New York Giants: Janoris Jenkins Headed To New Orleans Saints

New York Giants, Janoris Jenkins

It didn’t take long for former New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins to find a new home on a better team. Jenkins, of course, was waived by the Giants following a series of controversies, with tensions growing as he made various remarks about the team’s performance and then hitting an apex when Jenkins found himself arguing with fans on Twitter.

He served as the top cornerback for the Giants for most of the season, but with tension as high as it was between Jenkins and the team and the fanbase, it’s not surprising that he didn’t make it through the end of the season. It’s also not surprising that Jenkins, who has played well this season according to most metrics, was able to move up and find his way to a better team, in this case the New Orleans Saints.

The Saints are 11-3 right now, a reversal of the Giants’ three win record, and this would be the second time that they take a player from the New York Giants secondary – the first time this happened, of course, was when the Saints traded for cornerback Eli Apple, who has since improved his performances after moving away from the Giants.

By now most fans are tired of the Janoris Jenkins saga, with the rumors of the Giants wanting to get rid of Jenkins having started all the way before the beginning of this season. But Jenkins’ performance may be worth keeping an eye on. Whether or not Jenkins sees an improvement in performance after leaving the Giants may say something one way or another about how the coaching staff has been handling the secondary.

The Giants will have to replace Jenkins soon and there’s no word on who will step in as the main cornerback – there are in-house options, but none on quite the same level. Of course, with only a couple of games left in the season, these questions won’t seriously be asked until the offseason.

New York Mets: Steven Matz Year in Review

New York Mets, New York Yankees, Steven Matz

The homegrown Steven Matz had another solid year in the middle of the New York Mets rotation. Much like the rest of the team, he found his stride during the second half of the season. Matz also reached a career-high in innings pitched and recorded the first shutout of his career.

Matz had a solid start to the season; the only let down being an eight-run outing without recording an out against the Philadelphia Phillies. He had a 3.55 ERA at the end of May, but he struggled with getting deep into the game. In half of his starts, he failed to get above 90 pitches. Some of it had to due with not pitching well in those starts, and other times, Mickey Callaway did not have the onions to let him continue.

Poor June and the Move to the Bullpen

Matz hit a wall during June, with a 7.36 ERA during the month. Things had gotten so weak that Matz had to move to the bullpen in July. After two scoreless outings out of the bullpen, he returned to the starting rotation when Zack Wheeler went down with an injury.

Safe to say the move to the bullpen made him better. In the two months following the stint, Matz had a 2.52 ERA and returned to the strike-throwing machine he was known to be. He had a couple of hiccups in his last couple of starts in September but still finished with a 3.52 ERA in his starts following his bullpen duty. While he still was not getting deep into games consistently, he always gave the Mets prime chances to win.

There have been trade rumors surrounding the only lefty in the Mets rotation, but they seem very unlikely to happen. He has been a solid mid-rotation starter, who is also very cheap. Matz still has a ceiling to hit, which is very likely to occur as he heads into his age-29 season. Coming off two straight 30-start seasons and having a healthy offseason is going to be a key for his 2020 success.

Grades:

Pitching Repertoire: B+, Change-up, and Curveball control can be flat at times, sinking fastball played very well for him.

Control: B+, Walk rate slightly decreased this season.

Composure: A-, Huge difference in his confidence and demeanor this season, which allowed himself to figure things out in the second half.

Intangibles: B+, Still has to work on avoiding the big inning, but was a much smarter pitcher this season.

Overall: B+, Solid year from Matz, but there is still a lot of potential for him heading into 2020.

 

New York Yankees: Adam Warren Returns On A Minor League Deal

New York Yankees, Adam Warren

Reliever Adam Warren has signed a minor league deal to return to the New York Yankees for a third time.

The 32 year old out of Birmingham, Alabama and the University of North Carolina was drafted in the fourth round by the Yankees in 2009.

Warren made his MLB debut in 2012 and was with the team through 2016 when he was a part of the deal that sent Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs for Gleyber Torres.

Like Chapman, Warren resigned with the team prior to the 2017 season but was flipped to the Seattle Mariners in 2018. He spent the 2019 season with the San Diego Padres, but struggled and dealt with an injury.

Now going into his ninth major league season, Warren looks to get his career back on track with the team that drafted him. Warren has always thrived with the Yankees, a career ERA of 3.18 with the team. His national league ERA is well over five.

