New York Giants Moving On Too Early From Eli Manning?

The New York Giants shocked the world when they announced that Eli Manning would be benched after starting only two games this season – the quarterback didn’t get much of a chance to prove himself this season after the team lost both opening games, with neither game being played with the top two receivers. Sterling Shepard was knocked out of week 1 about halfway through.

Sterling Shepard missed the first game of the season with a concussion and Golden Tate was suspended for both, but despite Manning not having a full offensive roster to compete with, it looks like the team is going to attempt to fix their troubles by moving on from him and starting the rookie Daniel Jones.

But is it too soon to make such a move? Jones is still adapting from playing at Duke, after all, a school which isn’t a major college football program. The transition to the NFL is going to be a large jump and good preseason performances don’t equal good performances in the regular season. If the preseason was an indication of regular season quality, after all, the Giants would be a much better team right now.

It would make sense for the Giants to keep their future investment on the bench for now rather than thrusting him right into the flames of regular season competition, but it seems that two losses have panicked the front office into making a hasty decision.

It also seems that former Giants quarterback Kurt Warner disagrees with the quick decision, based on his statements on NFL Network.

“I have go back and check — ‘who caught that ball?’ I don’t recognize that guy. Their defense isn’t playing great, giving up big plays and points across the board. I think Eli Manning is playing good enough football that if the other pieces were playing well, they would be winning,” said Warner. Warner also pointed out that the team isn’t using Saquon Barkley enough, putting more pressure on the quarterback.

“It’s not because of how Eli is playing in my opinion. He is playing decent football making a lot of good plays out there. Just doesn’t have the pieces around him right now to win football games,” Warner added.

But the decision has already been made, and whether or not it’s for the better, Giants fans will see Daniel Jones as the starter on Sunday. It’s a decision that could see Daniel Jones take over and not look back, or it could result in a terrible start to the regular season career of a player that still has a lot of adapting to do – we’ll find out the answer on Sunday, but with this being only the third week in the season, it’s hard for the benching of Manning to not seem like a very early move.

Are New York Knicks already different?

new york knicks, kevin knox

Two youngsters and a New York Knicks legend were at a PUMA Monday night event.  The event was for Walt Frazier’s new PUMA shoe.  Along with Frazier, second-year man Kevin Knox and the 3rd overall pick, RJ Barrett.

Frazier’s new shoe was not only the biggest topic of conversation for the evening.  Knox and Barrett answered questions about the current state of the Knicks and outlook for the upcoming season.

Knox went onto say that practices have a “whole new tenacity” and they are fierce.  He continued to say that this team is “different” and the players are “hungry.”  There was a feeling already that they Knicks are bringing a different culture this season.  Players have been vocal with how they interpret this team.

Bobby Portis and other Knicks said this team as a bunch of “dogs” and they are ready to “shock” people.  It seems that Knox is another one to add to that group.

However, the biggest take away from that article was Knox saying the team is “bonding.”  If you want to build a winning product the team has to be close.  Knox and several other teammates attended the Jets-Browns game last night and we all saw the ‘family lunch-in’ photo and players working out together.

The practices have been competitive and players have gotten better, according to Knox.  Case-in-point, Frank Ntilikina and his fine play that he displayed throughout the FIBA World Cup.  The Knicks talk trash, play hard, but are still a family and smile after all the battles in practices, according to Knox.

It is a good start for the Knicks this season and this is the stuff you definitely want to hear.  However, fans will want to see all of this talk on the court this season.  Love the optimism, but show us through the teams play.

New York Mets: Rene Rivera to Catch Noah Syndergaard

New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard

After a week full of speculation and drama, the New York Mets are finally ending the forced relationship between Noah Syndergaard and Wilson Ramos. Rene Rivera will be behind the dish for his next start Wednesday against the Rockies.

Too Little Too Late?

The Mets slipped to five games out of the Wild Card race with 12 games to play and are all but eliminated. If the Mets wanted to give Rivera the start behind the dish, they should have done it during the series against the Dodgers. The Mets were still in the race and could have used a dominant start from Syndergaard to match Clayton Kershaw’s.

There is no doubt Syndergaard has always pitched better to Rivera and the Mets hope to end his season on a good note. He has been inconsistent throughout the year and switching to a catcher Syndergaard is comfortable with could get him on track.

Where Does This Leave Ramos?

