play with the first team.

Again, I see Conrad making an impact this season after earning 318 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 2018. He was Kentucky’s primary threat through the air but opposing defenses allocated a ton of resources towards limiting his production. He was one of two players to earn reps with the first team this offseason, Darius Slayton being the other.

The Giants could use a good amount of two tight-end sets this season, as head coach Pat Shurmur will look to cause confusion in the defensive secondary and unpredictability with receivers out of the slot. It will be interesting to see how the offense operates without Odell Beckham Jr.

New York Giants News, 7/10 – Saquon Barkley now the offensive leader

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

With the departure of Odell Beckham Jr., star running back Saquon Barkley is the catalyst on the offense and will demand even more defensive resources.

There are many similarities to Beckham and Barkley, but the biggest difference is their method of leadership. The receiver was very active and vocal in ways that sometimes weren’t ideal, but Barkley always says the right things and is prepared to lead by example in addition to his fiery competitive spirit.

The 2019 season potentially holds great things for the 2018 first round pick, as he earned over 2,000 All-Purpose yards and proved to be one of the best players at his position in the NFL. With a better offensive line and more holes to run through, he has the potential to be an even more effective player in his sophomore season.

The offense will now be his to run and utilize — I anticipate head coach Pat Shurmur game planning around Barkley and keeping the opposing defense on their toes. Diverse wide receivers like Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard will only help the future success of the unit alongside Saquon and his playmaking abilities.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day!

Paul Schwartz (New York Post) – The Giants’ offense is now Saquon Barkley’s

Jordan Raanan (ESPN) – New York Giants go way outside the box to find guard Austin Droogsma

Connor McJunkin (GMEN HQ) – Top-5 Quarterbacks the New York Giants Will Face in 2019

Dan Schneier (247 Sports) – 10 questions the Giants must answer before the 2019 season

Ed Valentine (Big Blue View) – Giants’ 90-man roster: “Violent inside banger” Chris Slayton adds depth to defensive line

Check out the best news for yesterday!

New York Giants News, 7/9 – Nate Solder is the catalyst on offensive line