New York Giants: Rookie Tackle Latest To Suffer From Injury Bug

New York Giants, George Asafo-Adjei

There’s no questioning it, the New York Giants officially have an injury problem. One or two days with injuries can be summed up as bad luck and it’s natural for it to happen to any team as players come back from the offseason and play in pads for the first time, but the Giants have steadily had players leave practice since training camp began – whether that’s because of player fitness, because the coaching staff isn’t good at conditioning, or some other reason still remains to be seen.

The main group to get hit by this problem has been the wide receivers but they aren’t the only ones to have to deal with injury problems. Saturday saw rookie right tackle George Asafo-Adjei added to the list of injuries, after having to enter concussion protocol due to a concussion presumably picked up during Saturday’s practice.

While Asafo-Adjei was a seventh round draft pick, many fans were intrigued about the player because of the thin nature of the position for the Giants, who haven’t yet established a clear starter there despite bringing in Mike Remmers from the Vikings this offseason.

It’s thought that Asafo-Adjei could see some time in the rotation, and with the concussion in training camp being minor in nature compared to some of the injuries sustained by other players, it doesn’t look like that’s off the cards.

Asafo-Adjei also joins linebacker Mark McLaurin and cornerback Sam Beal on the list of recently injured players, with Beal leaving the field on Saturday with a groin injury and McLaurin suffering a fractured bone in his foot. The hope going forward will be that the injury trend stops… But so far, there’s been multiple ones just about every day of camp. One can only hope that as the practices continue, the injuries are more minor in their nature.

What Starting Pitcher Should The New York Yankees Target Now?

New York Yankees

On Sunday afternoon, the New York Mets pulled a shocker and acquired pitcher Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays in exchange for two pitching prospects.

Cross-town rival New York Yankees were the frontrunners for Stroman, but no deal took place due to the team wanting to hold onto top prospect Deivi Garcia.

The Yankees now have to move on from Stroman and focus on a new pitcher to trade for in the final days before the deadline.

Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke has flown under the radar of guys the Yankees could acquire, and he could work out well in pinstripes. Not to mention that the Yankees play the Diamondbacks this week too.

He is a bit on the older side, 35, but is signed thru 2021. After 2021, the Yankees could choose to be done with him as he would likely be on the verge of retirement.

Greinke is having one of the best seasons of his career. He is 10-4 with a sub-three ERA. His WAR is at almost five for the season.

2019 is his best season since 2015 where he was an all-star and second in CY Young voting with an ERA of 1.66.

Greinke is also used to pitching in a high pressured environment. He spent three seasons with the Dodgers and a half a season with the Angels in Los Angeles.

Zack Greinke is a pitcher that the Yankees should seriously consider trading for. The Diamondbacks will be selling at the deadline, and the righty still has a few more good seasons left before he heads off to retirement. Even if they don’t get Greinke, I have faith in Cashman to get the right guy.

New York Mets Reportedly Agree On a Deal For Marcus Stroman

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

The New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays have agreed on a deal to send All-Star Marcus Stroman to Queens. The deal does NOT involve Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler. Instead the Blue Jays will receive prospects Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods-Richardson.

Did the Mets Give Up Too Much?

Whenever teams give up prospects, it is a lottery ticket that teams hope never give their teams high rewards. Kay is the top Mets pitching prospect, but has struggled during his time in Triple-A this season. His ERA is over six in Syracuse.

Woods-Richardson is only 18-years old, but has progressed through the minors quickly. He is the one who gets this deal done because he still has time to grow while Kay is 24-years old. This is a very fair deal for now, but we truly do not know the answer until all is said and done.

What Does This Mean For The Mets?

They currently only sit five games under .500 and six out of the second Wild Card spot. They have a light schedule coming up and have been playing great since the All-Star Break. The Mets seem to be all in for this season and the following one.

Noah Syndergaard could be the next pitcher the Mets move. Do not expect the Mets to move him unless they get a spectacular return. Worst case scenario they keep him and have one of the best rotations in baseball. There are still a few days until the trade deadline arrives and it seems the Mets still have more work to do.

 

New York Giants: Defensive line dominates in second padded practice

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants held their second padded practice of training camp today, 7/28.

Players who stood out:

Cody Latimer has been a pleasant surprise in the last couple of days, has been catching nearly everything thrown his way from Eli Manning. He actually looks like better competition for cornerbacks like Deandre Baker and Janoris Jenkins than Golden Tate.

Dexter Lawrence has quickly shown the Giants he is more than just a 1st and 2nd down defensive tackle. The Giants have yet to field a center that can handle him without help from a guard, even with double-teams they haven’t neutralized the young defensive linemen.