Ramos and Syndergaard will likely be on the roster in 2020, but who knows where Rene Rivera will be. The Mets were lucky to bring him back in the offseason, but plenty of teams could use Rivera as their backup. Ramos and Syndergaard will either have to use the entire offseason and Spring Training to get on the same page or just scrap the idea all together.

Tomas Nido also has a good connection with Syndergaard and will likely be his personal catcher should Rivera head else where. No matter who is catching, if Syndergaard is not reaching his full potential he will quickly lose the ability to pick his battery mate. There is immense pressure for him to succeed over his last couple of starts, because more than likely there will be a new Mets manager next year. The new manager likely will not be as flexible as Callaway.

At this point, Syndergaard is hosting the baseball version of “The Bachelor” with the three catchers in the palm of his hands.

New York Giants: Eli Manning Was Not the Problem, But He Was Not the Answer

New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning.

It’s a similar start and end of an era for the New York Giants as they suffered another loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Eli Manning has been benched in favor of Daniel Jones, and while he may not have been the sole reason for the team’s woes, he wasn’t the answer either.

For the sixth time in the past seven seasons, the New York Giants have started the regular season with an 0-2 record. The most recent loss came at the hands of a 28-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills. In a manner that resembled Week 1, the Giants found the endzone first, only to see the game quickly get out of reach.

There are plenty of reasons for New York’s 0-2 start: the lack of a pass rush, a suspect secondary, and a decimated receiving corps to name a few. And yet despite being on the tail end of his career, Eli Manning‘s play was not the primary reason for the Giants’ woes.

But make no mistake, he is not the answer going forward either. That is why Daniel Jones is getting his first career start on Sunday.

The 38-year-old Manning completed 26-of-45 passes for 250 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. On paper, that is a sore sight to see. But in reality, place him on a roster with a superb defense, or give him true receiving options to work with (in addition to a franchise running back in Saquon Barkley), and that team could potentially compete on Sundays.

Unfortunately, that team is not the New York Giants, and it’s safe to say that after an 0-2 start, Eli Manning is not the answer going forward. This Giants team may not have Super Bowl or playoff expectations, but they need to be able to compete with opposing teams. We need to see this team have the best shot at countering the opposing team’s punches.

At this stage in his career, Eli Manning is not the answer to achieving that goal. Is Daniel Jones the savior? He could be, then again he may not. But the possibility is there, and that is why he is getting his first shot to prove it Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Eli Manning may not have been the problem, but at this point, it was clear he wasn’t the solution going forward. With Pat Shurmur sticking with the franchise veteran, what good would it have been? It’s just eating away valuable time and opportunities to potentially steer this team and franchise into a better direction.

A direction where hopefully, the loss column refuses to pile up. Daniel Jones, you’re up.

Gleyber Torres: Explosive Bat, Below Average Base Running and Defense

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Gleyber Torres, a 22-year-old second baseman and shortstop from Caracas, Venezuela, stunned the baseball universe in 2018 with his flashy personality and good-natured attitude. Torres slashed .271/.340/.480/.820 with a .349 wOBA and a 121 wRC+. His stat sheet also included 24 HR and 77 RBI in 484 plate appearances. He was also an All-Star, All-Rookie Team and Rookie of the Month in May.

In 2016, Torres played in Scottsdale, Arizona and Tampa, Florida, gaining exposure at a rapid pace and receiving numerous awards and honors. To name off a few, he was awarded All-Prospect Team, Most Valuable Player and Rising Stars. This trend continued in 2017, as Torres slashed .287/.383/.480/.863 in 235 plate appearances with Double-A Trenton Thunder and Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

In 2018, Torres continued to improve on his craft and inched ever so closer to the majors. With Single-A Tampa Tarpons and Triple-A Scranton, Torres slashed .345/.403/.500/.903 in 67 plate appearances. At this point in his minor league career, Torres was more than prepared for the majors and deserved to shine in the spotlight. On April 22, 2018, he made his debut vs the Toronto Blue Jays. Although Torres didn’t make an immediate impact, going 0 for 4, time itself would eventually get the last laugh.

Fast forward to Sep. 16, 2019. In 558 plate appearances, Torres is hitting .284/.344/.544/.889 with a .365 wOBA and a 129 wRC+. Among qualified second basemen and shortstops, Torres is leading the majors with a whopping 36 homers and has added 91 RBI to his collection. To make this achievement sound even more remarkable, Torres is only in the 47 percentile range for exit velocity and 34 percentile range for hard-hit %.

