New York Giants Have Cornerback Competition With Beal Return

New York Giants, DeAndre Baker

DeAndre Baker is not a good cornerback at the moment. That’s not a knock on Baker, however – the rookie has been thrown into a New York Giants defense that lacks depth at the position, and expected to play to a similar standard as the team’s other starting cornerback, Janoris Jenkins.

Baker isn’t surrounded by top tier players to cover for his status as an inexperienced rookie, and the defensive coaches have been unable to come up with schemes where he won’t be a consistent target for opposing quarterbacks looking to pick up yardage down the field.

It’s not exactly a fair situation for the first round draft pick, but it might get worse for Baker – or better, depending on if you see spending some time on the bench as a better alternative for Baker than continuing to be the main target of opposing offenses.

The Giants have, of course, activated Sam Beal. That’s relevant because Beal was projected as one of the top competitors for Baker during the offseason, and may have ended up with a starting spot outright if it wasn’t for injury keeping him off the field. Beal’s career has been plagued by injury so far, and the cornerback hasn’t played a NFL game yet after being taken in the supplemental draft in 2018 by the Giants.

His first season was missed with a shoulder injury, and hamstring injury landed Beal on the IR list this season, which some believed the corner wasn’t going to return from.

But Beal is back on the active roster which means that he should see the field soon – whether that’s as a starter or a backup remains to be seen but few would complain about some competition for Baker given his early performances… Even if those performances are the expectation, based on the situation he was thrown into by circumstance.

Of course, some of the blame does fall to Baker – he admitted after the team’s loss to the Cowboys that he’s still in the process of learning the playbook, more than halfway into the season.

“The playbook. Just knowing the plays. Knowing what I need to do. Knowing my assignment,” Baker said when asked about what he needed to improve.

Beal hasn’t been on the field but one advantage of spending so much time on the sideline is that he’s had plenty of time to learn the system without the pressure of playing. Will that help Beal in a cornerback battle? We’ll see.

It’s impossible, though, to deny that there is a quarterback battle. The Giants need better play at the position or they aren’t going to get more than one or two more wins this year – Amari Cooper’s performance in the Dallas game demonstrates that point.

Beal isn’t guaranteed to be the improvement that they’re looking for, but at this point, they have nothing to lose and everything to gain from making it a competition and giving him a shot to knock off DeAndre Baker as the starter next to Jenkins.

Yankees’ Clint Frazier’s time in the Bronx could be coming to an end

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

The New York Yankees came close to trading away outfielder Clint Frazier last offseason at the deadline, but he stayed put in their minor league system after creating a disturbance in the locker room due to defensive issues. The Yankees don’t tolerate negative emotions tarnishing their image or atmosphere, which is why Frazier was sent back down to AAA ball faster than he could swing his bat.

He commented back at his anger and frustration following an error-ridden night against the Boston Redsox in June:

“I don’t regret [not speaking to the media]. To be fair, I don’t think I owe anyone an explanation, because it’s not a rule that I have to speak.”

Frazier was having a nice season offensively, despite his defensive woes. His .267 batting average and 38 RBIs helped the Yankees survive a slew of injuries throughout the season, which ultimately helped them win their division and skip right to the ALDS with 103 total wins.

The New York Yankees need to find a use for Clint Frazier:

There’s no question Frazier holds value, but how much is the question. After grading above average in several categories offensively, his defensive skills saw his stock plummet. Multiple errors and dropped fly balls put him in the dog house rather quickly, and the Bombers could look to leverage him for pitching support this offseason.

After spending a few weeks in the minors, Frazier earned a second chance at life with the Yanks and manager, Aaron Boone. His return was abysmal, though, as he slashed .176/.243/.353 with just one homer and 11 strikeouts over 37 plate appearances. That spelled the end for Clint, and he was subsequently left off the postseason roster following his inconsistent season — defensively and emotionally.

However, with Cameron Maybin and Brett Gardner potentially moving, and Aaron Hicks recovering from Tommy John surgery, the Yankees could still use Frazier as a reserve option. If they elect not to trade him away, he has a serviceable bat and could provide value defensively if he works on his trade.