Reggie White Jr. made a couple of big plays for touchdowns today while there is open competition for a starting receiver role in camp. Both were thrown by Daniel Jones.

Saquon Barkley hasn’t been mentioned a ton but until pads come on there isn’t a ton worth mentioning. Now that we’re a couple padded practices in we’ve seen his explosiveness. Today he bounced out a run in the red zone for an easy touchdown, normal Saquon Barkley kind of stuff.

CJ Conrad made a couple of nice grabs today, one going for a score from Kyle Lauletta. The other was down the field along the sideline.

Julian Love looked smooth as safety for a rookie who primarily plays nickel back. He had another nice day in the nickel as well with very tight coverage.

Oshane Ximines beat Nate Solder pretty badly in a drill today. He also had the awareness to bail on his rush and leap for a nice pass deflection later in practice.

Eli Manning had a decent practice, most of his completions were in the intermediate range to Cody Latimer. Dalvin

Tomlinson has had a strong start with plenty of grit for the nose tackle position. He’s looked like an issue for the centers.

Camp Battles:

Oshane Ximines had some first-team reps today, he won’t have a shot at being a 1st and 2nd down edge defender but he could become a primary pass rusher if he outperforms Markus Golden.

The center position has not looked great, neither Jon Halapio or Spencer Pulley has created much of a lead so far.

The competition remains close between Tae Davis and BJ Goodson but so far Davis has looked better overall.

Alonzo Russell and Reggie White Jr. haven’t played ahead of Bennie Fowler much but both look like they’re gaining ground on him. Fowler could easily end up on the roster bubble.

Corey Ballentine continued to play well against the third-team and was fielding kickoffs today. It looks like they plan on promoting him to the second-team defense soon or letting him have his place on the roster as a core special-teamer.

Michael Thomas worked as a first-team safety today while Peppers had a light day, he seems to be entrenched into a second-team safety role and a safe bet to make the team.

CJ Conrad looks like a real danger to Scott Simonson’s roster spot unless the Giants plan on rostering 4 tight ends. The rookie tight end looked decent as a blocker along with some splash plays in the passing game.

Paul Perkins has a clear lead on Wayne Gallman at this point, he’s looked like a more complete back than Gallman so far.

Bumps and Bruises:

Sterling Shepard continues to catch one-handed passes on the side from Eli Manning.

Cody Latimer gave everyone a scare but he just needed some additional stretching before returning to the field. Nate Solder and Mike Remmers continue to take snaps off but they have not suffered any setbacks.

They are being worked back slowly to play it safe. Sam Beal missed practice again with his groin/hamstring injury. Brittan Golden remained sidelined with his groin injury.

Significant injuries:

Mark McLaurin has a fracture in his foot and is out indefinitely.

Big George also missed practice while he’s in the concussion protocol.

Final Thoughts:

The offensive line pulled a little closer today but the defensive line still got the best of them. While some reserves are being fielded with Eli Manning like Cody Latimer and Rhett Ellison both have helped Eli make an impact against the first-team defense. The New York Giants will take a day off from fieldwork tomorrow to rest and get ready for another padded practice on Tuesday, 7/29 at 2:45 pm.

The New York Knicks are everyone’s punching bag

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

These days, everyone is taking shots at the New York Knicks.  Sportscasters, podcasters, analysts and now politicians.

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang gave his opinion on the Knicks off-season moves.  He said that the players the Knicks added “overpaid role players.”  While this may be true, and he may be correct, we simply do not know how these “role players” will gel under David Fizdale, so stick to politics for now.

Even Sportscenter has to get their two-cents in regarding the Knicks.

They asked 20 NBA executives and scouts about this off-season. One of the questions Sportscenter asked was, “What was the worst off-season move of the summer?”

Six out of the 20 selected the ‘Knicks off-season’ has the worst off-season move.

While they are not wrong, the Knicks had a better off-season then people think.

The Knicks did sign a lot of power forwards, not entirely ideal.  But, they did add youth and on good contracts, with all consisting of a second or third-year team option.  On top of that, they brought in good veteran presence, Marcus Morris and Taj Gibson, to mentor the youth.

They drafted well, RJ Barrett, and still have future first-round picks.

However, one of the new signings, Reggie Bullock, will not earn his Knicks contract until he returns from his back injury. The time table for his return is six months, currently.

It seems like everyone is riping on the New York Knicks, and rightfully so.  They were supposed to have a giant off-season with signing free agents and that fell through.  Just because the Knicks did not get superstar players does mean that they had an awful free agency.

Scott Perry is putting the Knicks in a position to be successful in the future with youth and quality veterans.  The Sacramento Kings seem to be in a better position moving forward then they were a few years ago.  Let’s hope Perry is doing the same with the Knicks.

