New York Giants: Dave Gettleman Doubles Down On Analytics Promises

The New York Giants need to be a smarter team. That’s clear from the choices that Dave Gettleman made over his first couple of offseasons, which were widely criticized for a number of reasons – looking for big offensive and defensive linemen hasn’t panned out for the Giants as a strategy, and overpaying veteran players who end up not performing has also been a problem during the Gettleman era.

A lot of people have the belief that these problems can be lessened if the Giants focused more on analytics and technology, but that didn’t seem likely with Gettleman at the helm. The belief is that he’s a through and through old school coach who isn’t going to give up his ways anytime soon.

It remains to be seen whether that’s really the case or not, but since his close brush with ending up jobless, Gettleman has made promises to change and make greater use of analytics in the team’s decision making. He brought it up during his first press conference of the offseason, and repeated his intentions to Sports Illustrated more recently.

“We’ve got to re-organize here in terms of making use of technology and analytics, and we’re in the process of that. We’ve got a plan in place. I’ve got to do a better job of that. Like I said, we’re support staff for the coaches. I’ve gotta be better there for them. Obviously, you can always tighten up your evaluation stuff and your scouting, and we’re always doing that,” Gettleman said.

“I completely tore that apart when I got here. You can always be better at your job. I ask myself every day, ‘Have I given the coaches enough players to win with,” he continued. “And as you move forward, you continue to evaluate that stuff, and evaluate yourself.”

It’s hard to argue that Pat Shurmur was a good coach, but it’s also hard to make an argument that Gettleman gave him a good roster to win with last season.

One of the ways Gettleman intends to fix that is by putting more trust in the analytics staff who are already on the team – namely, Tyseer Siam, a little known name who is listed as being a data analyst within the football operations part of the front office.

“We’re gonna look to [Siam] to lead us into a world where we have a robust analytics/technology program,” Gettleman said.

But not everyone is going to just take Gettleman at his word, based on his poor track record through two offseasons. Many believe that he should have been fired, and will have to be convinced through actions rather than words. This upcoming draft and perhaps more importantly, free agency period, will be two crucial points for Gettleman to prove that the front office will make smarter decisions going into his third year.

In any case, the clock is ticking to make improvements after Gettleman barely survived Black Monday with his job. Analytics may just be one area where that can be done.

New York Mets: Walker Lockett Year in Review

Walker Lockett‘s 2019 season with the New York Mets started with necessity. The Mets came into the season with very little quality depth in their pitching staff. Lockett was one of the many Mets pitchers who saw time in the big leagues because the options were weak.

Lockett came to the Mets in the Kevin Plawecki trade, which also brought Sam Haggerty to Flushing. He started the season in the minor leagues and waited until June 20 to make his Mets debut. In his start, he was shelled by the Chicago Cubs for six runs in 2.1 innings pitched.

Back and Forth on the Shuttle

Lockett’s next start against the Phillies started with more success, allowing two runs over his first five innings. In the sixth, he ran out of gas with a 5-2 lead and left with runners on second and third. The bullpen allowed his two baserunners to score, putting a damper on a solid start. Lockett was optioned for Chris Mazza the following day.

His best outing came a month later when he threw five shutout innings against the San Francisco Giants. It was his first major league win, but unfortunately, Lockett went back to Syracuse for Zack Wheeler. His services were needed once again for the second game of a doubleheader on August 5, and he struggled, allowing eight hits and four runs in 4.2 innings pitched.

Bullpen Duty

When the rosters expanded in September, Lockett found himself in the Mets bullpen. He was unsuccessful in the role, allowing six runs in 5.1 innings pitched. Lockett also allowed three home runs in those outings.

Past the current group of six major league starters the Mets have, Lockett seemed to be the next option following them. Spring Training could allow a different name to emerge from the minors, but as of now, Lockett is the option the Mets will call upon. There is very little depth in the Mets starting pitching, and if they can keep their core starters healthy, it will limit the number of appearances Lockett has to make in 2020.


Pitching Repertoire: D, Nothing special with any of his pitches. Fastball is anywhere from 91-95, with a change and curve.

Control: B+, Only 2.4 BB/9, but struggled with curveball and change-up command.