Having a 0.1 fWAR this past season, Frazier’s contribution towards the 2019 campaign wasn’t significant. The team didn’t rely on him for the most part, even during stretches of injury. That argument would indicate that Frazier could be on the trading block, but it all boils down to who the Yankees bring in as reserve options.

Why the Yankees don’t need to sign any starting pitchers

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

The New York Yankees fought and clawed their way to a 103-win season in 2019, despite being knocked out of the playoffs in the ALCS against the Houston Astros. For the most part, the Yankees’ pitching was solid, especially their bullpen.

Chad Green stepped up to the plate and delivered a solid campaign, earning a 4.17 ERA after being used as a relief and starting option. He played a similar role to DJ LeMahieu in the sense that both were utility players that filled multiple roles.

The starters, however, struggled at times, considering none of the rotational options logged an ERA below 4.00. Only James Paxton was below with a 3.82 ERA. Bronx Bombers owner Hal Steinbrenner made it apparent that the team doesn’t need to invest further in starting pitching. According to Hal, the lack of run support and production with runners in scoring position was the driving factor in the Yankees’ ALCS knockout.

“For the most part, I think our starting pitching was good this year,’’ Steinbrenner said. “Even missing [Luis] Severino and [Jordan] Montgomery [for most or all of the season due to injuries].”

However, adding a player like Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg would give the team a better chance at winning a World Series in 2020. Ultimately, it comes down to money and the willingness to offer a record-breaking contract to a big name, pitcher. Cole is looking to sign a deal worth more than $30 million per season, and Strasburg will likely hover a few million below.

Do the New York Yankees need more starting pitching?

The story might have been a bit different for the Yanks if Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery had been available for the entire 2019 season. Factoring them and German into a postseason run would give the Bombers a much better chance at reaching the World Series, but as Hal Steinbrenner mentioned, it was a lack of timely hitting that doomed his team.

Because run support disappeared for the Yankees during the postseason at times, the organization can go one of two routes. Either they spend big money on a bonafide ace, or they allocate funds towards quality power hitters with high rates of contact. I imagine they will take the second route, as gaining back Severino, Montgomery, and hopefully German will give them the boost they need to become a more competitive team in 2020.

New York Mets: Mets Claim Gonsalves, Move Taylor to 40-man Roster

After New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran was introduced on Monday, the Mets started making their first offseason roster moves. They claimed pitcher Stephen Gonsalves of waivers from the Twins and also moved reliever Blake Taylor on to their 40-man roster.

Gonsalves was a former top 100 prospect, but elbow injuries have derailed his career. He only has pitched in 24.2 innings in the big leagues and had a 6.57 ERA. The elbow issues led to Gonsalves only pitching 13 innings in the minors during the 2019 season, in which he had a 4.15 ERA. He has been a starter his whole career and could be a much needed depth piece to a pitching staff which lacked depth in 2019.

Left Handed Bullpen Depth

Taylor is a throwback to the Ike Davis trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 2014 season. The roster move was made to prevent Taylor from becoming a free agent and gives them another left handed reliever. After struggling in the minors for the past couple of seasons, he broke out in 2019. Taylor split time between high-A and double-A where he had a 2.16 ERA in 66.2 innings with 74 strikeouts.

He also pitched to a 2.00 ERA during nine innings in the Arizona Fall League. Though, he has not pitched well at the triple-A level yet, he should start the season there. If the Mets do not add anything to their bullpen, Taylor will have a good chance to receive some big league innings in 2020.

Mets News: Alonso, deGrom named finalists for NL ROY, Cy Young

The New York Mets normally don’t hear their players’ names called for the annual BBWAA awards handed out at the end of each season. Yesterday, the BBWAA announced the three finalists for their year end awards. Mets 1B Pete Alonso was named one of the three finalists for NL Rookie of the Year and Jacob deGrom is back in the hunt for another Cy Young Award.