However, it will be a while until we could see Warren in pinstripes. He underwent Tommy John surgery in September and won’t be able to pitch until the later part of the season. It’s very likely that he will he will be able to pitch again in August or September of 2020.

Warren has an opt-out on August 28th if he’s not on the Yankees roster by then. If he is healthy by then, it’s expected that he will opt-out if not on the roster. If he’s still recovering, then he would probably conclude his rehabilitation with the organization before making his next decision, if he’s not recalled in September.

Adam Warren is back with the Yankees for a third time and looking to revive his career once he is healthy again.

Former Yankees SS Didi Gregorius shoots back at GM Brian Cashman for lack of attention

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius

Just how badly did the New York Yankees and GM Brian Cashman want star pitcher Gerrit Cole? Just ask shortstop Didi Gregorius who landed on the free-agent market after the Bombers rejected his qualifying offer this offseason.

As per MLB’s Brian Hoch, Gregorius wasn’t all too happy with the way Cashman went about informing him of their dis-interest:

Didi Gregorius stated:
“Cashman made it loud and clear that Cole was their priority. I think he only called once. That was it. Nothing else happened. If that happens, I have to look for a place to play. I was in contact with the Phillies. Everything was good and now I’m here.”

Former Yankees SS Gregorius has a point:

Didi was spot on, Cashman was 100% all-in on signing Cole, considering the lengthy nine-year, $324 million deal the two sides inked last week. Finding a spot for Gregorius on the team never seemed to be a pressing matter, especially with Gleyber Torres waiting in the wings.

Gregorius was the top shortstop option on the market before signing a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, and his price-tag was evidently too high at $14 million. The Yankees will likely move forward with Torres at shortstop and DJ LeMahieu at second base.

The way Cashman went about dealing with one of the more fan-friendly players the Yankees have had in recent years wasn’t ideal. Still, we can only imagine the amount of time it took to solidify and negotiate with Scott Boras regarding Gerrit Cole.

Is Josh Hader Even Viable for the New York Yankees?

New York Yankees, Josha Hader

Rumors are running rampant about whether the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers will finalize a deal for the Yankees to acquire left handed relief pitcher Josh Hader. The deal makes some sense, as the Yankees seem to think that they need to bolster their already strong bullpen with a lefty to compliment Zack Britton. But does it truly work?

Hader’s Stats and the Brewer’s Needs

Hader has put on a strong showing in his 3 years pitching pro ball. But how much more time does he have before he’s completely found out as a relief pitcher? His ERA has been steadily climbing each of the last 3 seasons, his hits allowed are rising, he gave up 15 home runs last season, walked 20, and allowed 22 ER. Did I mention that this guy is the Brewer’s closer? It’s a completely different animal coming in during the 6th inning than the 9th. Even with Chapman’s inconsistencies in October, you’re not trading Hader for his skill set late in games. (baseball-reference.com)

The New York Yankees have players the Brewer’s need. Frazier isn’t needed on the Yankees, and with Yellich’s injury last season, and Braun’s age, the Brewer’s can utilize Clint Frazier brilliantly. I think giving up Miguel Andujar now would be a mistake, as he can be used for a later season trade for someone like Corey Kluber. But after losing Mike Moustakas to rival Cincinnati, getting help at third is something the Brewers would need. Not to mention Tyler Wade/Thairo Estrada can be used to sweeten the deal. But no doubt questions will be asked about Chance Adams, Devi Garcia, or any number of other pitching prospects we have. 

Yes… this is the package the Yankees will need to put together for a 26 year old reliever who’s letting the league catch up to him.

Is It Worth It?

Remember all the racist, homophobic and sexist tweets from Hader’s youth we discovered in 2018? Why pursue someone with that kind of baggage when we could just simply, say, offer Dellin Betances a one year contract to bolster the bullpen? And the package of prospects that the Brewer’s will be demanding, on top of Hader’s seemingly obvious decline, it doesn’t seem worth it now before pitchers and catchers even report. This should be a January deal, at the utmost earliest, if it gets done at all.

New York Knicks finish an encouraging .500 on West Coast road trip

New York Knicks, Mitchell Robinson

The New York Knicks difficult four-game West Coast trip has come to an end.  The Knicks finished 2-2, but should have been 3-1 as they fell to the Nuggets, 111-105.