New York Yankees: CC Sabathia lands on the IL after tough loss to Boston

New York Yankees, CC Sabathia

The New York Yankees simply can’t catch a break when it comes to their starting pitching rotation. With several options dealing with minor injuries, veteran CC Sabathia has also gone down, being placed on the injured list after another routing by the Boston Red Sox.

Boston has 38 runs against the Yankees over the last three days, an unacceptable amount that will ultimately lead to general manager Brian Cashman signing another pitcher before the July 31 trade deadline.

The team announced on Sunday morning that CC Sabathia will be placed on the 10-day injured list with right knee inflammation, an ailment he’s been dealing with this season. The 39-year-old left, who has suffered through this before, gave up five runs on nine hits in 4.1 innings on Saturday, and believe it or not, that was a better appearance for the starters in recent days.

The Yanks will lean on Domingo German on Sunday to try and sneak by without forfeiting a sweep to Boston. They will play them again in the Bronx next weekend in what could be a momentum-changing series.

The Bombers have been looking into several pitching options including Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, and Madison Bumgarner to help supplement the inconsistencies of the rotation.

Additionally, ace Luis Severino is slowly working his way back and should make an appearance later in August or early September.

 

New York Knicks: Can Kadeem Allen win roster spot over Elfrid Payton?

New York Knicks, Kadeem Allen

The general consensus at the point guard position for the New York Knicks is that Dennis Smith Jr. will emerge as the starting player. The third-year option has worked all offseason on his shooting form with coach Keith Smart, ensuring he enters the 2019-20 season with an improved perimeter shot.

However, beyond Smith Jr., the Knicks have Elfrid Payton, Frank Ntilikina, and Kadeem Allen all vying for roster spots. Allen, one of the least talked about point guards, could steal the role right out from under Payton and Ntilikina.

“Just trying to show coach that I can compete at the highest level and I can play at the highest level,” Allen said of his goals entering the season. “Just trying to get out there and earn a permanent roster spot.”

How has Kadeem Allen looked for the New York Knicks?

During the Summer League, Allen averaged 8 points, four assists, and 1.6 steals per game. The Knicks finished 2-3 during the period, but he showed enough to be considered as a potential backup option. Last year, he averaged 9.9 points, 4.0 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 21 games.

Allen’s priority isn’t offense, though, as his defense is one of his premier qualities, something the Knicks will likely need in 2019. The only issue is Ntilikina, who is also strong in that category but isn’t as offensively proficient.

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“That’s what I was drafted for – defense. Defense is my calling. I never question myself and I feel like I never really get questioned on that side of the floor. I’m just going to keep doing what I do. Play defense and just try to get my teammates better.”

Kadeem is keen on fighting his way to the top, starting at a JUCO team and sitting as a redshirt player at Arizona. Considering he’s found his way onto an NBA roster after such hardships, there’s no question he has the grit to reach the starting unit. He will have to overcome the uber-athletic Dennis Smith Jr., though, a tall task at this point in his career.

New York Giants: Could Former Legendary Giants Receiver Make A Comeback?

New York Giants, Victor Cruz

The New York Giants have been plagued with an injury early on in training camp. The Giants have seen two starting receivers go down with an injury and a couple of key pieces on defense, too.

The latest news in the Giants’ recent series of unfortunate events comes once again from the receiver corps. Newly signed veteran receiver Golden Tate has been suspended four games. Tate is appealing the suspension but there is no guarantee he will win.

The Giants signed a couple of new receivers to add some depth, but should more be done? One surprising name could become an option for New York. Former Giants’ receiver Victor Cruz has shown some interest in a reunion.

Where Does This Rumor Come From?

News broke of Golden Tate’s suspension Saturday morning resulting in a panic amongst Giants Nation. It looks like the Giants could be without all three of their starting receivers (Shepard, Tate, and Coleman) come week one.

The Giants will need to sign some players to keep their receiving corps decent. As Giants fans and reporters discussed the Golden Tate news, they also discussed potential replacements. Along the way, former Giants legendary wide receiver Victor Cruz’s name came up in discussions.

Former Giants and current Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara was the first to mention Victor Cruz as an option for the Giants. Amukamara brought Victor into the discussion with this exciting tweet:

Prominent Giants beat reporter Art Stapleton then kept it going, responding to Amukamara with “Co-sign.” Later on in the day, a fan asked Stapleton on Twitter if Cruz to the Giants was a possibility. Art then asked Victor Cruz what he thought about it. Cruz responded with this:

Victor Cruz claims to be ready to make a comeback. Should the Giants give the slot a receiver a shot?