Composure: D-, Six home runs allowed on the season and failed to put guys away in big situations.

Intangibles: A

Overall: F, If it were not for his win against the Giants, his ERA would be even closer, if not over ten.


New York Mets: Tyler Bashlor Year in Review

The hard-throwing Tyler Bashlor could not seem to find his footing during his 2019 New York Mets campaign. Home runs and lack of command derailed an expected progressive year for Bashlor.

Bashlor had to wait a month before earning his call up to the big leagues. He was very effective during his first nine outings, he allowed only one run in 9.1 innings and struck out ten batters. Opposing hitters only batted .097 against Bashlor.

Quick Change of Events

Right when the Mets thought they had something in Bashlor, three of his next four outings results in him allowing runs. When Jeff McNeil came off the Injured List on June 4, the Mets optioned Bashlor. He came back up on July 20 and had a similar stint. Bashlor threw three straight scoreless outings before back to back three-run outings and went back down to Triple-A on August 3.

Bashlor returned during the September roster expansion and struggled with his consistency again. In limited September action, he allowed four runs in 5.2 innings and walked an alarming seven batters.

Bashlor is very interesting for the Mets bullpen in 2020. He has a very live arm and put together outings where he seemed untouchable. His fastball-curveball combination can be downright nasty, but it is control with both of those pitches that will determine if he is major league ready. It will be interesting to see what adjustments he makes with Jeremy Hefner as the pitching coach.


Pitching Repertoire: B, His fastball sits around 95-96 but can touch triple digits. If he can hone in his curveball and changeup, it gives the Mets another weapon in their bullpen.

Control: F, 7.0 BB/9 doubled his 2018 total and was a massive regression. He also relied on his fastball velocity getting outs instead of locating.

Composure: D, Batters hit .385 in high leverage situations, but if he can limit the big innings, he will last longer in the big leagues.

Intangibles: A, He has a lot of confidence in his ability and pitches with swagger. Bashlor will be a weapon if he puts it all together.

Overall: D-, There were some excellent moments for Bashlor, but a lot of improvements have to be made for him to crack the 2020 bullpen.

New York Mets: What could the team receive for the Lowrie-Smith pair?

Prior to last season, the New York Mets traded prized prospects Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn, plus other assets. They took an albatross contract (Robinson Cano) but also received a game-changing reliever in Edwin Diaz. He didn’t quite work out in 2019, but he is talented enough to rebound.

This time around, the Mets are looking to do the opposite. They want to pair a high-priced veteran with a valuable, controllable piece. The intention is to receive something worthwhile in return.

According to the New York Post, the pricey contract is that of Jed Lowrie. He will be 36 soon and missed all but nine games of the 2019 season. He doesn’t have any trade value given that the Mets owe him $10 million in 2020.

Valuable and controllable

The valuable, controllable piece is Dominic Smith. He is out of options but doesn’t have a clear path to consistent playing time. His natural position is first base, but that’s Pete Alonso’s spot. He can also play the outfield but the team has plenty options there, and he isn’t very good defensively.

What he can do is rake. He had a .282/.355/.525 line with 11 home runs, a .880 OPS and a 133 wRC+ in 2019 with the Mets. He has five additional seasons of cheap team control.

Smith is also young at 24 years old. He makes a lot of sense for an American League team, where he could DH, or another club with an open path to playing time in the outfield.

What could the Mets get?

Pairing Smith with Lowrie will give teams plenty of incentive to pull the trigger. They would only need to pay the infielder for 2020, and then, they would have Smith for four years after this season.

The rumors have the Oakland Athletics as a possible landing spot for Lowrie. He played five successful seasons there, including a fantastic 2018 (.267 average, 23 home runs, 99 RBI and 78 runs scored.)

It is unclear which kind of package would the Lowrie-Smith pair fetch. It is highly unlikely that prospects of the Kelenic-Dunn caliber are involved, but the Mets could certainly receive something useful.

The main thing to keep in mind is that while Smith is certainly talented, his defensive value is limited. If he was better with the glove, or more versatile, he would bring a lot more in return. But then again, if that were the case, he would have more avenues to regular or semi-regular playing time with the New York Mets.