The Knicks came back from 16-points to take the lead in the 3rd quarter.  This was their first lead in the game since being up 8-6.  The 3rd quarter is usually when the Knicks crumble, but it was them taking control of the game this time.  They outscored the Nuggets 33-20, putting themselves in position to win.  However, they always fall back into isolation basketball at the end.  It was an encouraging lose for the Knicks as they might have not of came back under David Fizdale.

Since taking over the Knicks, Mike Miller has them playing with more energy and a better offensive scheme.  But they still had trouble closing out the game once taking the lead.  Before that, they were playing like a team with good ball movement and pushing the pace in transition.

However in the 4th quarter, the Knicks reverted back to their old ways were it was more isolation than offensive plays.

Despite the loss, the Knicks have looked like a much better team under Miller.  The Nuggets are one of the top teams in the West and the Knicks battled.  If they were able to find to play more as a team down the stretch they could have came away with a win.

The trip was a success for the New York Knicks as they look more like a team under Miller.  Their next game is Tuesday against the Hawks in a very winnable game.  The Hawks have had their fair share of problems recently with team chemistry and the Knicks chemistry is improving.  So, the Knicks have a good chance to get another win in trying to turn their season around.

The New York Jets Should Be In The Market For a Head Coach This Offseason

New York Jets, Adam Gase

The 2019 New York Jets season can be described in several different words/phrases. An “unmitigated disaster” might be harsh, as there’s still the slightest of chances the Jets can salvage a .500 season, but coach Adam Gase will be saddled with a dubious distinction this season.

Since I have been watching the Jets, the first season under a new head coach results in an excellent winning record, with a playoff push. Yea… that won’t happen this season.

Why Gase Should Go

Gase is heralded as a “quarterback whisperer”. Now there have been problems with Sam Darnold’s development this season that was out of Gase’s control (who could have foreseen his mono diagnosis?), but Sam’s development was stalled.

Then there are problems involving all the other players. Jamal Adams threw a hissy fit that was partially directed at coach Gase. Then, there was Kelechi Osemele getting cut due to the dispute the team had with him over whether or not he needed shoulder surgery. There’s the ongoing tiff between Gase and Le’Veon Bell. Bell is disgruntled over how little Gase is utilizing one of, if not the, best running backs in football. Plus, the whole Bell is going out bowling the night before a game, where he was scratched due to the flu, wherein he all but completely voiced his displeasure with Gase.

And then there is Quincy Enunwa. Enunwa tweeted out how much he hated getting fined for missing his team appointed treatments for his injury. Now, Enunwa should have made his treatments, but this is just something that encapsulates how dysfunctional coach Gae’s leadership is for the NY Jets.

But Who Should They Get?

It’s nearly impossible to predict who’s going to be better than coach Gase. There’s no knowing just who would be able to unify the team. Mike McCarthy could do wonders for the team, but we all saw how quickly it all stalled out in Green Bay. Do you want to take a flier on Jason Garrett? I’m not going to speculate on who the best coach would be, but I think it’s evident that Gase’s tenure in New York is going to be wrought with dysfunction and headache for all Jets fans. This is looking a little too much like Freddie Kitchens managing the Browns.

New York Yankees: Matt Blake will take the Yankees to another level

New York Yankees, Larry Rothschild

Besides signing Gerrit Cole, hiring Matt Blake as the new pitching coach to replace Larry Rothschild was the best decision the New York Yankees made this offseason. In comparison to Rothschild, he offers a strong knowledge of analytics and what to add to a pitcher’s repertoire.

Cleveland Indians’ pitcher Shane Beiber credits Blake for his breakout season last year. “He was an integral part of me using my curveball more,” said the All-Star. “Matt had a lot of ideas of how to add that to my repertoire and the pitch had a lot to do with the success I had last year. He worked with me on when to throw it, how to get more spin on it and what counts it was most effective.”

Besides Beiber, Blake is credited to improving Trevor Bauer and Mike Clevinger – two pitchers who are regarded as premier in the Major Leagues.

It seems that since Blake is around the age of most players, he’s able to connect and communicate with players efficiently. Since pitching is pretty much all mental, having that connection with a coach is crucial. You don’t want to be on different pages than the guy whos usually telling you what to throw and how to throw.

Blake also seems stoked about the new job and had this to say about the Yankee pitchers.

