One Player Gives Optimistic Take On New York Giants Bad Luck

New York Giants receiver, Sterling Shepard.

Training camp has been underway for days for the New York Giants, but rather than focusing on the excitement of being one step closer to the season and seeing some of the team’s new additions in pads for the first time, the conversation has been dominated so far by injuries.

It’s for good reason. It seems that every day another Giants player goes down with an injury in camp, even some of the team’s top payers such as wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who gets to kick off the season recovering from a fractured thumb after signing a four year contract earlier this offseason.

The Giants were hit by more bad news recently, not another injury but the news that Golden Tate could face a four game suspension during his debut season with the team, something that sets the Giants back even further as Tate and Shepard are projected to be the top receivers on the team. At least, they were projected to be the top ones, and now both of them have serious difficulties to deal with only days into training camp.

It’s safe to say that Giants fans have reason to be pessimistic, but not everyone around the team shares those sentiments. According to wide receiver Russell Shepard, the team’s crisis could be a chance for other players to shine.

“Things like this happen throughout the course of the year and we’ve got a good group of guys that will make the most out of this situation. At the end of the day we’re all pros, we’re here for a reason, we can make this a Cinderella story. . . We have nothing to lose. You want people to doubt you [so] you can go prove them wrong,” Shepard said Saturday.

Shepard finished with a pair of touchdowns last year but had fairly modest numbers in terms of receptions, with only 10 from 19 targets – he may just see a big step up in production this season if the current injury trend at receiver continues, after turning the group of receivers from a relatively deep one to a thin one in a matter of days.

With the Giants looking for receivers to sign to help fill the gaps they now have, and add depth as the season approaches, one can hope that Shepard himself doesn’t join the ranks of the injured and suspended soon – it seems that every player at the position has had a curse placed upon them, and one can only wait and see if that bad luck continues or whether this is just one bad week for the Giants.

New York Yankees: Why Stroman Is A Better Option Than Bumgarner

Are the New York Yankees interested in trading for Blue Jays pitcher, Marcus Stroman?

After the New York Yankees starting pitching had one of its worst weeks in franchise history, it looks more likely that the team will acquire a starting pitcher before the trade deadline. Marcus Stroman and Madison Bumgarner are the two biggest names that come up, and the Yankees will be better off acquiring Stroman over Bumgarner.

Why Stroman?

Marcus Stroman is a little less than a year younger than Madison Bumgarner, and debuted in the majors in 2014 compared to 2009 for Bumgarner. This means that Stroman would be under team control through 2021, when Bumgarner’s contract expires at the end of 2020.

Stroman has also had less issues with other players. Even though he is in the NL, Bumgarner has had many run-ins with guys like Yasiel Puig, and that could be harmful to the team.

Plus, Stroman is having a better season than Bumgarner. Though he is 6-11, Stroman has an ERA under 3.00 and a 3.2 WAR. Bumgarner has a 5-7 record and an ERA of 3.66 with a WAR of just half of Stroman’s.

However, it might be hard to get Bumgarner anyway. The Giants are playing well of late, and they may not end up selling in hopes of a shot at a wildcard spot. The Blue Jays on the other hand are well out of the wildcard race and are beginning a huge rebuild.

With that being said, Toronto would likely want more prospects for Stroman. They are rumored to be interested in Deivi Garcia and Clint Frazier, but other guys like Tyler Wade could also be in the mix.

Marcus Stroman would be a much better option for the Yankees over Madison Bumgarner.

 

 

New York Giants Practice Report, 7/27

New York Giants, Oshane Ximines

The New York Giants held their first padded practice of the 2019 season today and it was nice to see more physicality three days into training camp.

Players who stood out:

Julian Love had a very active practice, he deflected a pass from Daniel Jones and forced a fumble not long after. His speed has looked like less of an issue than it did in the spring.

Jabrill Peppers lined up in the box a lot today and was very active near the line of scrimmage with a few tackles in the backfield and a sack.

Cody Latimer stepped up in this time of need and caught multiple passes from Eli Manning. He is the primary outside receiver for maybe the rest of the season.