New York Giants: A Promising Future Lies Ahead For Dexter Lawrence

New York Giants, Dexter Lawrence

The New York Giants had a disappointing 2019 season that ended with a 4-12 record. This record was bad enough to secure New York an excellent draft pick, 4th overall. This will be the Giants’ third year in a row picking top-six in the NFL Draft.

Last year, the Giants had a crucial draft class. They selected their franchise quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick. On top of that, the Giants had two other first-round draft selections. The Giants’ three first-round picks and eleven total players selected in the 2019 NFL Draft signify a vital draft class in the team’s rebuild.

Dave Gettleman’s 2019 rosters seriously lacked talent. The Giants had not one player selected to the Pro Bowl and not one player receiver a First or Second-Team All-Pro vote. But that is not to say there were no bright spots on this roster. There were quite a few in fact and many of them came out of the 2019 NFL Draft class.

There are plenty of rookies for the Giants to be excited about. Daniel Jones looks the part of a franchise quarterback and Darius Slayton looks to be Jones’s favorite and most promising target. But on the defensive side of the ball, the Giants had one of the league’s top rookies in Dexter Lawrence.

Dexter Lawrence Stats And Highlights

With the seventeenth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected Dexter Lawrence II, a massive interior defensive lineman out of Clemson. Dexter Lawrence is the epitome of Gettleman’s phrase “hog molly.” He stands tall at 6-4 and weighs in at a hefty 340 pounds. And the young man is pretty nimble for his size.

Dexter Lawrence’s 2019 rookie campaign was nothing short of impressive. The Giants’ defensive lineman was as consistent as can be. Dexter received the honor of making Pro Football Focus’s 2019 All-Rookie Team. Here is what PFF had to say about the Giants’ first-round pick out of Clemson:

There were a handful of interior defensive linemen taken in the first round of this past year’s draft, but Lawrence was the only one to put together a season with 500 or more defensive snaps and an overall grade higher than 70.0. He’s been at his best as a run stuffer in the middle of the Giants’ defensive line. Lawrence’s 76.3 run-defense grade ranks 21st among 117 qualifying interior defenders this season. – Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus

Dexter Lawrence was an excellent run-stuffer for the Giants in his rookie season. However, he demonstrated his ability to get after the quarterback, too. Dexter was logged with 2.5 sacks, 9 quarterback hits, and 15 pressures this season. Additionally, his massive stature commands double-team blocks, freeing up pass-rush opportunities for other Giants defenders.

Dexter Lawrence was a consistent and reliable player in his rookie season. He was able to play and start in all 16 games for Big Blue this year. There are holes all over the Giants’ defense, but any hole that might have been open on the defensive line has been quickly and ferociously plugged by Dexter Lawrence.

New York Rangers’ Resolution to Start Games Better Fails; Lose to Flames

New York Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist

Across the board, members of the New York Rangers hockey team stated that they needed to come prepared to play at the beginning of games. This followed the debacle in Edmonton in which the team gave up six goals in the first two periods before a furious rally came up just short. However, that did not happen on Thursday night as the Rangers fell to the Calgary Flames 4-3. Yes, that same Calgary Flames team that had been 0-4-1 in its last five home games.

The New York Rangers have Plenty of Blame to Go Around

In the loss to Edmonton, the poor defensive play was pointed out as one of the main culprits in that game. In Calgary, that was not the case. Sloppy play lead to the first two goals. Poor passing led to Johnny Gaudreau sliding a backhand between Lundqvist’s legs on a breakaway to put Calgary up 1-0 at 4:15 for the first period.

The breakaways were not done as an old nemesis returned to the Ranger power play: too much passing. During a five on three power play, the Rangers passed the puck around multiple times until an errant Tony DeAngelo pass was nabbed by Michael Backlund, who made it 2-0 with another breakaway at 7:16 of the first period.

Not a good way to start a game, especially against a reeling team that had been outscored 22-9 during its five-game home-ice losing streak. A glaring stat from the game was that the line of Artemi Panarin, Ryan Strome, and Jesper Fast were a -3 for the game, so it is not surprising to see where the sloppy, inconsistent play started.  It does not get better as Saturday as the Rangers head to Vancouver to face a Canucks team that has won six straight.