2019 BBWAA Awards Finalists

AL MVP: Alex Bregman, HOU; Marcus Semien, OAK; Mike Trout, LAA
NL MVP: Cody Bellinger, LAD; Anthony Rendon, WSN; Christian Yelich, MIL

AL Cy Young: Gerrit Cole, HOU; Charlie Morton, TBR; Justin Verlander, HOU
NL Cy Young: Jacob deGrom, NYM; Hyun-Jin Ryu, LAD; Max Scherzer, WSN

AL Rookie of the Year: Yordan Alvarez, HOU; Brandon Lowe, TBR; John Means, BAL
NL Rookie of the Year: Pete Alonso, NYM; Mike Soroka, ATL; Fernando Tatis Jr., SDP

AL Manager of the Year: Rocco Baldelli, MIN; Aaron Boone, NYY; Kevin Cash, TBR
NL Manager of the Year: Craig Counsell, MIL; Mike Shildt, STL; Brian Snitker, ATL

Both deGrom and Alonso are favored to take home their respective awards according to a late-season MLB poll.

From Anthony DiComo of MLB.com:

Alonso, an overwhelming favorite to be named NL Rookie of the Year after hitting a Major League rookie-record 53 home runs in his first season, joined Atlanta’s Mike Soroka and San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr. as finalists. The BBWAA will reveal the winner on Nov. 11, during a 6 p.m. ET show on MLB Network.

deGrom, who won the NL Cy Young Award last year, took a step closer to repeating when he joined a group of finalists that also includes Washington’s Max Scherzer and Los Angeles’ Hyun-Jin Ryu. Although deGrom didn’t quite match his 2018 Cy Young numbers, he finished 11-8 with a 2.43 ERA and a league-high 255 strikeouts in 204 innings. The winner will be announced on Nov. 13, also at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network.

deGrom would be taking home the seventh Cy Young Award in Mets history. The previous winners were: Tom Seaver in 1969, 1973 and 1975; Dwight Gooden (1985), R.A. Dickey (2012) and deGrom last season.

Alonso would be the Mets’ 6th NL Rookie of the Year joining Seaver (1967), Jon Matlack (1972), Darryl Strawberry (1983), Gooden (1984) and deGrom (2014).

 

New York Yankees: Are the Yankees pushing Gregorius out or do they want a fresh start?

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius

The New York Yankees had until 5:00 PM on Monday to extend a qualifying offer to Didi Gregorius in which they failed to do so, official sending Gregorius off to free agency. The remaining question is: are the Yankees getting rid of their Jeter replacement or do they want a fresh contract?

When Gregorius was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, Gleyber Torres took over the shortstop role, in which he proved he can handle with ease. I think the Yankees saw what they can accomplish without Gregorius and maybe realized he isn’t a need.

Emotionally, this would be awful. Gregorius plays such a big part in the clubhouse and has a huge impact at Yankee Stadium. His social media presence is warming to the fans and he just knows how to rally a team. However, if the Yankees let him walk I wouldn’t be surprised.

I think the New York Yankees know that Torres is the future shortstop of the franchise. In two seasons in the major leagues, Torres is a two-time All-Star two 20+ home run seasons and hasn’t batted below .270. Also, don’t forget he’s only 22, and he’s only going to get better from here.

If the Yankees really wanted Gregorius back on the roster for the 2020 season, they would’ve extended a qualifying offer. It doesn’t make sense to let a guy enter free agency to hear other team’s offers if you want him back for the next season.

However, I could be very wrong. The Yankees might just want to sign him to a fresh contract, one that makes more sense for them in the long run.

The Knicks are once again proving they can’t utilize players like Julius Randle

New York Knicks, Julius Randle

The New York Knicks have all the talent to be a successful and competitive team during the 2019 season. Still, head coach David Fizdale has failed to utilize his players in an efficient way to elevate scoring production.

New free agent signing, Julius Randle, average 21.4 points per game last season, but has only averaged 13.4 points in his first seven games with the Knicks. His field-goal percentage has plummeted from .524 to .418. Also, his free-throw rate dropped from .731 and 2018 to .607.

