New York Yankees: Tyler Wade or Thairo Estrada

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

The New York Yankees will likely be making a decision in the spring about which utility player to carry, and that would be between Tyler Wade and Thairo Estrada.

Wade:

Tyler Wade will be 25 in the spring, and has now spent parts of three seasons on the Yankees roster. After hitting under .170 in his first two seasons, he seemed to finally make strides in his third.

He hit .245 in 2019, driving in 11 runs, walking 11 times, and going yard twice. He’s also one of the fastest players in baseball and is very smart on the bases.

Wade played six positions in just 43 games for the team this year, and only made one error.

Estrada:

Thairo Estrada is about two years younger than Wade and a lot less experienced. He did hit .250 with 12 RBIs and three home runs, but is less major league ready in my honest opinion.

Like Wade, he can play middle infield and outfield, but doesn’t play third like Wade. Estrada has a decent glove but nothing to rag about. He’s a relatively good base runner and fast, but doesn’t compare to Wade.

Who I Think:

I think that the Yankees should go with Tyler Wade on their roster over Thairo Estrada. Wade is more experienced and has shown improvement, and I think that he will continue to improve in 2020.

They shouldn’t need him to play every day unless there are injuries, but he would fit right in. As a back-up, the Yankees wouldn’t expect him to hit .300. All they would need is a .250 average, good defense, and good baserunning. I think that Tyler Wade could give them that in 2020.

New York Giants: Will Eli Manning Get His Final Farewell?

The New York Giants are once again in the middle of a lost season at 2-8. Eli Manning has been the quarterback for the Giants the past 16 years and has been there to guide the Giants through every high point and every low point for the past decade and a half.

 But this time, it’s a little different. Daniel Jones is now the Giants’ starting quarterback. Franchise hero and New York sports legend Eli Manning now sits on the bench as the Giants’ backup quarterback.

There has been a discussion about a potential final farewell for Eli Manning. The face of the franchise’s time with the team is coming to an end this season and fans wish they could see him go out on top starting the Giants’ Week 17 matchup against the Eagles. But Giants fans will probably not get to experience and Eli Manning farewell game.

Why He Shouldn’t 

The Giants shouldn’t give Eli Manning a farewell start simply because he doesn’t want one. Eli has never been the quarterback looking for the spotlight or any sort of extra attention. He has always wanted to do what is best for the team, not for himself.

Taking Daniel Jones out of the starting lineup in Week 17 is not best for the team. Manning considers that to be “ceremonial nonsense” and would not take part in a farewell tour of the sorts. Eli’s final farewell will come later down the road when he retires.

A Retirement Press Conference And The Ring Of Honor

Eli Manning has not confirmed whether or not he will retire this offseason, but if he does, that will be his farewell. The Giants will, of course, give him a press conference to address the media and say goodbye to the fans and to the game. Eli does not need a nonsensical final start this season. He will get his farewell when his retirement is official.

Eli Manning will also be inducted to the Giants’ Ring of Honor after he retires. He will receive a heartfelt thank you and farewell from all the Giants fans who got to witness Manning’s career after he retires. And when Manning is inducted to the Giants’ Ring of Honor, Giants fans will pack the stadium to be there for Eli Manning’s last historical moment in MetLife.

New York Jets Defeat Washington Redskins 34-17

New York Jets, Jamal Adams

The New York Jets have won their second straight game and third game against the NFC East.

The Jets beat an NFC East opponent for the second straight week. The Jets offense put on a show, putting up 34 points for the second straight week to lead the way.

Sam Darnold led the way with three first-half passing TDs and a career-high four in the game. Le’Veon Bell also chipped in with a TD of his own. Darnold threw each of his TDs to different receivers with Daniel Brown, Ryan Griffin, Robby Anderson, and Jamison Crowder each reeling one in.

It wasn’t all roses for the Jets offense. Darnold threw one interception, it was easily avoidable, that led to a Redskins field goal. That was followed by Vyncint Smith fumbling on the following kickoff, which the Redskins did not capitalize on missing a 29-yard field goal.