There was some good news for the New York Rangers

The Rangers did bounce back after going down by two goals. Jacob Trouba scored on the power play on that same 5-on-3 to cut the lead to 2-1 at 7:42. Filip Chytil, still with the man advantage, scored on a rebound 25 seconds later to tie it 2-2. Kaapo Kakko had a goal and an assist breaking a scoring drought while Adam Fox had three assists against the team that drafted him.

The New York Yankees have a stud infielder rising through the ranks

New York Yankees

The same program that produced DJ LeMahieu years ago has once again birthed a fantastic young prospect in New York Yankees second-round pick from 2019, Josh Smith.

The LSU product had a fantastic first season as a senior, slashing .346/.433/.533, leading his team in all three categories. However, his first season with the Yankees’ Low-A ball team was even more impressive (.324/.450/.477). All of his college numbers came among one of the best divisions, often referred to as the toughest competition from talent scouts, the Southeastern Conference.

Smith’s appeal transferred nicely over to the Yankees’ NY-Penn League team, and he’s one of those pesky young infielders that could climb the ranks rather quickly. As a lefty bat, Smith brings diversity to the batting order and offers the Bomber’s an option down the line if they so choose. We can assume he won’t reach the MLB for a few years, but he’s a young star to keep an eye on.

Where does Josh Smith play for the New York Yankees?

The Yanks have Smith featuring in the shortstop position elusively for Staten Island, but he has the versatility to play in numerous spots as a utility option. In college, he played at third base, and scouts even considered him a second base option. The diversity of his defensive abilities makes him an even more attractive prospect, and the Bombers could move him around to help develop his attributes.


Age: 22

Bats/Throws L/R

5’10″ / 172lbs.

MLB Pipeline Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45

MLb Pipeline stated… “makes consistent contact from the left side of the plate, using the entire field and managing the strike zone. He has solid raw power and drives the ball enough to hit 15 or more homers on an annual basis, and he also has solid to plus speed and knows how to use it on the bases.”

Smith’s instincts also are apparent on defense, giving him a chance to stay at shortstop even if many scouts project him as a second baseman in the Majors. He provides steady glovework at shortstop with reliable hands and enough arm to make the necessary throws. He may not have a true plus tool, but he has no obvious holes in his game and should become at least a utilityman.

At just 22-years-old, Smith can rise through the ranks quickly. Keep a close eye on him throughout the 2020 season, as he could end up in High-A ball similar to Deivi Garcia’s progression in 2019.

Yankees news, rumors: JA Happ update, Domingo German suspended 81 Total Games, Jacoby Ellsbury situation

New York Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury

JA Happ has been the topic of the majority of Yankees trade rumors, other than Miguel Andujar, of course. For JA Happ the previous season and a half with the Yankees have certainly been an interesting ride, there is still value there with him and his abilities — however, offloading the $17,000,000 he is due this upcoming season is going to be tricky. The Yankees, while already over the $208 million luxury tax threshold, are wanting to attempt to cut costs at any lengths necessary, especially as there are potential contract years coming up for Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez in the near future.

The 2019 JA Happ that was seen on the mound was nothing close to his former self. When acquired by the Yankees in the summer of 2018, he was absolutely lights out — as he pitched to the tune of a 2.69 ERA across 63.1 IP with the Yankees (and although W/L Record means nothing, he did go 7-0). 2019, was the complete opposite, as he finished the season with an ERA of 4.91, and saw his K/9 drastically fall from the season prior (9.78 in 2018, to 7.81 in 2019)

However, the biggest discrepancy for Happ is his FIP. Despite his incredible run with NYY in 2018, the FIP to his 2.69 ERA was 4.21, and last year his 4.91 ERA was paired with a 5.22 FIP. If a word were to describe Happ’s 2019 performance, especially after signing the two-year extension, it would have to be “Bleak”. With that being said, Cashman is looking to ship him off, as the Yankees look to slot in Jordan Montgomery — or even Jonathan Loaisiga — in at the fifth spot of the rotation. Look for Happ to likely be traded prior to Spring, as he still has some value and is an innings-eater if anything (at least 160.0 IP the last two years).