Grant Haley timed a blitz perfectly to stop a running play in the backfield and deflected one of Eli’s passes later on. His coverage has looked solid more often than not.

The outside corners names aren’t mentioned a lot with the first team, which is a good thing. Janoris Jenkins and Deandre Baker cover well and don’t get a ton of opportunities to make plays on the ball. Baker has struggled with Tate’s shiftiness at times but he hasn’t challenged Baker deep down the field.

Corey Ballentine has looked sharp with the third-team, he had a pick-six today and has been a very challenging matchup for third-team receivers.

Overall the defensive line neutralized the offensive line in the first padded practice. Some of the more notable passing plays happened a second after the defense could’ve sacked the quarterback. They also couldn’t create much space for the running backs. BJ hill lined up as the 5-technique defensive end, Dalvin was the nose-tackle and Dexter Lawrence was the 3-technique defensive end.

Antoine Bethea hasn’t stuck out much but he’s played very sound football so far and broke up an Eli Manning pass in the red zone today.

Eli Manning and Daniel Jones both had solid practices, Eli was at a bit of a disadvantage having backup caliber receivers lined up against first-team defensive backs. Daniel seemed to have a better practice but had a more level playing-field than Eli, to be fair.

Camp Battles:

Spencer Pulley was worked into the first-team offense today after Jon Halapio botched a snap. Neither was much of a spark for some push up the middle.

George Asafo-Adjei was worked into the first-team offense at right tackle. There is now a three-way competition for the right tackle spot between Mike Remmers, Chad Wheeler, and Big George.

Grant Haley hasn’t given the Giants a reason to take him off the field but Julian Love is also playing so well he deserves some looks with the first-team. Both have covered well and have shown proficiency in blitz packages, nickel corner will be a strength on the 2019 roster.

BJ Goodson and Tae Davis are continuing to battle it out for the second linebacker spot. Ryan Connelly could enter that competition soon as well.

Alonzo Russell has mostly worked with the second-team offense but he could be commanding first-team reps sooner than later. He’s connected with Daniel Jones on multiple passes in each of the three practices.

Bumps and Bruises:

Sterling Shepard seems like he’s in minimal pain and caught some passes from Eli today in individual drills.

Grant Haley never sustained anything more than some bumps and bruises as he practiced without any issues today.

Sam Beal was on the side with a groin injury.

Brittan Golden was also sidelined with a groin injury.

Mark McLaurin limped off the field today favoring his lower leg.

Final Thoughts:

In the first padded practice, it was hard to tell if the offensive line remains an issue at the moment or if this defensive line will be a league-wide problem for teams to deal with. We will see if the offense can win themselves a practice tomorrow. They will be back on the practice field on Sunday at 2:45 pm.

New York Mets: Where Will Edwin Diaz Land?

New York Mets, Edwin Diaz

The New York Mets have claimed to be sellers at the trade deadline, but have gone 8-5 since the All-Star break. Will they make a major move before July 31?

Who Wants Diaz?

One of their biggest trade assets has now become closer Edwin Diaz and plenty of teams are lining up for his services. Diaz has become more likely to be dealt than Noah Syndergaard.

The Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins are the front-runners to land Diaz. All three teams have closer problems, and Diaz would solidify their bullpen for the next few years.

The Benefits of Acquiring Diaz

Diaz is young, cheap and controllable, which is a beautiful thing to general managers today. He has struggled at times this year, with a 4.81 ERA, but has 61 strikeouts in 39.1 innings.

He has seemed to find himself since the break; in six outings, he has not allowed a run, and looks like the pitcher the Mets shipped their top prospect Jarred Kelenic away for. In order for the Mets to trade Diaz, they will need a huge haul in return.

If the Mets do not receive a Gavin Lux type of player, the deal would be a failure, however. The Mets traded away their top prospect for Diaz, and it will be irresponsible to ask for anything less than that now. This has to be a deal where the Mets are overwhelmed with what they receive in return.

New York Knicks: How will RJ Barrett realistically perform in 2019-20?