While this is a small sample size, all of his statistics seem to be down except for assists, Where Fizdale has preached to move the ball consistently and open up shots for other players. The Knicks have also been keen on developing their defensive abilities and having Randle participate more in that category. Randle has generally been an offensive player for the majority of his career, so being asked to play defense is a bit concerning.

“It’s a lot that we’re asking of him,” David Fizdale said last week. “(Previously in his) career all he’s been asked to do – for the most part – is score. And so now he’s juggling (the additional responsibilities) and trying to figure it out. And I think step-by-step, he’ll get there.”

You can easily justify the reality that Randle is still building chemistry with his new team. It will take him time to adapt and learn the tendencies of his teammates, especially when playing with young players like RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, and big man, Mitchell Robinson. He will enter Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Pistons shooting 42% from the floor and hitting just one of 18 shots from beyond the arch.

When looking at Randle, you can see that his shots simply aren’t falling. Something he hasn’t experienced in recent years with the pelicans. It will take him time to regain his form and put up consistent performances, but the Knicks know what he can become and will eventually be for the organization.

Patience is the key moving forward, as head coach David Fizdale stated that it will take him time to learn the defensive tendencies of his scheme and how to defend appropriately against opposing teams.

“He hasn’t seen (defenses) running two and three people at him before. It’s just a matter of him learning how to play against those defenses and understanding how to attack them,” Fizdale said on Sunday before the Knicks’ loss to the Kings.

Randle has played a significant part in the Knicks’ 1-6 start to the season, but at some point, the team will fall into place and perform as a cohesive unit. However, that time could be quite some time away.

New York Giants: 3 things we learned from loss to Cowboys on Monday

New York Giants, Antoine Bethea

Falling 37-18 on a Monday night to the Dallas Cowboys is a nightmare for any New York Giants fan, and that nightmare became a reality at MetLife in week nine. As the Cowboys fans overwhelmed a somber crowd, or what was left of a Giants fan-base caked in defensive torment and offensive turmoil, it struck me. This season was never meant to be a successful one.

The 2019 campaign held one purpose, and that was to develop the rookies to the point of self-sufficiency. Quarterback Daniel Jones is the priority for the Giants brass, ensuring he has all of the tools to build and adapt to the NFL. He has certainly experienced his fair amount of struggles, notably his 18 total turnovers on the season. However, he has also experienced success and dominance in specific moments. Putting all of his new skills together to achieve consistency is the ultimate goal.

Here are the three things we realized from the New York Giants loss to the Cowboys:

1.) Dave Gettleman might have made a mistake with DeAndre Baker

With the game winding down and the Giants forcing the Cowboys into a third-and-long situation, the hopes were that the defense could stop Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense in time to attempt a comeback in the fourth quarter. If not for Baker’s inability to recognize his defensive scheme, they might have had a chance at scoring down one possession.

Prescott threw a dart across the middle to Amari Cooper, who was running free. Baker, who was supposed to be trailing Cooper, thought was supposed to be in zone-coverage, when, in fact, he was expected to be man-marking Dallas’ best receiver. Cooper took the pass 44-yards to the house to provide the dagger in a tight game.

While it’s Baker’s rookie season, there hasn’t been much success for him to lean on. There’s no question his confidence is hurting. Gettleman might have invested too much in Baker, but it’s still too soon to call him a bust.

2.) The Giants can be efficient

The first half of the game for Big Blue was adequate. Leading 12-3 in the second quarter, the Giants had a firm grip on the game before giving up 10 points in the final minute of the first half. This only proves they are capable of being a good team and playing up to the competition.

While the loss undoubtedly stings, there are things to be excited about, such as Golden Tate making fantastic one-handed catches and the Giants being the first team this season to convert a third-and-long against the Cowboys. Hurdles accompany youth, and it’s important to remind yourself that this team is only in year two of an entire roster overhaul.

3.) Free safety is a concern

Despite free safety Antoine Bethea intercepting Prescott on the very first play of the game and later recovering a fumble, his coverage abilities are abysmal. Finding a replacement for Bethea must be a priority for the Giants next offseason. Lacking a true ball-hawk in the secondary has hurt them in the deep passing game at times, especially on plays where the cornerbacks make significant mental mistakes. An excellent free safety can sometimes cover up those minor mishaps on the outside.