Possible suitors for Happ:

Los Angeles Dodgers — would be interesting since they’ve always been viewed as the ‘West Coast Yankees’, but NYY would likely need to include a prospect to ship off Happ’s contract.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim — the other Los Angeles team, or excuse me Anaheim, also are still actively searching for another starting pitcher to improve their lacking rotation — despite the signing of Julio Teheran.

Domingo German Suspension Details

Domingo German has been officially suspended a total of 81 games, due to the domestic abuse allegations against him. For more information on the suspension itself, check out ESM’s own, Alexander Wilson’s piece on him.

However, I’d like to mainly discuss the effect this has on both German and the Yankees moving forward, briefly. I do personally have an issue with how the MLB handles all these dispute cases, as they just like to slap a suspension on and wash their hands with it. If German truly does have these personality issues and is viewed as a threat to others — and ultimately, in turn, himself — why not try to work with the Yankees and get him professional help, or counseling? Instead, the MLB decides to suspend him for a very lengthy suspension, while Addison Russell only got a 40 game suspension for his incident back in 2018. My problem is that the MLB chooses to take their stance by simply taking away these players’ incomes and essentially firing them — temporarily (yes, I know that’s how suspensions work) — and then by moving on from it. How that helps anyone, is beyond me, however, I do not condone domestic violence, nor what German did, in any way.

Ultimately, he made the decision to act out and hurt his image and in turn negatively reflect the New York Yankees as well. With that being said, I truly hope he can right his wrongs and get the help he may need. The Yankees without German have lost a big weapon in their rotation, and when he comes back in likely June or July, I believe, that will be a massive boost to hopefully, an already solid season by that point.

Jacoby Ellsbury and the MLBPA vs the Yankees

Now it’s no secret that everyone that bleeds pinstripes wants Jacoby Ellsbury to just be done playing baseball altogether, but unfortunately for Yankees fans — and baseball fans — he and the MLBPA are in deep with the Yankees.

The Yankees claim that Ellsbury had received unauthorized treatment in Atlanta, during his injury rehabilitation this last season. Jacoby denies such allegations and says that the treatment was for an injury non-baseball related, thus seemingly finding the loophole within the contract he signed. The Yankees then withheld the $26,000,000 he was owed and said that since he violated the terms of their agreement, that that money is no longer guaranteed.  Thus, the MLBPA — in tandem with Ellsbury — have filed a grievance case against the Yankees, as of two weeks ago.

It’ll be an interesting story to follow over the next few weeks — if not months, at the rate its progressing —  and if the Yankees are found to be in the right, that will be a massive amount of money coming off the books this coming year. However, if the Yankees are just trying to pinch pennies at every corner possible, and in turn are exploiting and making Ellsbury out to be worse than he is, that is where the situation gets sticky.

Keep an eye out for more information in the coming weeks.

The Yankees emptied the stands in one of the most iconic moments in baseball history