The Jets defense was outstanding or the first three quarters. Jamal Adams had three sacks in the game, becoming only the eighth DB in NFL history to have back-to-back games with two or more sacks. The Jets defense in total had six sacks in the game as Adams was joined by Nathan Shepherd, Henry Anderson, James Burgess (.5), and Frankie Luvu (.5).

The Jets held the Redskins backfield of Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice to just 49. yards on the day. That was good for a paltry 3.1 yards per carry. Add in Dwayne Haskins five yards rushing and the Redskins had just 2.7 yards per carry. Jamal Adams led the way in the run game too, with three TFL. The Jets had eight TFL in the game, as Adams was joined by Burgess (two), Shepherd, Anderson, and Kyle Phillips.

Neville Hewitt returned to the lineup for the Jets today and made an immediate impact. He picked off a Haskins pass in the third quarter that led to the Lev Bell rushing TD.

The defense let their foot off the pedal in the fourth quarter allowing Haskins and the Redskins offense to put up garbage time stats, including two TDs. Prior to the fourth quarter, Haskins had just 95 yards passing. That’s a testament to the ability of the Jets pass rush and their stand in CBs Bless Austin and Arthur Maulet. Both Austin and Maulet played incredibly well in the game.

The Jets’ special teams had an up and down game. Smith fumbled a kickoff, and Sam Ficken missed a field goal and a PAT. Lac Edwards was up an down, bust mostly matched his fantastic season averages, he did have a touchback that could have been avoided. Lastly, Braxton Berrios performed well in the punt return game averaging 14.3 yards per return and generally setting the Jets up with good field position.

This was a good win for a Jets team that is desperate to win as many games as possible. Next week the Jets play host to the Oakland Raiders, who will be making a cross country trip to the Meadowlands.

New York Mets: Joe Panik Year in Review

Should the New York Mets consider signing Joe Panik?

The local boy, Joe Panik, had the chance to play in his home state after Robinson Cano got injured late in the season. He moved from the San Francisco Giants to the New York Mets and made the transition look easy. Panik provided the stability the Mets were searching for while Cano was out.

He made his was to the Mets on August 9, after he was released by the Giants. Panik played in just 39 games with the Mets but was key part of the Mets late season run. He hit .277 with two home runs and 12 RBIs in 94 at-bats during his time as a Met. Whether it was stability with his glove or the Mets needed a bat off the bench, Panik embraced his new role with the Mets.

Panik’s Future

Panik was anchored at second base for the Giants since the 2015 season. His production declined over the last couple of seasons which led to his eventual release by the Giants. It seems unlikely he will end up with the Mets again due to their abundance of infielders along with other franchises potentially offering Panik a starting role.

Grades:

Hitting for Contact: C+, only had nine strikeouts and was a good bat to keep in the lineup

Hitting for Power: D, Never has been much of a power threat anyway

Fielding: B-, Sabermetrics rank him as average, but to the eye it did not seem like it

Baserunning/Speed: C, not too much info to work with here. Did not attempt a stolen base, but made a couple good base running decisions.

Intangibles: A, World Series champ had a good influence on the club while he was here

Overall: C, He was not bad, but was not amazing either. He had a role to fill and he did a great job taking over second base while Cano was on the shelf. Panik should be able to land a big league job with another team in the offseason.

Giants skip Colin Kaepernick’s workout after location change

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants had planned on scouting free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s open workout in Atlanta on Saturday but ended up skipping it after the location was changed.

The workout, which was originally set to take place at the Atlanta Falcons’ practice facility in Flowery Branch, which is about an hour northeast of downtown Atlanta but was moved to a high school field south of the city due to several conflicts between Kaepernick and the NFL.

From NJ.com:

As NJ Advance Media first reported last week, the Giants were among 24 teams planning to scout the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback before a chaotic Saturday changed those plans.

 

“It is our understanding the changes changed the plans for several other teams, too,” the individual said Sunday.

 

Once the league cancelled Kaepernick’s throwing session and interviews at the Falcons’ facility and the 32-year-old decided to proceed as planned without NFL oversight at Charles R. Drew High School south of Atlanta on Saturday afternoon, the Giants and several other teams decided not to attend.