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

The New York Knicks and RJ Barrett are a match made in basketball heaven. The 3rd overall draft pick will improve on his flaws, which became evident in the first two games of the 2019 NBA Summer League.

RJ Barrett was shaking off the rust after not playing basketball for three months; therefore, fans began to have a panic attack when he struggled mightily from the field and with his decision making. The 2019-2020 NBA preseason is arriving in October, and the New York Knicks will have to implement their newly acquired talent in training camp. Fizdale isn’t handing out positions either. Everybody will have to fight for a job on that basketball court in training camp, including potential rookie of the year RJ Barrett.

The Maple Mamba will perform well this season for the worlds 5th most valuable franchise in the world (Forbes). Realistically, Scott Perry and Steve Mills drafted a kid with incredible tenacity and a relentless work ethic.

Barrett’s style of play is predicated on making plays for his teammates and getting to the rim by any means necessary. For a rookie, RJ has amazing finishing ability at the rim. Due to the fact Barrett’s a young 19-year-old physical specimen at a chiseled 6’7 210lbs with room for growth, it certainly doesn’t hurt that he is a crafty lefty who will be able to navigate his way to the rim at will due to his herky-jerky penetration style.

Once the game slows down for the Canadia international, he’ll live at the free-throw line and become a triple-double threat on a nightly basis, especially with his above-average rebounding. However, this young man will need some time to adjust to the speed of the game.

How much time? My prediction is the second half of this season, RJ Barrett will be settled in mentally and offensively/defensively improved.

There are some challenges and hurdles that he’ll have to face along the way. RJ Barrett will have to gain more experience playing off the ball. Therefore, there will be good offensive flow while playing with a ball-dominant point guard like Dennis Smith Jr. RJ must also continue working on that lefty stroke from deep. No challenge will be significant for this kid due to his ferocious work ethic in the gym. Barrett is the only draft pick out of the top six picks in this year’s draft to play more than one summer league game. This attests to his impending improvement and what he’s capable of achieving.

The New York Knickerbockers and RJ Barrett are a match made in basketball heaven because coach Fizdale is known around the league as the guy who sharpens and legitimatizes superstars! The Maple Mamba is in a great situation with Fizdale and his talent developmental staff. Barrett’s future at MSG is very bright, and he’ll win the hearts of many fans.

New York Giants: Predicting Which Units Will Be The Most Impactful On Offense

The New York Giants’ offense has been revamped in the 2019 offseason. The Giants rebuilt their offensive line and moved on from superstar receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

But the Giants have plenty of talent across their offense. Despite a potential quarterback controversy, there is plenty to be excited about on New York’s offense. 

Big Blue should see an instant impact from every position group on offense. But which positions will be the most impactful?

1. Running Back

Saquon Barkley is the best running back in the NFL. “Saquads” proved to be an absolutely dominant force in his rookie season.

2018’s AP Offensive Rookie Of The Year displayed his ability to make plays as a runner and a receiver. Saquon broke a rookie running back record with 91 receptions in 2018. In addition, Barkley lead the NFL in scrimmage yards with 2,028.

Saquon’s production should increase in 2019 as the lone leader of the Giants’ offense. The subtraction of Odell Beckham should lead to even more big plays for Saquon Barkley.

2. Offensive Line

The Giants’ offensive line has undergone an expensive reconstruction the past two years. This should make it one of the team’s most impactful positional groups.

Newly acquired right guard Kevin Zeitler will make an instant impact as he was the NFL’s best pass-blocking guard in 2018 according to Pro Football Focus.

Additionally, year two in the Giants’ offense should lead to a big season from the Giants’ left side duo. Nate Solder and Will Hernandez had a solid but inconsistent 2018 season. Expect to see them gain some more consistency this season.

3. Wide Receiver

Despite losing their best player at this position, the Giants still have one of the better wide receiver corps in the NFL. In response to Beckham’s departure, New York brought in veteran receiver Golden Tate.

