New York Giants Head Coach Joe Judge Explains Hiring Process

New York Giants, Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys

The New York Giants have a coaching staff now for the 2020 season, and there’s reason to think that this year’s rebuild is different from the ones in previous years such as when the Giants were forced to settle for Pat Shurmur and mediocre coordinators. Despite Joe Judge being a rookie head coach who wasn’t on the radar of many immediately after joining the Giants, he’s put together a staff of coaches that features some well known names, including former Dallas head coach Jason Garrett.

Judge has now opened up further to MSG Network on what went into putting this current staff together and making decisions on who to hire – and it seems that Judge was mostly going for a certain type of coach rather than focusing entirely on just recruiting for a specific strategy.

“There’s no thought process into gathering head coaches. I just wanted really good coaches that were going to add to the staff. The experience that they had already is a bonus and is something that will help me out personally. And will help out our team significantly,” Judge stated on MSG 150 Final.

“The first thing I really wanted was good people. That are going to care about the players, that are going to have great relationship with the players and can motivate them and get the most out of them,” he continued.

But what about the controversial decision to bring in Jason Garrett, who enters New York as an unpopular figure after serving as the head coach in Dallas and bringing a disappointing playoff record? Judge justified that hire with these words:

“I think when you watch what they did in Dallas the entire time he was there as both the Offensive Coordinator and Head Coach, they’ve been able to have different players have high degrees of success. They’ve thrown the ball, they’ve ran the ball well. They have great player versatility with how they use the entire roster,” Judge said about Garrett’s time in Dallas.

“They’ve adjusted over time schematically. But it’s a great base foundation of the offense that’s grown throughout his time to be very player friendly. And that to me was the biggest part,” added Judge, before referring to how the best teams in the NFL have good quarterback play. Quarterback Daniel Jones is of course one of the reasons Garrett was likely hired.

Like Garrett or not, the Giants will come into 2020 with quite a lot of experience in their coaching positions – they’ll need it, with a rookie head coach and a couple straight terrible seasons that the team will look to avoid repeating.

New York Yankees 2020 Season Preview: Chad Green

New York Yankees, Chad Green

Despite an awful start to the 2019 season, New York Yankees reliever Chad Green was able to bounce back and put together a nice season.

Through April, the 28-year-old lefty from Greenville, South Carolina, had a 16.43 ERA. He went down to AAA for a while and would bounce back in a big way, lowering his ERA to 4.17 by the end of the season. While in Scranton, he worked on some off-speed stuff and worked on fastball location. His cutter is his signature pitch, and a pitch that he had trouble throwing early on.

Green finished the season 4-4 with 98 strikeouts in 69 innings pitched. He often was an opener for the Yankees and threw well there. His ERA was 3.72 in games he opened.

Green didn’t allow any runs in the 2019 ALDS against the Twins but allowed five runs in 4.2 innings against the Astros. He has a 4.74 ERA over 13 career postseason appearances, skewed by one awful appearance in 2017. Over his three postseasons, Green has been one of the Yankees’ most reliable relievers.

2020 Expectations

The expectation is that Chad Green will pitch as he did after the middle of May and beyond. Seeing how his ERA dropped over time was quite impressive, and it showed off the dominance he achieved.

Green will continue to be a high leverage middle-reliever and occasional opener. Although he thrived in that role, the Yankees only want to put him there when there are injuries, but hopefully, that won’t be something to worry about in 2020.

And of course, the Yankees need him to pitch well in the postseason again. He always looks so calm out there, and that helps him stay in control of the game.

Hopefully, Chad Green can avoid a bad start like in 2019 and have a career year in 2020.

New York Giants: What Will Sam Beal and Corey Ballentine’s Roles Be In 2020?

The New York Giants invested heavily in their secondary last offseason. New York drafted three defensive backs in the 2019 NFL Draft (four if counting Sam Beal). The Giants drafted DeAndre Baker in the first round, Julian Love in the fourth round, and Corey Ballentine in the sixth round. Sam Beal was selected in the third round of the supplemental draft.

In their rookie seasons, there were some ups, but there were also many downs. It was a particularly rocky season for both Ballentine and Beal. Granted, Ballentine was a sixth-round pick that probably was not meant to be a starter as a rookie. But he did not precisely show promise in that role during the 2019 NFL season.

