New York Giants: Daniel Jones In Good Hands With New QB Coach

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants have a new quarterbacks coach this season to help guide along their second year starter Daniel Jones, and this season there’s no Eli Manning to fall back on if Jones happens to struggle – but based on the reviews so far, it looks like Jones is in good hands when it comes to the QB coach position. The man that the Giants hired is Jerry Schuplinski, and as the assistant quarterbacks coach for the Patriots from 2016-2018, Schuplinski is one of the staff members who helped play a role in the rise of current 49ers starter Jimmy Garoppolo.

Garoppolo, in fact, gave shining praise of Schuplinski when speaking to Newsday during the buildup to the Super Bowl.

“Thinking back on everything, I owe him so much. Jerry was there for everything from the minute I got to the Patriots. He was kind of my quarterback coach in a way… I mean, he started with me from day one with the Patriots,” Garoppolo stated. “He’s a great guy at simplifying things, taking a complicated offense and simplifying it for a quarterback. I think that’s crucial and he did a great job of that when I was in New England. I know he did that with Jacoby [Brissett] too.”

He went on to call it a great hire for the Giants.

The Giants have had a string of coaching staffs that haven’t been able to get the most out of the offense. Despite being ‘offensive’ coaches, Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur tended to fail at consistently keeping performances high in those areas and getting the full value out of the talent the Giants have.

The organization and head coach Joe Judge in specific seem to be trying to reverse that trend by making better hires across the board – as the one working most with quarterbacks, Schuplinski might be one of the most important out of the hires following the appointment of Judge as head coach.

It’s also too early to say how Jones will work with Schuplinski but there’s reason to have some optimism – Garoppolo seems to think highly enough of him, and he is one of the two quarterbacks left standing in the Super Bowl after all.

The New York Mets didn’t need to trade for Starling Marte

Simeon Woods-Richardson

On Monday, the New York Mets found out that they wouldn’t be able to acquire Starling Marte anymore. The outfielder had been an enticing trade target for the entire offseason. However, the Pittsburgh Pirates decided to go another route instead of dealing him to Flushing.

The Bucs agreed to a trade sending Marte to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for a pair of teenagers: shortstop Liover Peguero and right-hander Brennan Malone.

While Marte would have meant an upgrade in center field, he didn’t represent a pressing need for the Mets.
The team has several outfielders in the roster. Granted, only two of them can play an adequate center field – Jake Marisnick and Brandon Nimmo, while Michael Conforto has done it in the past – but the acquisition cost for Marte would have hurt.

The Mets did well to stay put

Neither Peguero nor Malone are considered top-100 prospects, but they are two solid pieces with considerable upside that can be big league contributors in the future. While the Mets’ farm isn’t as drained and depressing as some may believe, those kind of players do not abound in the system.

It sure would have been nice to have Marte’s bat in the top of the lineup. He, after all, had a career-year in 2019. The speedy outfielder hit .295/.342/.503 with 23 home runs, 97 runs scored, 82 RBI and 25 steals. He had a 119 wRC+ and 3.0 fWAR. But was it worth giving up multiple young, controllable pieces in return?

Centering a deal for the 31-year old Marte around the 26-year old Brandon Nimmo wasn’t a very good idea. The reports don’t specify it, but it sounds like Nimmo was the Pirates’ primary ask for the star center fielder.

Nimmo is a career .254/.387/.440 hitter with a 130 wRC+. Marte’s career wRC+ is 116. Marisnick is the superior defender of the three, and while he isn’t a particularly good batter, he can at least hit lefties.

The New York Mets have the pieces to compete. Nimmo and Marisnick can share center while Michael Conforto handles right field and J.D. Davis and Yoenis Cespedes (if healthy) man left. They didn’t need Starling Marte.

New York Giants: Byron Jones A Top Free Agent Target In The Secondary

The New York Giants have been rebuilding their secondary. Last offseason, the Giants invested heavily into their secondary during the 2019 NFL Draft. New York spent three of their draft picks on defensive backs in the draft (four if counting Sam Beal).

