New York Giants: Who Will Come Back From Injured Reserve?

New York Giants sign former Dallas Cowboy, Rod Smith.

The New York Giants have been lucky to avoid long term injuries to major players this offseason, with Sterling Shepard set to make a return in week one after being injured with a fractured thumb at the start of training camp, but that doesn’t mean the team is going into the 2019 season in perfect condition. The team has some players on the injured reserve list after the 53 man roster was released, some of them more notable than others.

The team will be able to bring two players back from IR after week eight, but the rest of the players on IR will have to miss the season. Cornerback Sam Beal managed to avoid making the list despite missing the end of training camp and the preseason with an injury, and Sterling Shepard recovered soon enough from the fractured thumb to avoid having to go on injured reserve.

But the team does have five players on injured reserve – Jonathan Anderson, George Asafo-Adjei, Brittan Golden, Scott Simonsen, and Rod Smith.

Out of all of those players, the one that had the most playing time last season was Scott Simonsen, who the team utilized over Evan Engram at some points in the season when Engram struggled with injuries and had a hard time bouncing back and getting back into the swing of things later in the year.

However, it’s unknown if Engram will have the same problem with usage this year and Simonsen also has Rhet Ellison to compete with, meaning that bringing him back might not be the highest priority for the Giants when it’s time to pick two players after week 8 to return to the active roster.

Rod Smith seems to have fallen out of the backup running back competition following performances from Paul Perkins and Wayne Gallman, so it’s unknown if the Giants will want to bring back a fourth running back midseason.

While Jonathan Anderson is at the important position of inside linebacker, Anderson is also about dead last in the depth chart for the position – which means the most likely option might be the team bringing back Brittan Golden and Asafo-Adjei, both players playing positions of need at receiver and tackle respectively. The Giants could use depth in both areas and despite not being the most obvious choices, both players have survived this far in the hunt to not end up eliminated from the roster, and provide depth in key areas.

New York Yankees (Finally) Beat The Oakland Athletics

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

It took five games, but the New York Yankees have finally taken down the Oakland Athletics behind the help of DJ LeMahieu.

With the game tied at three in the bottom of the eleventh, the 31 year old ripped the first pitch he saw to right for a walkoff home run. It was his only hit of the day, but it sure was a big one.

Gary Sanchez drove in two Yankee runs on two solo shots early in the game. Aaron Judge had a game-tying home run in the eighth with the Yankees down 3-2.

Gleyber Torres and Mike Ford each had a hit. Luke Voit struck out in all at-bats on Saturday, but picked up a few hits in his return on Friday.

Domingo German pitched mediocre, giving up two runs and four hits in just five innings. The team relied heavily on the bullpen as seven different pitchers came in relief.

Yankees fans suffered a scare in the eighth inning when Zack Britton left the game with the trainer. Luckily, it was just calf cramps and he should be good to go whenever he is needed next.

In The Win Column

The Yankees have finally won a game with the Athletics and will look to win the series on Sunday with JA Happ on the mound facing Sean Manaea.

It’s kinda nerve-wracking that the Yankees have had so much trouble with this team in 2019. Oakland is very good, and there is a good chance that the two teams may meet again in October, however it would most likely be in the ALDS.

The Yankees need to figure something out against this team because losing to them in October is the last thing they want to do.

 

New York Mets: Robinson Cano to Begin Rehab Assignment

New York Mets, Robinson Cano

When Robinson Cano tore his left hamstring on August 5, it was assumed his first season as a Met came to a sad end. Initially, Cano needed 6-12 weeks to return, but he has accelerated his recovery to a point where he can start rehab games.

Cano will play second base and bat second for the Brooklyn Cyclones on Saturday night. He took live batting practice and ran at Citi Field earlier in the week, which let him know he was ready for game action. Mickey Callaway said he will will leave it up to Cano to dictate when he feels ready to return to the lineup.

Will Cano Return This Season?

Cano will not have a large window to play minor league games since their seasons are concluding. The Mets will likely have no minor league affiliates in the postseason. The Cyclones are the fighting for a playoff spot and the presence of Cano should help them stretch out their season. Should Cano feel good in his handful of minor league games, the Mets could activate him when the rosters expand to 40 in September.

Cano had a brutal start to the season but showed signs of turning things around in the second half. He was hitting .289 with 6 home runs in the second half up until he injured his hamstring. In the five games prior to the injury he was 10-19 and was one of the major reasons the Mets were turning their season around.

Too Little Too Late?