Kaepernick wanted to run a free form workout while the NFL wanted him to sign a waiver dictating the terms of the workout. The league also was attempting to restrict media access to the event, and that simply would have defeated the purpose of the whole affair for Kaepernick, who is out for the publicity as much as he is for reigniting his career.

The Giants and 15 other teams bailed after Kaepernick’s people decided to forego the NFL’s workout and move the workout to a location some 55 miles south of Flowery Branch.

It was a long shot that the Giants were willing to take a flier on Kaepernick in any event, so nothing ventured, nothing gained – or lost. As of this writing, no team has shown interest and that just might suit Kaepernick just fine as reports have surfaced that he would be perfectly content not playing another down in the NFL.

New York Yankees: Has James Paxton surpassed Luis Severino in the rotation?

New York Yankees, James Paxton

There’s no question that Luis Severino can be an ace in the MLB, especially after in incredible first half of the 2018 season for the New York Yankees. He finished the campaign with a 3.39 ERA, racking up 220 strikeouts over 191.1 innings.

Severino is a quality rotational arm and has the tools to be the Yankees’ No. 1 starter given they don’t bring in a player like Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg this offseason. However, James Paxton might be climbing the rotational slots to slide in ahead of Severino, after an impressive 2019 season where he dominated in the postseason and offered consistent performances throughout the second half of the year.

Paxton had a bumpy inaugural season with the Yankees at times, though, logging a 9.00 ERA in the first inning of games before gaining confidence later on in the year. He showed he could be a trustworthy starter once he adapted to the anxiety and intensity of the Bronx. In the second half of the season, he went 10-2 and earned a 3.63 ERA compared to his 5-4 start.

Injuries have always been a significant concern for “Big Maple,” but he managed to start 29 games in 2019, the most in his entire career. That’s an extremely positive sign for a Bomber’s team that was plagued by ailments last season, forcing them to travel into the postseason without Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit, a healthy Aaron Hicks, Dellin Betances, and a rusty Luis Severino.

If the team can remain healthy in 2020, they will have a far better chance at reaching the World Series.

Who helped the New York Yankees extract the most value out of James Paxton?

Former pitching coach Larry Rothschild helped Paxton rely more on his knuckle-curve in 2019, which helped him rack up strikeouts and swing/miss ratio. After making the change, Paxton won ten consecutive games, helping his team reach 103 wins on the season.

The Yankees can go into next season, confident that Paxton will perform at a high level. If he can replicate the second half of the 2019 season, manager Aaron Boone will have a great starting rotation to work with.

New York Yankees: Bob Sheppard, the Voice of God

New York Yankees

He always considered himself a teacher first, but to millions of sports fans, Bob Sheppard would become known for his work as public address announcer, most notably for the New York Yankees and football’s New York Giants. His road to those jobs was quite interesting.

After earning his degree in speech education in 1933, Sheppard began his career as a teacher, ultimately landing a job at alma mater, St. John’s University in New York. Then his country called him and he serve in the U.S. Navy in World War II.

After the war, he returned to St. John’s and resumed as well as beginning his “second career” as a p.a. announcer for the school’s basketball and football games. In 1948, he became the p.a. announcer at Ebbets Field for the Brooklyn Dodgers; not the baseball team, but rather the football team in the old All American Football Conference. It was during a tribute to Babe Ruth that a Yankee official heard Sheppard and offered him their p.a. announcer job. Sheppard declined the offer.

The New York Yankees finally persuaded Sheppard to work for them after they agreed to hire an understudy on days that conflicted with his teaching duties. On April 17, 1951, Bob Sheppard began a 57-year career with the Yankees. He would become noted for a style that would become his trademark: proper diction and correct grammar. He believed a good p.a. announcer should be “clear, concise, and correct”. Never should you be “colorful, cute, or comic”. In 1956, he would add the New York Giants football games to his workload.

Sheppard’s voice would become as synonymous with Yankee Stadium as the facade and Monument Park, and his distinct style earned him the nickname “The Voice of God” by Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson. In May of 2000, Sheppard earned the ultimate honor by the Yankees when he got a plaque dedicated in his honor in Monument Park.