2019 was a step in the right direction for the Giants’ secondary. However, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. The Giants’ pass defense ranked fifth-worst in the NFL this season allowing 264.1 passing yards per game.

This offseason, the Giants need to prioritize rebuilding their secondary again. They are estimated by Spotrac to have over $69 million in cap space before they start trimming the fat and cutting veteran contracts. This gives New York the capability to sign big-name free agents in the secondary.

Luckily, there is one superstar cornerback that is set to hit the market in 2020. The Dallas Cowboys’ cornerback Byron Jones will be one of the most highly-coveted cornerbacks in the 2020 free agency period, and he should be one of the Giants’ top targets.

Byron Jones Stats and Highlights

The Giants’ division-rival Byron Jones is one of the best cornerbacks in the league. At 27-years-old, Byron would be a perfect addition to the Giants’ youthful defense.

Byron Jones is a versatile cornerback that makes a significant impact in pass coverage. He has experience playing both safety and cornerback at the professional level and has done both exceptionally well. Jones is 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. He’s a large-bodied cornerback with peak physicality to cover larger receivers and tight ends

The 27-year old defensive back out of Connecticut spent his first five seasons with the division-rival Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are in a bit of trouble regarding their salary cap. They just paid Ezekiel Elliot and Demarcus Lawrence, and they still have not paid Dak Prescott. New head coach Mike McCarthy will have some tough decisions to make regarding the team’s impending free agents, and he might have to let some big names walk out the door. Byron Jones could be one of those big names to depart.

According to Pro Football Focus, Jones had a forced incompletion rate of 15.1%, which ranked 22nd among corners through Week 17, and he held opponents to a 22nd-ranked 11.0 yards per reception. Jones has also tallied 20 passes defended over the last two seasons to go with 111 combined tackles in the same span.

 

New York Mets Sign Erasmo Ramirez to Minor League Deal

After bolstering their infield depth by signing Eduardo Nunez, the New York Mets signed veteran pitcher Erasmo Ramirez to a minor league deal. Ramirez joins the Mets after spending a majority of the 2019 season in the minors with the Boston Red Sox.

Ramirez is a swingman who can start and pitch out of the bullpen. During his 27 outings (24 starts) in Triple-A during 2019, he pitched 145.1 innings and a 4.74 ERA. Ramirez one big-league outing resulted in him allowing four runs over three innings.

Always Good to Add Depth

His career saw better days during the two and a half seasons he spent with the Tampa Bay Rays from 2015-17. Ramirez had a 3.98 ERA over 124 games (36 starts). He is a crafty pitcher who relies on his cutter and change-up to put batters away. Ramirez fastball is more of a sinker, and it has been his best pitch over his career. His 1.4 career HR/9 shows his propensity to keep the ball in the yard.

Ramirez is an upgrade to some of the depth pieces the Mets will have in the minor leagues. He is only heading into his age-30 season and is getting a full, healthy offseason after finishing his first full season after a shoulder injury. Ramirez will likely settle back into the serviceable reliever he has always been. If the Mets bullpen suffers injuries, he will likely be one of the first options for the team uses. This is a solid signing because there are no expectations for Ramirez, and he has an excellent opportunity to recover from two lackluster seasons.

New York Jets: Mock Draft Scenarios

New York Jets, Sam Darnold

With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching (weird to realize that the Super Bowl is only a week away), speculation is running rampant across every NFL team on who will pick who, including the New York Jets. Much is already known about the Jets’ immediate/most dire needs that will be addressed in free agency AS WELL as the draft, so let’s take a look at the current speculation surrounding the New York Jets draft picks.

