New York Giants: Saquon Barkley Speaks On Bouncing Back

It’s been an up and down season for New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, who went out injured early in the year and struggled with missing time and having slow performances after his return, but Barkley finally started to recover against the Miami Dolphins and had his first game with more than 100 yards since his injury.

It wasn’t the best performance in the world but it was markedly better than Barkley’s performances in his initial games after coming back, and one of the first games this season where he’s looked comparable to the same player that he was last year. Coincidentally, this game was also the first win in weeks for the Giants, which demonstrates a point that this season has driven home: when Barkley performs, the Giants tend to perform.

What did Barkley himself have to say about the performance and his recovery process?

One of the main things that he spoke on was the running style that he used, with more shorter rushes rather than the kind of explosive big gains that he’s known for.

“That’s part of being a running back, that’s part of a running game. That’s what I’ve been kind of preaching saying we haven’t gotten to that yet. Not saying I’m pointing fingers as to why we haven’t, it was more of the reason just the game and having an opportunity for it,” Barkley said on Thursday.

The Giants did perform well enough in the running department however for Barkley to pick up an important two touchdowns. He exceeded his touchdown total in any of the previous games of the season, only having two for the season coming into this game – a stat that shows just how much the earlier injury affected Barkley before now.

“The O-line did a great job creating holes and stopping penetration and having movement. Coaches made great calls, put me in the right spots, and I go some one on ones. Obviously, you don’t win them all, but I won more than I lost. I don’t think we had one run over 12 yards, so it was more of just grind and pound and efficient gain,” Barkley continued.

We’ll see just how Barkley’s recovery continues as the Giants take on the Washington Redskins on Sunday. The Giants have decided to not shut him down for the season, meaning he’ll still have a couple of games left to continue his bounce back from some of his worse performances this year.

Will it result in the Giants picking up another win that may endanger their draft hopes and their hunt for the number two pick? We’ll see on Sunday.

New York Giants vs Washington Redskins Week 16: The Chase Young Bowl

Will the New York Giants draft Chase Young in 2020?

The New York Giants are tied for last in the NFC East with a 3-11 record. The Giants are tied with the Washington Redskins. New York also currently owns the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, despite having the same record as Washington and Miami.

The Giants played the Miami Dolphins last week and gained their third victory of the season and tying the two teams’ records. Despite this, the New York Giants still own the second overall pick in the draft because they have the weakest strength of schedule. But this week, the Giants have another key matchup with significant draft implications.

The Giants vs. Redskins Tank Bowl

The Giants and Redskins face off this week in an ultimate tank bowl. The team that loses will more than likely end up with the higher draft pick in April. If the Giants beat the Redskins in Week 16, then Washington’s record will be worse than New York’s, giving them ownership of the second overall pick. If the Giants lose, they all but cement themselves as the owner of the second overall pick.

The loser of this game is the long-term winner in the draft sweepstakes for the Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young. Chase Young is an electrifying player and 2020’s top draft prospect. Whoever ends up losing this game will get the first chance to draft Ohio State’s next NFL superstar. Of course, the team with the second overall pick could pass on Chase Young for a different position of need, but since both Washington and New York need a pass-rusher, it is hard to imagine either of these teams passing up on the draft’s best player.

Chase Young: The Best Player In The Draft

Chase Young will be one of those elite prospects that meet a position of need for either one of these teams. Through 11 games in his 2019 junior season, Chase Young has been a record-breaker. He has totaled 16.5 sacks, setting a new single-season sack record for Ohio State University.

Chase Young gets in the backfield at an insanely high frequency. He has been the most consistent down-to-down pass-rusher in the country and was a Heisman Finalist. According to Pro Football Focus, Chase Young recorded 51 pressures with a 27.6% pass-rush win rate (1st in the nation) and an 18.8% pressure rate. Young has also forced 7 fumbles and defended 3 passes. His 96.7 overall Pro Football Focus grade is one of the highest grades they have ever given.

There will be a higher number of Giants fans cheering for a loss this week than usual. This week’s matchup has significant draft implications, and they all revolve around Chase Young. If he does declare for the draft (which he is expected to, despite him stating otherwise), then he will be the dream pick for either of these teams. Chase Young could be the player to turn a team around. So, to those fans that refuse to cheer for a loss, do not judge those who do so this week. It is all in hopes of landing a franchise-changing player.

New York Mets: High Expectation from Yoenis Cespedes

Many questions are surrounding New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. It has been almost two years since he last played, and the Mets have turned him into a forgotten man. Mets managerial candidate and ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez spoke to Cespedes about what he expects for the 2020 season, and it was safe to say he projected a high ceiling for himself.

52 home runs? That quiet a feat which would be more than three-quarters of the amount he has hit during his entire Mets career. The focus should be getting through 52 games before he sets his sight on any statistical achievements. It has been apparent the talent was always there, but he has not been able to stay healthy.