In 2007, Sheppard’s health began to get worse. He could not work the last month of the season or the postseason. He hoped to be back for the 2008 season, but his health would not permit it, so Jim Hall-whose voice was similar to Sheppard’s-served as the p.a. announcer. 2009 would mark the opening of the new Yankee Stadium, and Sheppard hoped to be there; again, poor health prevented it, and former Yankee announcer Paul Olden got the call.

Sadly on July 11, 2010, Bob Sheppard passed away at the age of 99, three months and nine days shy of turning 100. He left a legacy that will be difficult to match. A man who is one of only two people to earn a World Series ring and a Super Bowl ring for his work with the Giants, the other being Oakland A’s and Raiders announcer Bill King.

The original Yankee Stadium has often been called “The Cathedral of Major League Baseball”. If that is the case, then Robert Leo Sheppard was its right Reverend.

New York Mets Prospect Profile: David Peterson

New York Mets, David Peterson

The Mets are desperate for starting pitching depth, and it’ll be up to David Peterson to provide it.

David Peterson is one of the Mets’ top prospects. He ranks in the Mets’ top 10 on every major prospect site. Some of that has to do with his draft prestige. Peterson was the Mets’ first-round pick in 2017 out of Oregon University.

Peterson is now 24 years old, but will not turn 25 until September. He’s a big kid, standing at six feet six inches tall and weighing in at 240 pounds. He’s a lefty, which helps him get the most out of his limited velocity and breaking pitches.

Peterson’s fastball sits high-80s to low-90s but gets a ton of movement. Peterson relies heavily on his sinker that breaks down and in to lefties. It’s his go-to pitch and he gets great results out of it for the most part.

Peterson’s go-to out pitch is his slider, which tends to sweep rather than dip. Meaning that his slider is more horizontal than vertical. It makes for a good contrast to his sinker and tends to get batters off balance when it’s on. The issue is that when it’s off it can become very flat and very hit-able.

Peterson also throws a changeup and a curveball, but neither of those two pitches are very good. They’re both average or fringe-average pitches. Neither being relied on to get outs often. The changeup is the better of the two pitches as it should be. If Peterson is to succeed in the majors his changeup will be key. His changeup is going to be key to getting right-handers out since it’s a harder pitch to pickup then his fastball or slider is. That’s true for all lefties.

Where Peterson really shines is his control. He has above-average control of all of his pitches, though his fastball command, in particular, is special. He is able to command the pitch to all four quadrents while getting the sink he wants most of the time.

That control of his sinker is one of the reasons that Peterson is one of the most recognizable ground ball pitchers in the minor leagues. Peterson’s career ground ball rate is over 60% and that’s been his issue so far.

Peterson has never been a strikeout pitcher. Last season at AA Peterson struck out 9.47 batters per nine innings. That’s the highest it’s been since he pitched in A- Brooklyn.

That means for the most part the ball is getting put in play against Peterson. He’s very similar to Marcus Stroman in that way. The defense in the minor, especially the infield defense, is never good. the fields themselves are usually on turf or not kept up to MLB standards. That makes it hard for even good defenders to make plays in the minor leagues.

That’s why each of the last two years Peterson’s FIP has greatly outproduced his ERA. Last season Peterson had a 4.19 ERA, but his FIP was 3.19 and his XFIP was 2.91. That shows that Peterson was pitching well, but his defense was letting him down more times than not.

Normally that would be great for a minor league prospect. It would mean that when they get to the majors they’ll outperform their minor league numbers because of a better defense. However, that won’t be the case for Peterson.

The Mets had the second-worst defense in the majors last season. That would not fit well with Peterson’s pitching style. Yet, despite everything Mets’ GM Brodie Van Wagenen named Peterson among the pitchers he expects to contribute to the team in 2020.

Peterson will start the year in AAA, it’ll be his first season there. He’s certainly a prospect to watch, as he’s the only top pitching prospect in the Mets system close to pitching in the majors.