ESPN Mock Draft

Mel Kiper Jr. sees the Jets going for Jedrick Wills Jr. of the Alabama Crimson Tide with the 11th pick in the first round. He addresses a very obvious need as an offensive tackle, but the biggest slight against him is his inexperience at left tackle. But, known for his strength in run defense, and showing drastic improvement in pass protection, the Jets may have to trade up to get their hands on Wills. Other mock drafts have Wills going 9th overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and some as high as 6th to the Los Angeles Chargers.

NFL Mock Draft

The NFL Network has the Jets selecting LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson at 11. It adds some depth to an already strong defense. Clocking 6.5 sacks last season, 94 combined (forced and solo) tackles, and a forced fumble, he could be the choice the Jets go with if they decide to trade Jamal Adams.

New mock drafts will be rolling out every week from every possible entertainment source. The closer we get to the draft, the more likely these draft picks will be who the team goes with. We’ll see what happens in the coming months/weeks, especially when we get to free agency.

New York Yankees: Clint Frazier is quickly being left behind – is a trade in his future?

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

With the bolstering of the starting pitching unit and revival of several unhealthy players, New York Yankees outfielder, Clint Frazier, could find himself in limbo this season. The 2020 campaign is bound for success, especially if the team remains healthy, but an excess of players in the outfield could open up a potential trade scenario where they bolster the bullpen.

Frazier holds offensive value for the Bombers, but his defensive traits have been problematic in the past. With Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner, and Mike Tauchman all outfield options, Frazier will slot in as the 5th choice until Hicks returns, which will then thrust him down, potentially to the minor leagues.

Hicks is expected to make his return in August, and barring any injuries to the starters, Frazier will likely enjoy limited action. While the young maestro is a solid player with plenty of potential, he might never reach it with a stacked Yankees team, opening the door for a trade.

Could the New York Yankees flip Clint Frazier? Does it make sense?

Manager Aaron Boone and GM Brian Cashman might be able to flip Clint for a bullpen arm and after the departure of Dellin Betances and Nestor Cortes Jr., the Yankees could use the support. Relying on Adam Ottavino, Chad Green, and Zack Britton is the Yankees’ plan moving forward, as adding Gerrit Cole to be mix and a healthy Luis Severino should take some of the pressure off of the bullpen.

Alternatively, the Yanks do have Jordan Montgomery and J.A. Happ who can slot pitch in the later innings as well. Boone has expressed his confidence in Happ, stating that he will be the 5th starter ahead of the season. Monty will pitch out of the bullpen or will slide in as a back-end starter, compensating for fatigue.

“We’re extremely confident [in the rotation], especially our top four,” Cashman said YES Network’s “Hot Stove” program. “I do think that Happ is going to even be better for us than he was in the first half of last year. I think you’ll see more of the second-half Happ, so we look forward to him proving that with us in 2020.”

The $17 million the Yankees are dishing out to Happ must come back around in terms of value, considering they were unable to use him for the latter portion of 2019 due to a lack of effectiveness. Having too many starters is a good problem to have, and the Bombers can utilize them in the bullpen if need be.

However, the strength in pitching will ultimately help Frazier’s chances of staying put, despite his assume desire to play for a team where he can feature as a starting option.

DH to National League Would Benefit the Mets

New York Mets, Robinson Cano

2020 could be the last season of old school baseball as Major League Baseball is considering expanding the designated hitter rule to both leagues.

The DH has been specific to the American League since 1973 and is used in interleague play, the World Series and the All-Star game when the AL is the home team.

How does this help the New York Mets? Greatly, which is why many Met fans will put their baseball purist cards in their back pockets and sit back and enjoy the show.

The Mets have a slew of players who are much better hitters than they are fielders and have quite a number of solid hitters who play the same position.

If the DH comes to the NL, the immediate relief the Mets will get will be with 38 year-old second baseman Robinson Cano. Cano’s range in the field is narrowing but his bat still has some pop. The Mets could solve their Jeff McNeil problem with this new rule by making him their everyday second baseman and batting Cano, who is under contract though 2023, at DH most games. It would also open op a spot in the outfield and at third base, possibly giving J.D. Davis some more at bats.