It Won’t Be Easy

The reality is, Cespedes is going into his age-34, coming of going almost two full seasons without playing and sits behind J.D. Davis, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, and Jeff McNeil on the corner outfield depth chart. Some of those names may occupy center field or third base, which could open up a better opportunity for consistent playing time.

Cespedes will come into Spring Training with as much to prove as a non-roster invitee. The Mets certainly would welcome a fully healthy Cespedes who is performing at his 2015 version of himself. It will be a long process for Cespedes to return to form, but he has always been a player with incredible natural ability. In a contract year, we should expect to see an excellent of Cespedes, if his health complies.

New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is “drawing trade interest”

New York Mets, Yeonis Cespedes

New York Mets’ outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who is currently rehabbing from surgery on both of his heels and a fractured right ankle, is reportedly drawing trade interest.

According to Anthony DiComo, teams asked the Mets about Cespedes’ availability. The report comes in the heels of an agreement between the club and the 34-year-old on a contract amendment.

He was going to command a $29.5 million salary for the 2020 season, but after he fell into a hole at his ranch back in May, that will no longer be the case. Instead, the guaranteed amount of the deal will be less than $10 million. He can earn more in incentives and bonuses.

The Mets’ newest trade chip

The fact that he won’t command such a hefty salary makes him more attractive to potential suitors. However, Cespedes last played in 2018, and even then, he had an abbreviated season.

That year, he hit .262 with 20 runs scored, 9 home runs, 29 runs batted in, 3 steals, and a.821 OPS. For his career, Cespedes accumulates a .274/.328/.498 line with 163 home runs and 524 RBI. He has a career 124 wRC+ and 21.5 fWAR.

The Cuban slugger has been with the Mets since the 2015 season.

While it isn’t clear when he will be ready to return to the highest level, he is working for it. He is already taking batting practice and recently began a running program. He is also throwing, so step by step, he is getting closer.

However, the New York Mets’ general manager Brodie Van Wagenen doesn’t know if he’ll contribute in 2020. For now, it appears that other teams are kicking the tires to see what would it take to acquire Cespedes in a trade.

Cespedes’ trade value isn’t particularly high, but it appears he can fetch something for the Mets.

DiComo didn’t mention which teams are asking about Cespedes.

New York Yankees showing interest in lefty hitter from the Mets

New York Yankees are looking into New York Mets' Joe Panik.

The New York Yankees could have a problematic offense with the lack of lefty hitter infused into the hitting order. However, Buster Olney of ESPN has reported that they could be interested in Mets’ Joe Panik.

Olney stated:

As the Yankees explore ways to have more left-handed balance on their roster, one option they’ve discussed — among others — is adding Joe Panik in free agency, to be part of their infield mix.

Panik played in 142 games last season, logging 491 at-bats with five homers and 39 RBIs. His offensive production isn’t noteworthy, but he has potential and can be of use for a Yankees team looking for reserves. During the first half of the 2019 season with the San Francisco Giants, Panik was defensively stout, earning a .992 field percentage over 90 games at second base.

What are the Yankees looking for in Joe Panik?

The Yankees are looking at him as a reserve infielder with an optimistic bat. With Tyler Wade and Thairo Estrada waiting in the wings, this would be a low-risk move to add some diversity to the batting order. Alternatively, they could focus on a power hitter that would reinforce the homer-run centric mentality the Yankees feature nowadays. Kyle Schwarber of the Chicago Cubs fits the bill, but he would need to be packaged in a trade, and GM Brian Cashman is unwilling to give up top prospects for a player that wouldn’t start.

The Yankees currently only have four lefties on the roster, none of which are expected to start in 2020 except for Brett Gardner while Aaron Hicks recovers from Tommy John surgery. Aside from Gardner, the Bombers retained Mike Tauchman, Mike Ford, and Wade. Adding another player is necessary, and we should anticipate some movement in the following days.

The Yankees are building out a strong girth of utility players

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

A team only goes as far as its depth, and the Yankees saw that statement come alive in 2019 as a majority of their starters spent time on injured reserve. The outfield was riddled with the injury bug, and it eventually made its way down in the infield and pitching units. Even catcher Gary Sanchez picked up another groin/hamstring ailment that forced him out for quite some time. Factor in Domingo German’s suspension, and maybe it was just bad luck after all.

Reaching 103 wins on the season in 2019 was no fluke; it was the product of adequate coaching and supplementing of injuries through utility players. However, the emergence of several newcomers undoubtedly helped the cause. Options like Cameron Maybin and Gio Urshela helped compensate for the lengthy absences of Miguel Andujar and Aaron Hicks. Urshela is the only one of the two to be considered a long-term option, considering his age and defensive nature on the hot corner.