Tate is an elite playmaker after the catch. He forced 22 missed tackles in 2017 and 23 missed tackles in 2018. Additionally, over the past ten years, Golden Tate has ranked 4th in the NFL in yards after the catch per reception with an average of 7.9 yards.

Opposite of Golden Tate is Sterling Shepard. Shep has been a solid player for the Giants in his first three seasons. Sterling’s yardage totals have increased every year and that trend should continue in 2019 thanks to a more prominent role with Odell’s absence.

Sterling suffered a fractured thumb during the first practice of training camp. Fortunately, Pat Shurmur does not seem too concerned, and it looks like Shepard will be able to play week one.

Tate and Shepard will make an extra impact in the run game. Both receivers are solid, tough blockers who will help Saquon Barkley break off even more big runs on the outside.

4. Tight End

Evan Engram’s position would be higher on this list if he did not have an injury history. Evan Engram is one of the most versatile and explosive tight ends in the league. Unfortunately, injuries have held Engram back from propelling his way to the top of the league.

When Evan Engram is on the field, he is a true playmaker. Especially when Odell Beckham jr is off the field. In 2018, Evan Engram saw a significant statistical boost once Beckham went down with an injury.

Engram averaged only 36.7 yards per game prior to Beckham’s injury. After Odell went down, Evan’s average jumped all the way to 80 yards per gameA full sixteen game season without Odell should serve Evan well.

5. Quarterback

The final position on this list is one shrouded in controversy. Eli Manning is back for his sixteenth season in the NFL, despite a regression in play the last few years. 

The Giants’ offense has shifted towards a run-first attack, which will take a lot of pressure and impact off of the quarterback’s shoulders. Eli Manning should show improvement this season with an upgraded offensive line, but he is at the end of the back nine and it is unclear just how much Manning still has left in the tank.

Eli posted a career-high completion percentage in 2018 with 66%. But the rest of his statistics were not highly impactful. Manning threw for a respectable 4,299 yards, but only 21 touchdown passes. The Giants will need Eli to score a higher volume of touchdowns in order to be a competitive team in 2019.

The Giants’ offense gives fans a lot to be excited about in 2019. If the team can stay healthy and play up to their full potential, the Giants’ offense could surprise a lot of people.

New York Giants: Golden Tate reveals why he could be suspended

New York Giants, Golden Tate

The frequent reason NFL players are suspended boils down to pain management. Most smoke marijuana which is a substance banned by the league. However, that doesn’t stop players from participating. In the case of New York Giants receiver Golden Tate, his story is a bit different.

Adam Schefter reported that Tate could miss four games due to violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy. Most use PEDs to improve their game, but this was not the case.

Here is Tate’s statement after the publicizing of the case:

Tate is just trying to have a child with his wife…and it so happens that one of the ingredients used in the supplements is banned by the NFL. While this is a very innocent explanation for why he failed the drug test, he made the Giants front office aware of the situation and they elected to sign him anyway, which is why Schefter also reported that he has a strong case to overturn the suspension.

The New York Giants are hurting:

After Sterling Shepard fractured the top of his thumb, Corey Coleman tore his ACL, Brittan Golden injured his groin, and now Tate is facing a suspension. Worst case scenario, the Giants play week one against Dallas with Cody Latimer as their No. 1 option at wideout.

It’s expected that Sterling Shepard will return to full health prior to the start of the regular season, though.

Moving forward, I expect the Giants to bring in a few new faces to compete at the position. While I doubt we see any familiar faces or veteran players, there is some talent to be extracted from the free-agent market.

New York Yankees: Will Aroldis Chapman Stay in New York?

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

There have been many rumors that flame-thrower Aroldis Chapman will opt out of his contract with the New York Yankees. He is currently signed with the club on a five-year, $86 million deal. Ken Rosenthal from The Athleticreported earlier this month that he spoke to a source that said Chapman will “one million percent” opt out of his deal.

Amid the rumors, Aroldis Chapman has spoken publicly that these reports are false. “The report is completely false. I haven’t even spoken to my agent about it. Like I said before, we have a big task in front of us, which is to win the division and win the World Series. That’s the main focus for me right now. Contract stuff hasn’t even crossed my mind at all” said Chapman during an interview with reporters.