The DH role could also be used in the case of Dominic Smith and Pete Alonso at first base. Since Alonso’s break out last year, Smith has been forced to play the outfield and serve as a pinch hitter.

Danny Abriano of SNY.tv believes the DH will benefit Ronny Mauricio, a prized shortstop in the Mets’ farm system that will be ready for the majors in 2022. With Amed Rosario still under team control, having the DH could push one of them to play another position or to DH so the club can gain an advantage from having both players in the lineup.

New York Yankees: Yankees’ Prospects in MLB’s T100

New York Yankees, Jasson Dominguez

The New York Yankees’ farm system has been one of the better ones in baseball for the better part of a decade — on the lighter side. There’s no denying that the Yankees have placed a massive amount of attention on their farm, and the development of the young players. It is crucial for every team’s long-term success and prosperity, that teams put together a solid farm system. New York has produced boatloads of talent over the history of their ballclub, but over the last few years especially, light has been shone on all the talented youngsters within the Yankees’ minor league system.

With the MLB having dropped their Top 100 Prospects coming into the 2020 season, I figured I’d touch on the Yankee players on the list — and also mention a name or two that I feel was undeservingly left off. With that here are the Yankees in the T100 and their respective rankings:

54. Jasson Dominguez (OF / 16 YO — turns 17 in a week)

88. Clarke Schmidt (SP / 23 YO — turns 24 in a week)

92. Deivi Garcia (SP / 20 YO)

I personally think that all three of those players are lower than they deserve to be, specifically Deivi Garcia. With that, however, to see a sixteen-year-old in Jasson “The Martian” Dominguez, crack the list at 54 is absolutely mind-boggling. The man is a freak of nature and looks to be the next generational talent when he pushes the major league roster.

The three Yanks mentioned

54. Jasson DominguezJasson Dominguez is arguably the most valuable prospect in all of baseball. That statement may be seen as a stretch, or a bold statement, but when you look at all his abilities and contributing factors, it makes him a definite candidate. Dominguez, the soon to be 17 years old, is likely going to see AA baseball this upcoming season — at again, only seventeen years old. He’s already an intimidating 5’11, 190 pounds of muscle, he looks like a mini Giancarlo Stanton. I expect nothing but massive things out of him and think he is a future Yankee legend and superstar.

88. Clarke SchmidtSchmidt is honestly somewhat of a surprise to me, or at least I would’ve expected him to be below Garcia — no disrespect toward Clarke. With that, Schmidt flashed potential and great skill prior to his TJ. His numbers across the minors have been very consistent, never posting an ERA above 3.85, and never posting a K/9 below 9.00. The only thing I worry about with Schmidt is that his K numbers have fallen a bit since his surgery, aside from three-game stint this last year in the Rookie league. I think Schmidt can very likely make the MLB roster this upcoming season at some point, especially with his age, look for him to fight for a spot in the bullpen this Spring.

91. Deivi Garcia — I had liked to think that Garcia would’ve cracked the T75, due to how impressive he was this last year. Across High A, and AA baseball, Garcia posted a K/9 of roughly 15.4, and paired it with an ERA and FIP of 3.6 and 1.9. Those numbers are exceptional, and he flew through the minor leagues and ended the year at AAA — and he’s only 20. I think Garcia is going to be an ace and has the caliber and talent to do so. Naturally, with any raw talent, he comes with worries — his size at only 5’9 160 lbs, and the fact that his BB/9 wasn’t below 4.00 at any point in 2019. However, look for Garcia to continue to rise through the ranks and expect him to have caught the eye of every GM looking to solidify their future.

The Guys that didn’t make the cut

A few of the names I was somewhat — but not very — surprised to see miss the list were: Estevan Florial, Luis Gil & also Thairo Estrada. I am a massive fan of Florial and I think his talent and abilities outweigh his overall rank right now, due mainly in part to his injury bugged seasons the past two years. Flo is a guy that can make a huge impact on the team with his power and speed combination. He roams center with quickness and long strides allowing him to cover a great range, and his bat speed and pop combo can very well lead to him hitting 20+ HR’s a season paired with 20 stolen bases as well.