“Watching it from across the field in Cleveland, there’s a bevy of really talented pitchers — I think it’ll be interesting to get to know where they are in terms of the things they’re thinking about and the things they’re wanting to work on and improve upon.”

I am especially excited to see Blake work with Gerrit Cole. Cole is already the best pitcher in the MLB and Blake could take him, and the whole rotation, to a new level.

New York Giants: Gettleman finally rears head and is reviled by fans

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

New York Giants general manager has not spoken to the media since training camp. Since then, he’s been in hiding while his team has hit the skids for the third consecutive season.

On Sunday, during the Giants’ 36-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium, Gettleman decide to grace us the fans with his presence, appearing on the field and drawing the ire of the Big Blue fanbase.

Now, I don’t condone guerrilla journalism, but the young man who took this video did not use any foul language and asked the questions many Giant fans feel they are entitled answers to.

Gettleman has not made the Giants a better team since becoming the GM in December of 2017. They have won eight games over the past two seasons and are in danger of finishing last in the NFC East for the third consecutive season.

Requests by the media to speak with Gettleman have been rebuffed, so maybe the fans can get something out of him.

Many of Gettleman’s personnel moves have been baffling to say the least. His 2018 draft class was considered to be a knockout but they’ve all been unimpressive in their second season. His 2019 draft class is almost all out on the field and the jury is still very much out on them, too.

But it is Gettleman’s use of free agent capital, salary cap space and his trades that have most fans questioning his competence. The Leonard Williams trade in October was especially puzzling. Why a last place team would trade draft picks for an impending free agent they are unlikely to re-sign is bonkers.

Then, there are the free agent signings who the smart teams steered clear of: Nate Solder, Jonathan Stewart, et al. Plus the dealing for Alec Ogletree and the decisions to cut ties with other veterans.

Does he deserve to continue down the path here with the Giants? I’m going to say no. The Williams trade illustrated to me that he is out of touch with the league right now.

The Giants are likely to let Pat Shurmur and his staff go but keep Gettleman. In reality, all of them should be fired. They will have over $80 million or so to spend in free agency, but given his recent performance, is Gettleman the guy you want making these decisions?

New York Mets rumors: Noah Syndergaard, Dellin Betances, and more!

New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard

The New York Mets have slowly but surely done their homework when it comes to putting together a competitive team in 2020.

Last week, they went from having a clear need for a fifth starter to boasting one of the most in-depth units in baseball in a span of two days. They secured the services of righties Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello on short-term deals.

They were also busy trying to restructure Yoenis Cespedes’ contract, which they succeeded at. They also had their eye on Pittsburgh’s starting center fielder Starling Marte, although that rumor lost traction.

The Mets were, reportedly, interested in bringing Dellin Betances to bolster the bullpen, but there are other teams in on him, as well.

Here are the New York Mets‘ rumors, news, and facts of the day:

Anthony DiComo: Michael Wacha will earn, at least, $3 million in 2020. However, his contract with the Mets comes with incentives that break down like this:

-$500,000 at 10, 14, 18 starts (or relief outings of 3+ innings pitched to protect against the Mets using openers), then $500,000 more for each start from 20-30. Total: $7 million.

DiComo notes that there’s also up to $1.35 mil in relief pitcher/award bonuses. He can earn more than $10 million if he hits all the incentives and bonuses.

Max Goldstein: The Mets are ranked sixth among the teams with the highest projected wins above replacement (WAR) totals for 2020 according to Fangraphs’ Depth Charts. Here is the full ranking:

  1. Astros (53.8)
  2. Yankees (51.4)
  3. Dodgers (49.9)
  4. Red Sox (47.5)
  5. Rays (44.1)
  6. Mets (43.3)
  7. Angels (43.2)
  8. Athletics (41.3)
  9. Twins (41.2)
  10. Nationals (41.0)

National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum: On this day 37 years ago, the New York Mets were welcoming back Tom Seaver, “The Franchise”, after a stint with the Cincinnati Reds.

Big Blue Unbiased: While the excess in starting pitcher may have lead some to believe that the team would trade one to fill another need or bolster another position, that apparently won’t happen for now. Rumors had, specifically, Noah Syndergaard switching teams but that is “off the table,” per reports.

Syndergaard is a fantastic rebound candidate, and trading him at the moment would be selling low given that other teams may try to point out his 4.28 2019 ERA.