Chapman has also brought the point across in a Twitter post:

Despite his recent slump and velocity decrease, Chapman is one of the best closers in baseball. He holds a 2.50 ERA with 26 saves, where he ranks third among all MLB closers this season (Baseball Reference and ESPN). Chapman has fanned 56 batters in 39.2 innings recorded.

I believe Aroldis Chapman will stay in New York. The club has everything a player desires, and he’ll definitely get paid appropriately. He also said this about New York, “the truth is, honestly, I feel really good here,” Chapman said. “There’s no reason for me to start thinking about changes or anything like that. I feel great here” (MLB.com).

Brooklyn Nets: Why Ryan Anderson would fit in perfect with the Nets

Should the Brooklyn Nets bring back Ryan Anderson?

Brooklyn Nets free agency fun, part 4 – Ryan Anderson edition

Well, it’s the off-season. The Finals are a thing of the increasingly distant past, the NBA Draft is right on its heels, and every major player has pretty much left the free agency boards. Things are more or less set in stone with just a few loose ends needing to tied.

So with this series, I’m going to just throw out some names that remain out there in the Free Agency Pool. I don’t truly believe that Sean Marks and the Brooklyn Nets brass are looking at these players, but these are players I wouldn’t mind the organization taking a chance on.

Now keeping this in mind, maybe it’s time for Ryan Anderson to come home. The Brooklyn Nets drafted Anderson back in 2008 with the 21st overall pick. From that moment, he has bounced around the league proving his talents as a stretch big. Although he’s hit a rough patch, maybe some home cooking is what would get him back on the right track.

As a professional, Ryan fits right in with the culture that has been established. He’d be a happy sight for the New Jersey faithful, albeit he only had a one-season stay with the organization. Although Ryan has never been sought after for his defense, he probably would give the Nets their only legitimate power forward.

At 6’10” and 240lbs, Anderson has the body of an actual 4 versus being a small forward that can play the position. He can also play some small forward (but it isn’t needed) and some center. His 3pt acumen will give Coach Kenny Atkinson yet another player who can stretch the floor. At a career 38% clip from beyond, Ryan is a proven shooter, hitting 40% of his 3s every season in which he attempted at least seven 3s a game.

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In Kenny’s system which relies heavily on the 3 ball, Ryan would fit perfectly. He’d be a great player to stand out for the kick out when defenses collapse off penetration or a plausible person to take advantage of a pick and pop scenario. As stated earlier, Ryan Anderson hit a rough patch as far as his shooting goes, but you can almost guarantee him bouncing back under Kenny  Atkinson and the Nets development staff.

New York Yankees: Starting Pitching Fails Again To Open Weekend In Boston

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka

The starting pitching struggles did not end when the New York Yankees traveled to Boston to start a four game set with the Red Sox. Masahiro Tanaka was shellacked on Thursday, and James Paxton wasn’t much better on Friday.

Thursday

Masahiro Tanaka had no doubt the worst outing of his career on Thursday. He went just 3 and 1/3 innings, giving up 12 runs. Yes, you read that right. I have no idea what Aaron Boone was thinking leaving him in for so long. Tanaka gave up seven first inning runs but Boone kept trying to stretch him longer and longer.

Tanaka also walked three and gave up two home runs. He did strike out four and get seven swings-and-misses.

His ERA for the season is now up to almost five, and he was an all-star just weeks ago. Crazy how things can change.

Friday

James Paxton had a poor outing to follow Tanaka’s on Friday. He gave up seven runs in four innings, but nine of his twelve outs registered came from strikeouts.

Paxton gave up nine hits, and four of which came from the longball. J.D. Martinez had a two run home run, and Mookie Betts took Paxton deep three times, two of which were solo-shots.

Paxton’s ERA is also almost up to five, and the team now is in the bottom half of the MLB in starting pitching.

Brian Cashman needs to make a move to get a starter like Marcus Stroman, or this team won’t be winning their 28th world series here in 2019.