New York Giants: Alec Ogletree to Make Thanksgiving Special

New York Giants linebacker Alec Ogletree has been in the league since 2013 and in that span of time has been nothing short of a leader both on and off the field.

Ogletree got his start with the St. Louis/ Los Angeles Rams after being drafted in the 2013 NFL.  Since then he has earned many accolades and awards due to his career highlights.  What makes Ogletree really stupendous are not just his stellar plays, but also the work he does off of the field.

This upcoming Thanksgiving Ogletree will be holding an event in which he will aim to help others during this holiday season.  This is Ogletree’s Sixth Annual Turkey Drive.  It will be held on November 19th from 5-7 p.m. at his alma mater Newnan High School located at 190 Lagrange  St. in Newnan, Georgia.  Ogletree will be handing out frozen turkeys and Thanksgiving sides.  This will benefit the less fortunate and those in need.  The littlest of gestures can truly make a difference in a person’s life and brighten their days during this upcoming holiday season.

The holiday of Thanksgiving is about showing an attitude of gratitude and a sense of appreciation for what we are blessed to have in our lives.  Ogletree is showing his thankfulness for the place that bred him and his gratefulness to where he came from by helping families in need.  Ogletree is doing such a great deed, especially during this busy, hectic season where people are dealing with stress and is alleviating some of their woes by lightening their load and spicing up their holiday!

What Ogletree does on the field is stellar, but what is truly commendable is the things he does for the community!

The New York Mets Should Consider Luis Rojas for Bench Coach

New York Mets, Luis Rojas

Luis Rojas was a candidate for the Mets manager job, so why isn’t he a candidate for bench coach?

Rojas’ name first came up in rumors last May. That was when the Mets first thought about firing Mickey Callaway, according to reports. Many fans at the time thought if any change were to be made then bench coach Jim Riggleman would take Callaway’s spot.

To the surprise of many, the media reported that if the Mets made a change it would likely be quality control coach Luis Rojas who would assume the position.

That never happened though, Callaway finished the year before being fired. That was when a full-blown managerial search began and Luis Rojas got major consideration. According to reports, Rojas made it to the final round of the interview process but fell short.

Reports were that the Mets felt Rojas was too young and didn’t have the necessary major league coaching experience. However, Anthony DiComo maintained that the Mets view Rojas as a future major league manager.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise when you look at his resume. Rojas has eight seasons of minor league managerial experience under his belt. During that time he managed twelve players who are currently on the Mets roster, including Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, and Jacob deGrom.

If all of that is good enough to get a manager interview, why not a bench coach interview? It would seem to be the next step in Rojas’ career and development as a coach. So, why hasn’t his name come up in consideration?

The likely reason is that the Mets simply want an experience NL manager or bench coach to help their inexperienced manager Carlos Beltran.

The evidence supports such a claim. Three names have been connected to the Mets bench coach position at this point, Fredi Gonzalez, Jerry Narron, and Ron Wotus.

Ron Wotus is a long-time Giants coach having been there since 1998. He was the Giants bench coach from 1999-2017. He’s also won two Manager of the Year awards in the minor leagues. That’s a strong resume, but Qotus has no connection to the Mets or Beltran. That might be one reason why Wotus has decided to stay in San Fransisco instead of compete for the Mets bench coach job, according to reports.

Fredi Gonzalez has been a manager in the NL East for a decade. He’s also been a third base coach for many years. He left the Marlins’ organization at the end of the 2019 season to pursue other opportunities. He would make a lot of sense as a mentor for Beltran due to his lengthy time as a manager and history as a tactician.

Jerry Narron has a long history as a manager and bench coach. Having spent years at both positions. However, he has never stayed in one place for too long. He was just fired by the Diamondbacks after three seasons as their bench coach. It doesn’t seem to make much sense that the Mets would grab Narron after a failed season.

However, Rojas has something that none of these other candidates has, a connection to the team and players. He’s spent his entire coaching career with the Mets. He’s also a rising star coach that has the look of a future major league manager. He fits the mold of what a modern bench coach should be. So it’s a little surprising to not see him in consideration.