What Does Cruz Have Left In The Tank?

Victor Cruz is now 32 years old and has not played professional football since the 2017 pre-season during his brief stint in Chicago. But according to Victor himself, he is ready to make an NFL comeback.

Giants fans will always remember Victor Cruz for his legendary moments during the Giants’ Super Bowl run in the 2011 to 2012 NFL season. The Salsa-dancing playmaker was nothing short of incredible that year.

It was after that season that things started to tumble downward for Victor. He suffered multiple injuries, including a devastating torn patellar tendon in 2014. Cruz was never really able to get back to 100%, except for a brief part of the Giants’ 2016 season.

That year, Cruz did manage to play in 15 games, but he did not have a prominent role in New York’s offense. Victor recorded only 39 receptions, 589 receiving yards, and 1 touchdown.

It would be really cool to see Victor Cruz suit up in Giants blue one more time, but it is a pipe dream, to say the least. His extensive injury history and extended time away from the game will leave the Giants with too many question marks.

However, at only 32 years old, Victor Cruz is still young enough to play ball. Golden Tate is 30 and the Giants just signed him to a 4-year deal this offseason. If Victor Cruz manages to get a workout with Big Blue and looks impressive, his age will not stop him and New York from striking a deal.

New York Yankees: Putting a Positive Spin on the Yankees’ Recent Drought

New York Yankees, Domingo German

Yes, the New York Yankees have not shown much promise recently. The rotation holds a 15.61 ERA in the last seven games and apposing batting average has almost doubled compared to the first 14 games in July. However, fans must remember the Yankees are 66-38, being eight games ahead of Boston and 8.5 against of Tampa. They are 28 games above .500 and are currently in first place for the AL East.

The team hasn’t been swinging it too bad either. The Bombers are batting a team .330 average in the last seven games. Didi Gregorius and Mike Tauchman are both batting over .400 in those last seven. Both those guys have 10+ hits in their last 22 and 23 at-bats.

As much as these numbers are satisfying to read, this twitter post said it best:

The last three games against Boston have been brutal. It’s been hard to watch but fans have to remember the Yankees are 6-4 against Boston this year, with already one series swept against them. I believe this is nothing short of a slump in the rotation just having bad timing.

Help on the way?

Many reports have confirmed that general manager Brian Cashman is in contact with many teams to add before the July 31 trade deadline. The need for a consistent quality starting pitcher is apparent and I believe the Yankees will make a move. Marcus Stroman from the Toronto Blue Jays and Trevor Bauer from the Cleveland Indians have been the most talked about in Yankee trade rumors.

Other positive news, ace Luis Severino and Dellin Betances are showing promise for a return from their injuries during August.

Will the New York Yankees pull up Deivi Garcia to help pitching struggles?

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

The Future Look of the New York Yankees’ Rotation

As the second half of the season is underway, it’s apparent that the Yankees need a few pitchers to solidify their rotation. It’s becoming evident that both J.A. Happ and James Paxton simply aren’t producing the way they should be. Masahiro Tanaka has also gone through a rough patch since the pitching in the all-star game earlier this month, giving up a whopping twelve runs on July 25th at Fenway.

With the trade deadline quickly approaching, it’s obvious that adding a pitcher is at the top of their priority list but there’s also another option if the pitching continues the downhill slide: Deivi Garcia. 

Diehard Yankee fans who follow the progression of top minor league prospects may have recognized his name before the season started but many first discovered him when he showcased his abilities in the MLB Futures Game in Cleveland. Garcia had a quick 1-2-3 inning, using his 96 mph fastball to punch out Atlanta Braves top prospect Christian Pache. 

Even with the struggles the Yanks have had with pitching, there’s no reason to panic. They have lots of options, especially with Luis Severino returning to the staff in the near future. Calling up Garcia could be the Yankees missing piece to the pitching puzzle. If the Yankees get a starter via a trade and call up Garcia, a lot still needs to happen for the Yanks to have a World Series caliber rotation. 

Fans have different opinions as to who’s at fault for the rotation’s lack of consistency but we can all agree on this; baseball is a very difficult game and sometimes the ball does not bounce the way we want it to. None of the pitchers (except D. German) have pitched to their full potential and that’s the frustrating part for many of us.

What needs reiterated time and time again throughout the season is that baseball is a contagious game. Even if Deivi Garcia is promoted to the big league club, it will not solve all of the Yankees’ problems. There will still be four pitchers in the rotation that need to produce and it only takes one bounce-back start to get that ball rolling.

The uncertainty of the staff’s ability is frustrating but if this same rotation has quality outings in the playoffs, none of us will even remember the struggles in late July.