Torres is also outperforming his peripherals. For example, he is expected to finish the season with a .265 BA, .492 SLG, and a .350 wOBA, but possesses a .287 BA, .550 SLG and a .373 wOBA. His BA has increased by .022 points and his wOBA by .023 points. SLG is the important stat to note, as it has increased by .058, which is quite a drastic spike.

Torres is a scorching-hot tank and continues to produce offensively, but he is not at his full potential. It’s blatantly obvious that his baserunning and defensive abilities are below average at best. The question that continues circulating around social media? Why is Torres below average at baserunning and defense?

Let’s begin with his baserunning abilities. This season, Torres has obtained a -0.6 BsR, which includes stolen bases and times caught stealing. He has stolen 5 bases this season but has been caught stealing twice. Diving deeper into analytics, Torres has a -0.7 UBR, which doesn’t include stolen bases and times caught stealing, 0.2 wGDP and a -0.1 wSB. If your brain is already melting from the inside out, bear in mind that all of this information is important.

League averages are beneficial when attempting to value a player and his production. As discussed earlier, Torres has a -0.6 BsR. According to Fangraphs, 0.4 BsR is the league average. Still, need evidence? Torres has a -0.7 UBR and a -0.1 wSB. The league average? 0.4 UBR and a 0.0 wSB. While these stats aren’t atrocious by any means, Torres is without a doubt, below average at base running.

The video below shows some examples of why Torres is a below-average base runner. It’s extremely easy to remember the highlight reels, but difficult to remember each individual mistake a player commits in a season.

Now for his defensive abilities, which have been a major drawback this season. Among fielders with over 1000.0 innings played, Torres has committed 16 errors, which is well below average. Rafael Devers, Jean Segura, Jorge Polanco and Willy Adames are the only fielders with more errors in the league. Although an increasing amount of errors doesn’t equal productivity, it’s important to understand that errors, along with fielding percentage, are not the best tools to utilize when valuing defense. Fielding percentage will be discussed in greater detail in a moment.

Just as we did with base running, let’s examine advanced fielding stats. At second base, Torres has obtained a -4 DRS, .615 RZR, -2.1 UZR and a -8.1 UZR/150. At shortstop, Torres has obtained a 0 DRS, .748 RZR, -2.0 UZR and a -4.8 UZR/150. If we take a glimpse at the league averages, among qualified second basemen, -9 DRS, .733 RZR, 3.5 UZR, and a 0.1 UZR/150 are listed. Among qualified shortstops, 0 DRS, .750 RZR, 2.0 UZR, and a 0.1 UZR/150 are listed.

Just like base running, Torres is below average in every category as a second baseman. As far as shortstops are concerned, he is average when DRS is mentioned, but every other stat across the board clarifies that he is below average. In general, Torres is a below-average fielder but is a much more sufficient shortstop than a second baseman.

As far as fielding percentage is concerned, Torres has a .970 fielding percentage as a second baseman and a .967 fielding percentage as a shortstop this season. Fielding percentage is a subset of misplays. Measuring defense strictly on the basis of assists, putouts and errors ignore a significant chunk of defense. Just as I stated earlier, poor fielding percentage and errors are not qualified by any means, but should not be a common denominator when evaluating defense.

Just as I did for Torres’ base running, here is a video showcasing a few of many errors he has committed on the baseball diamond. Remember that the eye test can be deceiving and doesn’t paint the full picture of a story.

Do I believe that Torres can improve on his baserunning and defensive abilities? Of course, I do. He is only 22 years old and has an endless amount of connections disposed at his fingertips. He is an extraordinary player who is gifted and has the potential to be one of the greatest players of this generation. The only obstacle holding him back is his baserunning and fielding skills.

If you’re interested in learning more, here are some helpful links that will lead you in the right direction:

Baseball-Reference

Baseball Savant

Errors and Fielding Percentage

Fangraphs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Giants: For The First Time, The Giants Are Noncommittal on Eli Manning

The New York Giants have once again started their season 0-2. After back to back embarrassing losses to start the 2019 season, the Giants are considering a big change. Throughout all of the 2019 offseason, the Giants were committed to Eli Manning as their starting quarterback.