He joins a cast of Mets who may return to a team who has too much ground to make up. Heading into the last day August, they are five games behind the Cubs and have a ton of work to get back in the race. Anything is possible in September, but they will need their reinforcements to bring the energy the Mets have lacked over the last week. The Mets will need a Cubs collapse, similar to 1969, to even have a thought of making it to the Wild Card game.

 

How the New York Knicks are successfully carrying out Plan B

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

Heading into the offseason the New York Knicks had both Plan A and Plan B on blueprints. Initially, they were confident they would have a shot at landing a superstar player and even planned to go all-in on Kevin Durant before his Achilles injury.

The Knicks took a step back after finding out how severe the ailment was, and they looked towards other superstars to potentially fill the void. Plan A was to bring in at least one max-contract player that could elevate the franchise and rise it from the ashes of solidarity and darkness. However, that optimistic future came crashing to a halt after every remaining superstar signed with more competitive teams.

The Knicks had to resort to the god-forsaken Plan B, which has developed into a solid blueprint. Signing veterans like Julius Randle and Marcus Morris, two players than can provide value but won’t change the course of the franchise, began the process.

The Knicks secured veterans on deals with options after the 2019-20 season which will allow them to clear cap-space and pursue a top free agent like Anthony Davis.

The reality is simple; the Knicks realized their team wasn’t far along enough to appeal to the cream of the crop in the NBA, but helping their youth players develop is the key to success. Barrett, the Knicks 3rd overall pick in the most recent NBA draft, will be a significant factor in luring players to The Garden next season. His abilities and efficiency in college make him a potential All-Star-caliber player.

While he has plenty to work on, this upcoming season will allow him to gain essential playing time and experience. A season of development can be hugely influential and could see him grow into one of the team’s top players. His impact alone could be the force that brings top players to New York City. One thing is for sure. The Knicks cannot allow the Nets to claim “big brother” status, especially with the support and resources available to them.

 

 

 

The worst trade in New York Knicks history

The New York Knicks question of the day was brought forth on Twitter.  @KnicksNationCP poised the question to Knicks fans.  What was the worst trade in New York Knicks history?

Many may saw Patrick Ewing or Eddie Curry.  But, in 2013, the New York Knicks traded for Andrea Bargnani.  This was without a doubt, the worst trade in Knicks history and possibly the history of the NBA.  Some will argue that the Brooklyn Nets trading 4 first-round picks and players for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and company was bad.  Well, it was bad, both teams were looking for a ‘quick fix’, but the Knicks decision as uncalled for.

The trade was:

New York Knicks trade Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson, a 2016 first-round pick and 2014 and 2017 second-round pick to the Toronto Raptors for Andrea Bargnani.

Three player,s plus picks, one being a first-rounder, for one player.  Not only was it one player, but the former number-one pick was coming off a disappointing, injury season and playing below-average anyway.  Before he came to the Knicks, Bargnani had a .399 field goal percentage, playing only 28.7 minutes a game with 2.9 rebounds and averaging 12.7 points.

The Knicks must have thought Bargnani was in need of a new environment.  New York was certainly not the right place.  He was doing just fine in Toronto, but not number one pick worthy.  Bargnani got substantially worse when he came to New York.  He heard the chirping of the fans, media and he caved, simple.  The injuries did not help, but he was not going to survive in New York after already having a terrible season.

Bargnani stats barely improve with the Knicks while missing numerous games due to injury.  To add insult to injury, pun, he did not play any defense.  And was too slow to keep up with everyone it seemed.  When Bargnani was on the floor, it was more of a burden for the team.

In his first full-season with the Knicks, he only played 22 games.  Twenty-two games…and the Knicks gave up a first-round pick for him.  Bargnani only played 61 games for the New York Knicks.

The Nets trade was historically bad as well.  Trading away four picks does grant them to coveted number one spot for worst NBA trade.  However, the Knicks trade wins since Bargnani was plagued with injuries and the Knicks traded away a lot for absolutely nothing.

New York Giants: Should The Giants Trade For Kiko Alonso?

The 2019 NFL season kicks off this week. Teams are putting together their final rosters after preseason. Over 1,000 players will be without a job by the end of the weekend and many players will leave sign with different teams. The New York Giants have a handful of tough decisions to make while trimming their roster this year.

Often times, veteran players will also look for a change of scenery on cut day. This year, the main talk of the football world has been centered around star pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney. Last year, Khalil Mack was traded away on cut day. It would not be surprising to see a few big trades go down this year.