The Yankees learned a valuable lesson in 2019:

You better believe GM Brian Cashman is stockpiling players in preparation for another injury-riddled campaign, which is why he re-signed Brett Gardner to a one-year, $12.5 million deal with a second-year option. They also have Tyler Wade, Mike Tauchman,  DJ LeMahieu, and Clint Frazier, who can move around the outfield and infield to help cover if need be.

LeMahieu is the only one of the five players mentioned that will feature in a starting role. Still, he spent time at every infield position in 2020, giving the Yanks an excellent utility option if any injuries occur. His .327 batting average, 26 homers, and 102 RBIs earned him All-Star privileges but finished 4th in the MVP race. Defensively, his worst fielding percentage was .963 at third base, where he played 53 games. Previously, he had only played 41 total games over the past eight seasons at the hot corner. LeMahieu also displayed his elite qualities at second and first base, logging not lower than a .992 fielding percentage, begging the question — should the Yankees keep him at first?

Cashman has done a stellar job filling utility positions with quality players who can jump into starting roles without missing a beat. They will also mitigate fatigue to ensure the regular starters remain healthy. I expect Tauchman and Wade to get plenty of work during the 2020 season. Andujar, on the other hand, could see a DH role while Urshela manages the defensive duties.

Comparing the New York Mets’ rotation with the rest of the National League

New York Yankees, Marcus Stroman

According to Fangraphs’ Depth Chart projections, the New York Mets have the third best rotation in all baseball. The unit as a whole has a 18.1 projected WAR, a number that only the Washington Nationals (19.2) and the New York Yankees (19.1) can surpass.

How does the Mets’ rotation measure up against other top units in the National League? Well, pretty good, actually.

For this exercise, we will use the Steamer 2020 projections instead of the Depth Charts.

What does Steamer think of the New York Mets’ rotation?

Now, the Steamer system makes several important assumptions that we will use to project some of the teams’ rotations for this exercise. For example, it assumes that Rick Porcello and Steven Matz will both be in the Mets’ rotation, while Michael Wacha will be a reliever/spot starter.

Steamer also thinks that Sean Newcomb will be the Atlanta Braves’ fifth starter over talented youngsters like Kyle Wright or Bryse Wilson; and that both Luke Weaver and Mike Leake will be in the Arizona D-backs’ rotation at the expense of Merrill Kelly or Alex Young.

Also, we are only considering the project rotation. Injuries happen, as do ineffectiveness, spot starts, double-headers, suspensions, and other circumstances that force teams to alter their plans and give starts to additional pitchers other than the top five arms.

These are the five best-looking rotations in the National League so far:

Washington Nationals (Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, Anibal Sanchez, Joe Ross.) Projected WAR as a unit: 17.6

New York Mets (Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz, Rick Porcello.) Projected WAR as a unit: 17.3

Cincinnati Reds (Luis Castillo, Trevor Bauer, Sonny Gray, Anthony DeSclafani, Wade Miley.) Projected WAR as a unit: 15.6

Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Kenta Maeda, Julio Urias, Ross Stripling.) Projected WAR as a unit: 14.7

Chicago Cubs (Yu Darvish, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana, Jon Lester, Tyler Chatwood.) Projected WAR as a unit: 12.2

The reigning World Series champs get the slight edge over the Mets. Scherzer, Strasburg, and Corbin all project comfortably over 4.0 fWAR each.

The Mets’ unit is very strong, and if Matz or Porcello falters, they have Wacha locked and loaded. In fact, it isn’t unclear what the team will do with their rotation. For all we know, they might go with all six. The only locks appear to be deGrom, Thor and Stroman.

The Reds have put together a sneaky-good rotation, with at least three players projected to surpass 3.5 fWAR in Castillo, Bauer and Gray.

Here are the rotations of the rest of the teams in the NL East:

Atlanta Braves (Mike Foltynewicz, Mike Soroka, Cole Hamels, Max Fried, Sean Newcomb.) Projected WAR as a unit: 11.6

Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Jake Arrieta, Zach Eflin, Vince Velasquez.) Projected WAR as a unit: 10.6

Miami Marlins (Pablo Lopez, Caleb Smith, Sandy Alcantara, Jordan Yamamoto, Elieser Hernandez.) Projected WAR as a unit: 7.6

It is fair to say that the New York Mets are in very good position.