Sam Beal’s young career has been off to an even shakier start. Beal missed his entire 2018 rookie season with an injury and struggled to get on the field in 2019 too. Once he finally did make his way onto the field, Beal’s performance was disappointing.

Both of these young players will be on the Giants’ roster in 2020. But, after inconsistent starts to their careers, it is hard to determine what their roles might be.

Corey Ballentine’s Role

Corey Ballentine was a surprising standout player in the 2019 preseason. He had some impressive plays in training camp and preseason, including an interception against the New York Jets. While Ballentine’s strong summer provided Giants fans with optimism, his performance did not exactly translate in the regular season.

Ballentine was targeted in coverage 42 times in 2019. He allowed 27 completions or 64.3%. Opposing offenses gained 393 yards against Ballentine and scored 4 touchdowns with a rating of 126.4. He clearly was not prepared for an expanded role as a rookie. 

In 2020, it is highly unlikely Corey Ballentine starts for the Giants. He started in 2 games in 2019, but he will likely be a depth piece for the Giants next season. The team has much money to spend in free agency and is likely to sign a cornerback at some point, diminishing Ballentine’s role further than his performance has.

Corey Ballentine should see the field in some capacity, however. On special teams, Ballentine should see some playing time. In 2019, Corey Ballentine was an effective kick returner. He returned 10 kickoffs for 256 yards, an average of 25.6, which is greater than a touchback. His longest return of the season was an impressive 52 yards. Corey Ballentine should have the chance to return more kicks in 2020.

Sam Beal’s Role

Sam Beal was expected to have a significant role with the Giants in 2019. New York drafted him in the third round of the 2018 Supplemental Draft, which is pretty high for a prospect in the Supplemental Draft. Unfortunately, Beal’s career has been plagued with injuries so far.

Sam Beal suffered a shoulder injury during training camp in 2018 that left him sidelined for the entire season. Beal then injured his hamstring in 2019, which got him placed on injured reserve again. Sam did not make his regular-season debut until November of 2019.

It was good to see Beal finally get on the field, but it was disappointing to see him perform at such a weak level. Sam Beal was targeted in coverage 21 times in the 6 games he played, and 16 of those passes were completed or 76.2%. The opposition gained 171 yards on Beal and scored 1 touchdown. 

Beal is another player whose role is likely to diminish in 2020. His unfortunate injury history and underwhelming performance in 2019 could lead the Giants to replace the young defensive back ahead of the 2020 NFL season.

New York Mets: Cespedes looks both beefed up and agile in his latest workout video!

New York Mets, Yeonis Cespedes

New beginnings. That’s what the 2020 season means to Yoenis Cespedes. After the accident with the wild boar in his ranch gave him a fractured ankle, a lost season and an amended contract, the Cuban outfielder is healthy and determined to regain the place he might have lost in the New York Mets‘ lineup.

Cespedes went from earning almost $30 million guaranteed this year to only $6 million. If he makes the opening day roster, he will make $11 million. With additional incentives and bonuses, he can push his earnings closer to what he was supposed to make.

That’s why the slugger is eager to show the New York Mets and fans that he’s hitting the gym and doing his workouts. In his official Twitter account @ynscspds, he posted a 2:30 video of him working out.

He looks big, he’s doing his agility workouts, he is putting weight on his surgically repaired heels, he’s running, throwing, and hitting moonshots in batting practice.

The Mets’ outfielder is highly motivated

Yes, anybody can look good in a video compilation, but one thing is true: Cespedes is working tirelessly. He wants to make the roster and contribute. Don’t forget the fact that he’s not only playing to earn more dollars this season: he’s a free agent and wants to secure his payday later in the year.

As the video advances, voiceovers of media commentators questioning the likelihood of Céspedes’ comeback give way to others reminding fans of his considerable talent.

The veteran outfielder hasn’t sniffed a major league baseball field since July 20, 2018. During that time off, he underwent surgeries to remove calcifications and bone spurs from both heels. He also had the infamous wild boar, fractured-ankle incident last year.

He used the hashtag #LGM (Let’s go Mets) in his Tweet. Cespedes wants to regain the form that made him one of the most feared sluggers of his generation.