As for Gil, I think that he’s one of the most under-appreciated talents in the entire minor leagues. In his first season across A baseball, at 21 years of age, he managed to pitch 83.0 innings en route to an ERA and FIP of 2.39 & 2.50. His K/9 was an astounding 12.14 and paired that with a K% of 32%. The K/9 would’ve ranked third this last season in the entire Major Leagues — yes there’s the massive talent gap and obvious difference in ability from A and MLB levels — but the point is that the kid has absolutely electric stuff and makes people swing and miss at an extraordinarily high rate. Add to that his HR/9 was a 0.11 across those 83.0 IP. Again, for comparison to how incredible a 0.11 HR/9 is, the MLB low in 2019 was Charlie Morton at 0.69. Gil is a name to watch and he is sure to rise through the levels this next year.

Estrada is one of the less talked about names, but I think he has value and will likely see a spot on the major league roster this upcoming season. Thairo brings a solid glove and the ability to play second base, shortstop, and third base. With that, he’s an above-average base-runner with quality speed. Not to mention he’s a consistent .270 hitter in the making, and much like Joe Panik, rarely strikes out — saw his K% increase in ’18, after posting a solid stint from ’13-’17. I think Thairo’s best comparison would be as mentioned, Panik, and that’s a solid utility guy right there.

 

 

New York Mets: Tomas Nido and the importance of defensive-minded backup catchers

Tomas Nido has an important place in the New York Mets‘ organization. As the backup catcher of a defensively weak starter, he had more than his share of playing time in 2019. The situation will likely not change in 2020.

Wilson Ramos is the starter, and the more consistent offensive force. His .275/.322/.436 career line are proof of that, and his 104 wRC+ certifies that the Venezuelan has been an above-average offensive performer in his career.

However, while Ramos offers the bat, Nido provides the defensive chops for the Mets. His pop time was in the 93rd percentile (although it didn’t quite translate to him being particularly successful at preventing steals.) His framing was in the 74th percentile, whereas Ramos’ was in the 26th percentile. Nido had a +1 DRS. Ramos registered a -13 mark.

Pitchers love a catcher with which they can establish a good communication. They also benefit from a “stolen” strike here or there thanks to good pitch framing. The ability to call a game is more important than it is perceived. Nido beats Ramos in all of those, and that itself buys him some playing time.

That’s why Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard didn’t hide the fact that they prefer to pitch to Nido instead of Ramos. The latter was substantially more effective on the mound when Nido was his catcher.

The Mets know his weaknesses

And it’s good that Nido has such a big advantage in framing and game calling. His bat is… well, not good. In parts of three seasons, he has a career line of .187 /.222/.291 and a putrid 35 wRC+ in 244 plate appearances.

Nido spent the majority of the 2019 season in the bigs with the Mets. He registered a .191/.231/.316 line with a 40 wRC+ in 144 appearances, with four homers and 14 runs batted in.

Despite his offensive struggles, Nido will play for the Mets. He won’t be the starter, but he will have his share of games. Catchers need a break, and very few of them surpass 150 games played in our times. If a team’s starter is very good at the dish but suspect defensively, it would be better if a defensive-minded backup was in the roster. One has what the other lacks. One is the complement of the other, roster-wise.

Some offensive improvements from Nido would be welcome, but the 2020 New York Mets only need him to hold his own at the plate and spell Ramos every now and then while being a great framer and game caller. He needs to improve with the bat to remain with the organization long-term, though.

Yankees News/Rumors: Diana Munson reacts to Kobe Bryant death, Sabathia fuming again, and the Rail Riders get a new manager.

New York Yankees, Yankees, CC Sabathia

A Daily look at a summary of News and Rumors of interest for New York Yankees fans!