The commitment to Eli changed on Tuesday morning as the Giants and head coach Pat Shurmur decided to bench him in favor of Daniel Jones.

Pat Shurmur’s Vague Comments On The Quarterbacks

The New York Giants made one of the most important acquisitions in the team’s history this offseason. With the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected quarterback Daniel Jones. This was the most controversial pick in recent memory, but after his impressive preseason, the Giants seemed to have hit a home run.

In fact, Jones was so spectacular in the preseason, he seemed to be ready to start regular-season games. Many fans and analysts agreed on this fact, no matter how controversial it is. Now, after two tough losses, it seems like head coach Pat Shurmur might agree with this, too.

When asked about Eli Manning’s starting status in week three, Pat Shurmur gave a conspicuous response: “Obviously, Eli’s been our starter to this point.” Yes, he has been the starter to this point, but Shurmur refused to answer whether or not Eli will continue to be the starter.

Shurmur was informed that he was leaving a quarterback competition up for debate, then responded saying he “understands.” Pat Shurmur was fully aware that Jones would be the starter for week 3, even as reporters were peppering him with questions on the matter.

Why This Is A Fair Debate To Have

Pat Shurmur pointed out the obvious during his press conference, saying “We’re 0-2.” Shurmur also added that the Giants will “talk about everything we’re doing moving forward. That’s fair at this point.” It is fair, as fans are fed up with the Giants’ losing ways.

That’s the problem. No, it might not be Eli Manning’s fault that the Giants are losing. He has not played that bad, but the flip side is that he has not been the solution, either. Manning has not been the reason the Giants win games.

With Manning as the starting quarterback, the Giants continued to lose. They are 8-26 in the past three years and Eli Manning has been the starter in every one of those losses. Now, in 2019, with the heir apparent sitting on the bench through two weeks, moving on from Manning seemed right, but heartbreaking.

Eli is a franchise legend. He will always be appreciated and honored as a sports hero for the Giants and New York. The two-time Super Bowl champion has had an incredible, Hall-of-Fame career. But it is time. Eli Manning has a career win percentage of .500. If the Giants lose another game with Manning as the starter, they will put a big stain on his resume with a losing record.

The Giants will not be good this year. They are rebuilding. They are a bad team. Eli Manning deserves, better. The Giants might be showing mercy by not trotting Manning out to embarrassment every Sunday. At least with Daniel Jones as the starter, the Giants can get a glimpse of the future, instead of reminiscing on the past.

New York Giants name Daniel Jones starter vs. Bucs

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants have named Daniel Jones the starting quarterback for their week 3 match-up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Jones replaces Eli Manning after another awful start to the season.

This news comes earlier then expected for Giants fans.  A lot of fans were suggesting that Jones start around week 4-5, depending on the Giants record.

Well, it is that time.

Manning has been under-performing despite a much improved offensive line.  He is unable to make throws to sustain drives and the offensive just looks bad.  Do not get us wrong, this is not all on Manning.

The major issue is the defense.  They can not get stops and the offense get prolong drives to give the defense more time off the field.

The Jones era has officially begun.  Pat Shurmur makes the decision no one thought he would make.  It takes a lot of courage to bench Manning, it has not been done since Ben McAdoo.  Some will say Shurmur has to worry about his job at some point as well.  This is the first step is securing his job maybe one year longer.  Will it work?  Will the team have new life and rally around Jones?  That is yet to be seen.

The bigger question is wondering if ownership played any role in this decision, or was it all Shurmur.  Shurmur has to show that he is trying to improve the team and this is how you do it.

The Giants are not going anywhere until changes are made.  They will actually be watchable for a little while now, as the first two weeks were painful.  They might as well take a chance with the 6th overall pick and see if he can actually be the future quarterback of the New York Giants.

New York Yankees: Luis Severino is back and ready to go

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

Luis Severino of the New York Yankees has not stepped on a major league mound all season with a right lat injury. Well, the wait is finally over and he’s expected to make his 2019 debut Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels.

“It’s going to open a lot of doors for us,” said Luis Severino. “…we are going to get our ace Severino back. We are going to be able to switch a couple (of) things around. If you start with Severino and come in with (Domingo) German, you got two aces right there. Not a lot of teams are going to want to face those guys.”

Severino has made three rehab starts where it looks like the Yankees have their ace back. His velocity is back to upper-90s and his breaking ball is looking sharp.