The Giants will not be in on the Clowney sweepstakes. The Giants would have to give up a lot of assets to acquire Jadeveon Clowney while also needing to pay the man some serious cash. But Clowney is not the only defender to ask for a trade this offseason.

Kiko Alonso’s Trade Request

On Friday, news broke that the Miami Dolphins had a starting defensive player request a trade this preseason. That player was linebacker Kiko Alonso. The Dolphins are rebuilding and Kiko Alonso wants no part of it.

The Dolphins are looking to “start over” with new head coach Brian Flores. The team is likely to be one of the league’s worst, which is why players are not looking to play for Miami. Jadeveon Clowney reportedly refused to play their. Now, Kiko Alonso is looking to get out of there, too.

What Kiko Alonso Could Do For The Giants

Kiko Alonso is a reliable defender who has spent three years starting at linebacker in Miami. Kiko missed only two games in the past three seasons and has totaled at least 110 tackles in each of the three seasons he played with the Dolphins.

After dealing with injuries early on in his career, Kiko Alonso has become a durable and consistent linebacker. He has not missed much playing time at all recently and has racked. up a consistently high number of total tackles. Unfortunately, his high volume of tackles does not mean Kiko is the most efficient tackler.

According to Pro Football Focus, Kiko Alonso missed 11 tackles in 2018. This is a number far too high for a six-year veteran. But still, there is value to be had in a durable, high-volume tackling linebacker.

The Giants do have a weak linebacker corps. Alec Ogletree struggled in 2018 and BJ Goodson has seemingly lost his job this offseason. Ryan Connelly has potential to turn into a starter but is only a rookie and needs more development. Tae Davis is also a young player that needs more time to develop. Kiko Alonso would be an instant-starter on the Giants.

The Giants would need to free up some cap space in order to acquire Alonso. He is due $6.5 million in 2019. Alonso could certainly come to New York and start at linebacker, but is it really wise for the team to pay another inconsitent veteran linebacker premium money? Maybe the Giants should sit this one out and hope Alec Ogletree lives up to his contract in 2019.

New York Jets Sign Matthias Farley

As cut day looms the New York Jets added a very talented player who could immediately play a big role on the team. Jets fans, meet Matthias Farley.

Introducing Matthias Farley

Farley is a 27-year-old safety from Notre Dame. Farley was undrafted and ultimately signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Farley was apart of the squad for the preseason but was released in September of 2016.

Chuck Pagano and the Indianapolis Colts waited about one day before they picked up the young free safety. He immediately became their number 3 free safety on their team. He ended up finishing the year not playing a lot but getting 4 tackles.

He did enough to impress the powers that be as he was rewarded with a much larger role in 2017. In 2017, Farley had 95 tackles, 4 TFLs, 1 FF, 1 FR, 2 INTs and 9 Pass Deflections. Farley lit it up and proved he had a lot of talent. He started every single game but one.

In 2018, despite being made the backup to Clayton Geathers and being put in a much smaller role, he had a solid start. However, he was shut down after the 5th game due to shoulder, wrist and groin issues. He ultimately finished with 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 Pass Deflection and 19 tackles. His performance ultimately wasn’t enough to grant him another year, instead, he was handed his walking papers.

Welcome To NY

Now, Matthias joins the New York Jets and will likely be given a decent sized role. The Jets can use him in many ways but he can really be a great backup to the injury plagued Marcus Maye. Where will that put Veterans Rontez Miles and Doug Middleton now becomes the question. One thing is for sure, Joe Douglas is already using his number three waiver slot to land solid players, and that is a good sign.

New York Yankees: Will Boone Call Up Frazier When Rosters Expand?

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

Clint Frazier has been one of the question marks for the New York Yankees this season.

Many forget that he endured a brutal concussion injury that sidelined him for most of the season last year, which could have thrown off his rhythm. He has been up and down from majors to minors this year, based on his below-average skills on defense. Frazier has had difficulty to realize that some of his game is not at a major league level. Once he was optioned to Triple AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he deleted any pictures of him in a Yankee uniform from his Instagram page.

Has Frazier Proven his worth in the Big Leagues?

He is one of the many Yankees to display his power against the Orioles this season by smashing six home runs (Baseball-Reference). In 53 games with the Bombers, he is batting .283 with 11 home runs, and 34 runs batted in (Baseball-Reference).  In the minor leagues this season, he is batting .248, with 8 home runs, and 25 runs batted in (Baseball-Reference). There is some decline in production from the majors to minors, which is quite odd for a player that has a lot of potentials. He most likely lost some confidence and motivation when he got sent down. With his quick swing and fast hands, Frazier should be dominating the minors when facing lower velocities on average.