Diana Munson reacts to Kobe Bryant’s death: Diana Munson can undoubtedly identify with Venessa Bryant, who is the wife of Kobe Bryant, who died Sunday along with their daughter Gianna, and seven others in the crash of a helicopter he owned while traveling to a basketball game.  Munson went through almost the same pain as Venessa is experiencing.  Both lost their husbands in an air crash, and both were left as single mothers with children that they had to explain that their daddy wouldn’t be coming home.  Bryant has the added pain of losing her 13-year-old daughter in the crash as well.  Munson lost her husband, Thurman Munson; the loved Yankee catcher in 1979 in the crash of his own Cessna Citation aircraft at Akron–Canton Airport in Ohio.  The parallels in the situation are uncanny, both deaths involved giant sports stars, both had a wife and children left behind, both died in the prime of their lives, and both died in crashes of aircraft they owned. 

When contacted by phone on Monday, Diana said:  “Sunday opened up a lot of wounds for me, It brought back that day very clearly. And it brought back a lot of feelings. Feelings I’ve tried to suppress for years. But it’s always there.”  She also recalled, “It was surprising for me, the reaction fans had, I look at the tapes from the fans at the Stadium from that night and you realize how much they loved Thurman, how much he meant to them and the impact it had, which I hadn’t fully understood.”  All of the  Yankees attended Munson’s funeral and returned just in time to play a Yankee game that evening.  That game was nationally televised.  Fans were still in shock over the loss of their Captain, many crying in the stands.  One of Thurman’s best friends, Bobby Mercer, hit the winning hit in the game in the ninth inning of one of the most emotional nights in Yankee Stadium history.   Munson in the conversation pointed out several similarities between Bryant and Munson, including the love of their families even to having their aircraft so they, despite their sports commitments they could still spend at much time at home as possible.

“I pray she is surrounded by love,’’ Diana said. “Her children will help her. Being a mom demands that you get back to life. I give my children [Michael and Kelly] so much credit for helping me carry on. They’re the reason I got up and wanted to go on. You have no choice. You’re still a mom. And faith is also important. When you’re by yourself, you have to dig the deepest and know that God is taking care of you.’’  Diana ended the phone interview by saying:  “I wish I could hug her and tell her everything is eventually gonna be okay, you have to take it day by day and let the memories you and the fans have sustain you.’’

Could Sabathia be fuming more?:  We all know from past reports that CC Sabathia was extremely angry over the Astros sign-stealing scheme that he believes cost the Yankees a legitimate shot at the 2017 world series.  Saturday at the Baseball Writers’ dinner at the Sheraton New York Times Square hotel. Sabathia was sitting two seats from the podium.  Justin Verlander was at the podium receiving his Cy Young Award.  After receiving the award, he made a speech.  In the statement, he stated:  “as everybody knows, they’re very technologically and analytically advanced,” referring to the Astros.  The comment drew a mix of boos, laughter, and applause.  Verlander’s intention is unknown, but Sabathia was infuriated by the comment.  Sitting between Sabathia and Verlander was Dodger Cody Bellinger, who did not look all that happy with the explanation either.  Sabathia, who just retired from the Yankees, was there to receive the  Long and Meritorious Service Award from the New York chapter of the BBWAA.  In his remarks, he did not refer to Verlander’s comment.

Rail Riders get new manager:  The Yankee’s Scranton Wilkes/Barre triple-A affiliate Rail Riders have a new manager in Doug Davis who was their bullpen coach last season.  The 57-year-old former major leaguer has been with the organization since 2017.  Davis played for the then California Angels and the Texas Rangers.  The Rail Riders have had four different managers in as many years despite going to the postseason in each of the four years.  The 2019 manger was Jay Bell, who quit the job at the end of last season to test the waters for becoming a major league manager.  Bell ended up taking a step down to manager the double-A Rocket City Trash Pandas of the Los Angeles Angels organization.