On a cold autumn night on October 14, 1976, the fifth game of a winner take all ALCS game, the game would be at a standstill in the bottom of the ninth. Kansas City relief pitcher Mark Littell would be taking warm up tosses, Yankee public address announcer Bob Sheppard was cautioning the crowd of over 58,000 about throwing debris onto the playing field. The game had already been stopped several times for bottles, firecrackers, beer cans, and rolls of toilet paper being thrown from the stands, all while Yankee first baseman Chris Chambliss waited in the cold. The delay prevented Littell from staying loose, and interfered with his rhythm. Finally, at 11:13 PM, Chambliss stepped into the batters box, and home-plate umpire Art Frantz yelled “Play ball.” Littell would throw Chris a high fastball that Chambliss would smash over the right field wall, for a walk off win and one of the most iconic moments in baseball history, as the Yankee fans emptied onto the field.
There were so many people on the field and blocking home plate that Chambliss wasn’t actually sure he stepped on the plate. Discussing it with Graig Nettles, Nettles suggested he go back out and step on home plate so that the umpires wouldn’t say he missed the plate, and not count the run. Chambliss borrowed a police raincoat as a disguise and returned to the filed and stepped on home plate, that sealed the deal.
Carroll Christopher Chambliss was born December 26, 1948, in Dayton, Ohio. Chris was the third son of Reverend Carroll and Christine Chambliss. Being a Navy Chaplain they lived in several cities, finally ending up in Oceanside, California, where Chris attended high school, playing both shortstop and first base on the varsity baseball team. He and his three other brothers attended Mira Costa Jr. College. In 1967 and 1968 he would be drafted by the Reds, but instead attended UCLA. There he played for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots, helping the team capture the National Baseball Congress Championship, which culminated with a 5-1 win over Liberal, Kansas. Chris hit .583 during the NBC Tournament and was named the Most Valuable Player.
In the January 1970 draft, the Cleveland Indians picked Chris with the first pick in the first round and assigned him to their affiliate in Wichita of the American Association, Cleveland’s top farm team. Chris earned Rookie of the Year honors while at Wichita, becoming the first freshman to win the batting title, posting a .342 average. He would make his major league debut in 1971, and in 111 games hit would bat to a .275 average with nine home runs. After two more successful seasons with the Indians he would be traded to the Yankees, after seventeen games at the start of the 1974 season after hitting .328 so far that year. While with the Yankees Chambliss would be an excellent defender at his position on first and a Gold Glover.
In 1976 and 1977 he would hit 17 home runs and be an All-Star and two time MVP nominee. 1976 was also the year in the post season that he hit his famous walk off homer. 1976 is also the year that George Steinbrenner would bright pitcher Don Gullett, Bucky Dent, Oscar Gamble and Reggie Jackson to the team. Jackson was signed against manager Billy Martin’s objections. Martin was noticeably absence when the Yankees introduced Jackson to the press. At one time Martin would say Jackson may be Mr. October, but Chris Chambliss is Mr. Season. The Yankees would win the ALCS from Kansas City and the World Series from the Dodgers in 1977 and in 1978.
After the 1979 season the Yankees would be looking for a qualified catcher to replace Thurman Munson that had died in a plane crash, and would trade Chambliss to the Atlanta Braves where he would play out the last seven years of his 17 year career, while being a MVP nominee once again. He finished his Yankee career hitting .282 with 79 home runs and 454 RBI’s.
Chris now 70, and his wife Audry reside in Alpharetta, Georgia. They had a son Russell who played in the Yankee farm system until he quit to become a teacher. Chris was a hitting coach for a time with the Atlanta Braves. in 1989 he became manager of the double A London Tigers. He had been considered several times to manage in the majors by the Mets, Dodgers, White Sox and the Diamondbacks, but was never hired. He finished his career in baseball coaching for the Seattle Mariners in 2012 at the age of 64. He will be forever remembered for the blast that emptied the stands at Yankee Stadium.


New York Giants news, 1/3 – The truth behind the Daniel Jones pick is surprising

New York Giants, Daniel Jones, Pat Shurmur

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

As the New York Giants grew closer to the 2019 NFL Draft, reports of Daniel Jones being their selection plastered the headlines. To no avail, the plead of Giants fans didn’t reach ownership, who took Jones anyway with the 6th overall pick. So far, it seems as if the Twitter GMs and Facebook co-owners were wrong, meaning Dave Gettleman was right, or so we thought.

During an interview with Joe and Evan on Thursday afternoon, Gettleman gave former head coach Pat Shurmur credit for Jones’ selection, stating that he pushed for him until they had no choice. Shurmur, who’s known as the quarterback whisperer around the league, might have gifted the Giants with their next franchise quarterback, but his skills as a play-caller and HC diminished with the progression of Jones.

The fact that Shurmur was “enamored” with Jones proves one thing, Gettleman might not have drafted as well as some believed, considering some of the picks seem to be attributed to others. Jones was Shurmur’s pick, and the selection was used to justify Gettleman keeping his job. It’s hard to imagine the re-inventing of the back end of the organization — team psychologist, and a couple of software engineers — proved Gettleman’s worth.

The 2020 offseason is a significant one for the New York Giants, who are in search of several key pieces on both sides of the ball. They will have approximately $80+ million in cap space and assets in the draft to spend. If the team doesn’t take a significant step forward next season, Gettleman will undoubtedly be out of time.


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