One important stat to consider is Bethea’s tackle totals (67 combined). When your free safety has the most combined tackles on the team, that’s often a good indicator that running backs are bursting through the initial wave or receivers are working the middle of the field well. As we have seen, it’s a combination of both.

New York Giants: Pat Shurmur isn’t going anywhere despite losses

New York Giants, Pat Shurmur

Head coach of the New York Giants, Pat Shurmur, won’t face the same reality Jets head coach, Adam Gase, is about to experience. An executive told Gase that if his team failed to overcome a winless Miami Dolphins team, he would be relieved of his duties. Coincidentally, the Jets plummeted to the bottom of the football world in a heartless loss, accompanied by another poor performance from Sam Darnold.

The Giants, on the other hand, are 2-7 on the season and have almost nothing to show for their injection of youth. Well, I would refrain from saying “nothing.” Providing rookie quarterback Daniel Jones with essential developmental experience holds value, and Shurmur has been at the forefront of his adaptation to the NFL.

Firing Shurmur might hurt Jones more than we imagine. While his time-management and poor decision making have cost the Giants several opportunities to win, the reality is, Big Blue isn’t a playoff-caliber team, and having a high draft pick might give them a better chance at winning in 2020.

The Giants are, by no means, tanking to move up in the draft, but Shurmur’s decision making has been detrimental at times. Rumors of him being on the hot-seat have bubbled to the surface, but owner John Mara must realize his team is in year two of a rebuild. In that same time-frame, the Cleveland Browns, who looked fantastic on paper, have been widdled down to a fraction of their potential. Head coach Freddie Kitchen might be in more trouble than Shurmur at this point.

Why wouldn’t the New York Giants fire Pat Shurmur?

Aside from Pat’s influence on Jones and vise-versa, changing the head coach would require an overhaul of the offense and coaching staff. It would theoretically set the team back another season as they learn a new system and could act as a repellant for quality veteran free agents. With an estimated $80 million in cap next year, the Giants have plenty of room to fill positions of weakness, notably at linebacker, free safety, and offensive tackle.

Plucking Shurmur from his position would likely hurt the team more than help it, which indicates he will be around for at least one more season.

New York Giants news, 11/5 – Did Dave Gettleman make a huge mistake on defense? More headlines

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

After being embarrassed at home against the Dallas Cowboys 37-18, the New York Giants somberly walked off the field with their heads hung low. Offensive lineman Will Hernandez fought his way through the entire Cowboys team, forcing the referees to throw multiple unnecessary roughness flags. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to give Big Blue the edge.

Head coach Pat Shurmur made his usual bad decisions at times, but the simple reality is that the Giants aren’t talented enough to take down the Cowboys at this point in their seemingly everlasting rebuild. Allocating cap-space towards the secondary next offseason must be a priority, specifically at the free safety spot. Cornerback must also be addressed, as first-round pick, DeAndre Baker, has been a liability in coverage the entire season.

Yes, Baker is just a rookie, but playing zone coverage on a man-coverage scheme gave the Cowboys an easy touchdown across the middle to Amari Cooper to put a dagger in the Giants’ chances. Finding a quality veteran who can fill Baker’s spot if needed can be justified. General manager Dave Gettleman moved up into the first round to secure Baker, who has done nothing but disappoint in his rookie season. Normally, it takes corners a few years to fully reach their potential, but DeAndre is making fundamental mistakes on a weekly basis.

Also, the offensive line must be upgraded.

Both tackles on the offensive front have been horrendous this season. Nate Solder and Mike Remmers are proving to be incapable blockers, putting rookie quarterback Daniel Jones under pressure at an alarming rate. General manager Dave Gettleman will undoubtedly scour the draft for a solid right tackle and potentially even sign a free agent. Either way, the position needs to be upgraded, along with the center spot, where Jon Halapio features as a brick wall. Not the good kind of brick wall, but the type that stands entirely still.

The New York Giants have a long way to go before they can be considered a competitive team, but at least the points of weakness can be identified.

Nonetheless–

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