“I am very excited about that. It’s been a long wait, but it happened,” said Severino last Friday before their game against the Blue Jays. “I’m happy that I’m healthy and I’m going to be able to help my team.”

Catcher Austin Romine said it best, “We’re getting our guy back.”

The New York Yankees have not made a decision on what role Severino will fill when he returns. He’s expected to start Tuesday but a bullpen role could be on the horizon for him.

“This will help our bullpen, too, if you start with Sevy and then German that shortens it so the bullpen doesn’t have to be used as often, we can have matchups or give relievers more rest,” said Judge. “I’m excited.”

Manager Aaron Boone agrees, “We’ll probably be a little creative. I would just say it is all on the table. We feel like we have a lot of really good pitchers, and we are going to go into the postseason with whether it’s 11, 12, 13 pitchers, that we feel are capable of getting really important outs. We are probably going to need all of them. So, we’ll try and prepare guys for anything and everything, and hopefully, that will serve us well.”

Severino was dealing with right lat and shoulder inflammation all season. His rehabbing was inconsistent which caused confusion on a return date.

Last year, Severino was 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA. Fans remember his clutch performance during the 2017 postseason when the Yankees were facing elimination in game three against the Cleveland Indians.

Tyler Wade’s Value With the New York Yankees

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

The New York Yankees have had more production from triple-A callups and bench guys from any other team this season. Among those players, Tyler Wade has been one of the most significant guys for the team. Between his athleticism and strong defensive, Wade is a guy that the Yankees can pretty much call on in any situation.

Quality baserunning is overlooked during this home run era. A stolen base in a tight game during the postseason can mean so much. Tyler Wade is that guy who the Yankees can count on to snag a bag or score from second consistently.

Wade doesn’t have the most pop but can move a guy over or hit one through the gap. Working on his swing down in triple-A, Wade improved his contact percentage significantly. Having a quality lefty bat in the lineup is something the Yankees could benefit from, especially heading into the postseason.

A player with many positions is so valued in the major leagues. Primarily a shortstop, Wade can be thrown out into the outfield and play like an All-Star. He just looks so comfortable in any spot he’s put in, and that doesn’t go unnoticed by the club.

Besides his physical talent, Wade is a guy that the team loves to have in the clubhouse. He’s easy-going and can keep things light. Take a look at this Instagram post and then the comments from the Yankee players:

View this post on Instagram

When gardy says he’s faster 🤷🏻‍♂️😂

A post shared by Tyler Wade (@tylerwade) on

Wade is a five-tool player should easily make the postseason roster. His speed, defensive talent, and quality lefty bat are so important in the playoffs.

New York Knicks will have to choose between Damyean Dotson or Ignas Brazdeikis

New York Knicks, Damyean Dotson

The New York Knicks didn’t anticipate landing Michigan forward Ignas Brazdeikis in the second round of the 2019 NBA Draft, but luckily, the Canadian fell right into their lap. His offensive traits and motor give him the ability to contribute this upcoming season, but he will likely have to battle it out with veteran, Damyean Dotson.

The third-year player has the three-point capabilities and defensive skills to warrant a roster spot, which would ultimately send Ignas to the G-League in Westchester. Playing well in garbage minutes last year helped earn him more impactful playing time, but Ignas seems to have more potential after just one season with the Wolverines.

At just 21-years-old, the Knicks might elect to put Ignas in their developmental system to further refine his traits. However, I feel as though he’s a better option coming off the bench as a rotational player that can put points on the board and utilize his tenacity to ‘annoy’ opponents.

Which New York Knicks player deserves the roster spot?

Comparing Dotson and Brazdeikis is difficult, as both are capable three-point shooters with average defense. The primary difference is NBA experience, with Dotson getting the nod in that category.

Both players will have the opportunity to prove their worth this preseason — training camp starts in just a few weeks. Realistically, the Knicks might look to trade Dotson later on in the season if he’s playing well and has value on the open market. The veteran might deserve a roster spot, but the Knicks haven’t don’t ample slots to play around with and test different options. A cluttered roster now filled with veteran signings will force head coach David Fizdale to make several difficult decisions, and the one between Brazdeikis/Doston could be one of them.

In a season where the Knicks aren’t expected to contend, maybe it’s better to give the roster spot to a young player with promise.