There may be some inconsistency to his approach at the plate, but if Aaron Boone is looking for some pop off the bench, Frazier is the guy. He has still proven to be a valuable pinch hitter with runners on base. The 34 RBIs he has driven in is significant enough to be placed on the expanded roster.

Hopefully, next spring, the fans will get to see a new Clint Frazier that could be part of one of the best outfields in baseball, when everyone is healthy. Frazier is still young and if he works on his defense, he will have a place on the team for years to come.

New York Yankees: Luke Voit Reactivated, Gio Urshela Placed on the 10-Day IL

New York Yankees, Yankees, NYY, Luke Voit

One comes back from the IL, another goes back to the IL. This has been an endless, repeating cycle that continues to spiral out of control. The New York Yankees have dealt with a total of 29 players on the IL stint this season, which is absurd and incomprehensible.

Positive news never seems to arrive without a price to pay. This time, Luke Voit returned from rehab and was reinstated from the 10-day IL. On a negative note, Gio Urshela, who has been an inferno hitting machine this season, was placed in the 10-day IL with a left groin strain. Supposedly, (and I say this with a grain of salt) Urshela is expected to be out until at least the 8th of September.

Urshela was very optimistic about returning on Friday to face the Oakland Athletics, but the baseball universe had a different plan in mind. Aaron Boone stated that Urshela was removed from Wednesday’s game vs the Seattle Mariners for insurance reasons. When questioned about the matter after the game, Boone said: “We wanted to be safe with that and hopefully it’s something that is not a big deal.” Unfortunately, this was not the case.

To put into perspective just how much of a blow this is, Urshela has acquired a .331 AVG, .370 OBS, .555 SLG, .924 OPS and a 140 wRC+ in 414 plate appearances this season. Urshela has also collected 18 HR and 67 RBI in 114 games. Among qualified players who have 300 or more plate appearances, he is ranked the following in the American League:

  • AVG (3rd) / OBP (17th) / SLG (11th) / OPS (11th) / wRC+ (14th)

In spite of not being as superior as the likes of Mike Trout and Christian Yelich, to say Urshela hasn’t been an impact player offensively is ludicrous.

On the bright side, several key competitors are expected to make a full return soon. Ben Heller, Dellin Betances, Edwin Encarnacion, Giancarlo Stanton, Jordan Montgomery and (wait for it) Luis Severino are all expected to be back in September. The only major impact player that is in-between returning in September and October is Aaron Hicks, who is dealing with a strain in his right elbow. Boone is taking extra precautions on the matter, considering it’s extremely close to Hicks’ ulnar collateral ligament.

Although Urshela will not participate in any baseball activities, for the time being, Voit is prepared to resume where he last left off.  Voit has acquired a .278 AVG, .392 OBP, .493 SLG, .885 OPS and a 134 wRC+ in 416 plate appearances this season. Voit has also collected 19 HR and 59 RBI in 94 games. I think it’s safe to say the majority of Yankees fans are excited to witness Voit resume major league activities. In the meantime, here is the last homer Voit recorded before moving to the IL.

New York Yankees: Giancarlo Stanton is on His Way to a Strong Return

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

New York Yankees’ slugger Giancarlo Stanton has missed significant time this season with several injuries. He’s been noted as one of the “Worst luck players” this year, however, Stanton is making a strong recovery and should be nearing a return soon.

Stanton is close to facing live pitching soon. Currently, he’s been taking swings in the cage and on the field during batting practice. He has also been running on the anti-gravity treadmill for some time now which has helped him a ton.

Stanton was outside again today running and completing some defensive drills. Manager Aaron Boone mentioned that he’ll continue these workouts during this homestand, and then next week he’ll head out to Tampa to see some live pitching.

The 29-year-old slugger has not seen the field since June 26. He’s been dealing with several injuries including his bicep, shoulder, and now his knee. Limited to nine games this season, Stanton will have to complete a longer rehab assignment to get himself at-bats.

Stanton is confident that he’ll be back in pinstripes this season. “Yeah, I’m doing everything I can to get there,” Stanton said earlier this season. He added, “So, that’s what this process is and what I’m working for.” He’s hopeful for a return this season and the Yankees would definitely like his name on the lineup card heading into the postseason. Brian Cashman has also mentioned that he fully expects a September return.

In his nine games this season, Stanton is batting .290 with one home run for the New York Yankees.