Last 4 games, New York Knicks go from last to first in Offensive Efficiency

New York Knicks, Elfrid Payton
The New York Knicks season seems like it could be turning around for the better.  However, the Knicks do have some tough tests upcoming with at Miami then Milwaukee.
But, the Knicks are 3-1 in their last four games.  Yes, the 3 wins are against under .500 teams but a win’s a win especially how this season started.
During that stretch, the Knicks lead the NBA in Offensive Efficiency.  They’re averaging 119.0 points per 100 possessions under Mike Miller.  In second place, the Bucks at 118.7, who they play Saturday.
The last time the Knicks faced off against the Bucks it was one of the worst outings fans have ever seen.  The game was over as soon as the ball went up in the air.  Can this time be different?  Possibly because the Knicks do look different under Miller.
When David Fizdale was the coach, the Knicks were last in the league at Offensive Efficiency at 101.9.  Even though the players said they backed Fizdale, it’s clear the team is more ‘a team’ under Miller.
It’s a very small sample size, 6 games, and fans shouldn’t make Miller out to be the savior just yet.  Knicks fans finally have something to be excited about even if it’s for a short period of time.
This season has been a rollercoaster and the Knicks are actually starting to scratch the surface of this teams potential under Miller.  The talent is there, it’s just about execution and ball movement which seems to be improving, for now.
They had chances to win their game last Sunday against one of the best teams in the West, Denver Nuggets.  Now they take on the two best teams in the East and fans will truly see new what these new and improved New York Knicks are made of.

News Around The New York Yankees Empire

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone, Gerrit Cole

If you’re aNew York Yankees fan, things have been more busy the last 48-72 hours. So here’s a quick rundown on everything that happened in that time span:

Welcome to New York New Guy!

Gerrit Cole was officially introduced today. A lifelong Yankee fan, he seemed to understand all that was to be expected of him, and seemed to relish at the prospect of pitching meaningful games in September/October. Oh, and it was revealed that he was going to wear 45.

Honor Thy Brother

So what does that mean for Luke Voit, the Yankees first baseman who wore 45 the last year and a half? He announced on social media that he was going to change to 59. The significance? That was the number his brother wore playing football for West Point.

Second Chance Elsewhere

In order to make room for Gerritt Cole, Chance Adams was designated for assignment. Not to kick a guy when he’s down, but a career minor leaguer who’s been mediocre at best on the big league level (1-2 with an ERA over 8 on the big league schedule, as opposed to 39-16 with 3.12 in the minors), he was an obvious choice. Now, if only they can only move JA Happ with some expediency, all would be right in the world.

Hello Old Friend

The New York Yankees have resigned Adam Warren for his third go around in the Bronx. He hasn’t started much since 2015, but he’s a long inning reliever with a history of starting games. Stretching him out in spring training would be no problem whatsoever.

Oh The Trade Rumors

It’s hard to keep in check the number of trade rumors and free agent signings the Yankees are involved in. So a brief rundown of the rumors involving the Yankees:

Francisco Lindor is still linked to the New York Yankees in trade rumors. The package that the Yankees would need to surrender for Lindor would be astronomical.

Brock Holt is rumored to be in talks with the Yankees. The free agent utility player would be overkill for a team already with Thairo Estrada and Tyler Wade.

The Yankees are still in talks with the Brewers over Josh Hader. You know my stance. Next.

The Rangers are interested in trading for Miguel Andujar. The Rangers have no one to offer. If you decide to trade Andujar, wait for the deadline.

And that’s a quick rundown of all the things happening in the Yankees universe.

New York Mets rumors: Lindor, the “King,” MLB’s top arm, and more!

New York yankees, Francisco Lindor

Good morning, fans! Thursday is full of rumors, rumblings, news, and related developments in regard to the New York Mets.

Here are the New York Mets’ most interesting rumors and links:

MLB.com: Jason Catania, Thomas Harrigan and Andrew Simon of MLB.com did a fun exercise. They explored six trade possibilities for Cleveland Indians’ star Francisco Lindor.

One of those avenues was a hypothetical trade with the New York Mets. They wrote that, to get Lindor, they would have to give up fellow shortstop Amed Rosario, third base prospect Brett Baty, pitching prospect David Peterson, and IF/OF J.D. Davis.

Could it be possible? Would the Indians take that? If so, the Mets should really explore the proposal.

Jon Heyman: According to Heyman, Felix Hernandez is receiving interest from Major League teams and will continue to “evaluate opportunities into the new year.” He also stated he is excited to pitch in 2020.

While the top six arms in the New York Mets’ rotation are very good, the outlook is a little bleaker after that. Good, contending teams should have at least eight legitimate starting options in the organization.

Would the “King” make sense for the Mets? At this point, it is looking likely that the only thing he would command is a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training, or not much beyond that. He is worth a shot in that kind of deal. He was bad in 2018 and 2019 (5.55 and 6.40 ERA) but was decent in 2017 (4.36) and could resurrect his career in the National League.

MLB Trade Rumors: After Gerrit Cole’s introduction, the Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone said they now have “arguably the game’s best starter.” Is that true? Who else can enter the argument? Certainly, one of the candidates is Mets’ two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom.

MLB Trade Rumors also listed Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and an “Other” option and made a poll. To vote, follow the link.