New York Mets: Edwin Diaz tries to put 2019 behind him with the help of Pedro Martinez

Edwin Diaz, the closer of the New York Mets, joined fellow reliever Jeurys Familia in his pre-spring training workouts in Port St. Lucie. The 2020 season is going to be a crucial one for him. The Puerto Rican fireballer needs to convince people that he has moved on from 2019.

He had a 5.59 ERA last season, and his career-high was a 3.27 mark in 2017 with the Seattle Mariners. He had command problems and an evident home run issue. He allowed 15 home runs in 58 innings, which is the equivalent of a putrid 2.33 HR/9.

He blew save after save. However, the Mets are confident that he will be better this season. After all, it’s not like his stuff abandoned him: Diaz struck out 15.7 batters per nine innings. Achieving more consistency with his mechanics and overcoming his command issues, especially with his fastball, will be crucial.

The Mets’ closer looked for quality, Hall-of-Fame advice

Diaz has put on the work this offseason, and Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez helped him. They have zeroed in the improvement of those mechanical issues. It never hurts to receive advice and input from a legendary pitcher like Pedro (a former member of the New York Mets himself.)

“After the season was done, I started talking to (Martinez) about how my season was, and after I started throwing and practicing my mechanics I started sending him videos because the guy who I work with in Puerto Rico worked with [Pedro] before when he was in Boston,” Diaz said to SNY.

“He helped me a lot. … Everything was mechanics. He told me if I got everything right, I got a good arm and good potential. I tried to fix everything that he told me and things are going really good,” he followed.

Now, Diaz is ready and determined. “I’m really excited, 100 percent excited. I put a lot of work into me and feeling in shape and strong. I’m ready for 2020,” were his words.

New York Giants: 3 sure-fire cut candidates to add cap-space

With the New York Giants in need of an influx in defensive and offensive line talent, we can expect GM Dave Gettleman to be active in the free-agent market this offseason.

The demise of left tackle Nate Solder and overall poor performance from the defense in 2019 will justify allocations of both cap-space and draft capital. Whether or not the Giants can lure any big-name free agents to New York is a different story, but new head coach Joe Judge has received plenty of glowing reviews to advocate for Giants’ future.

Big Blue will need to clear more cap-space before diving into the FA pool, as they currently sit at $61.88 million.

Here are three sure-fire cut candidates for the New York Giants:

1.) LB Alec Ogletree

Ogletree has been one of the more disappointing players for the Giants in recent years, and his $11.75 million cap-hit in 2020 should be catapulted off the books. If cut, the Giants would add $8.25 million, but they would eat a $3.5 million in dead cap. This should be an easy decision for a team that can use the capital elsewhere to inject more talent into specific positions.

Gettleman must cut ties with Ogletree this offseason after trading for him from the Rams in 2018. The return of Ryan Connelly and Isaiah Simmons likely being available with the 4th pick should present the Giants with a way to boost the linebacker corps.

2.) TE Rhett Ellison

Ellison’s injury in 2019 forced rookie Kaden Smith into an expanded role, which ultimately wrote the veteran tight end off the script for the future. Ellison’s $7.188 million cap-hit isn’t worth the value he brings to the team anymore, and the $5 million the team would save if cut presents more opportunity.

3.) S Antoine Bethea

This is an easy decision for the Giants after seeing Bethea fail to make a difference in the defensive backfield. He played well against the run but was putrid as a free safety in the secondary. His $2.875 million would be written off almost entirely if the Giants elect to cut him this offseason ($2.75 million saved).

Bethea remains a great veteran presence in the locker room, but he’s not a great football player anymore at his current age.

Nolan Arenado is not a fit for the New York Yankees

New York Yankees, Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies

The New York Yankees have had links to Nolan Arenado since the last offseason. With talks really staying with the Cardinals and Dodgers mainly, the Yankees haven’t been in the trade talks this offseason. The Yankees seemed to be ready to gear up for 2020 with no major trades or signings anywhere in sight until the gambling ods came out recently. At +300, the Yankees were surprisingly the favorites to land Nolan Arenado for Week 1 of the MLB season. Does this mean that us Yankees fans should get excited and start pushing for Arenado? No, no you do not want an extra $30+ million dollar contract for a man who has a sub-.800 OPS outside of Coors Field.

Overrated Star

Nolan Arenado is a top 5 3B in baseball, but he’s not the type of player you trade your entire future for. He’s going to be 29 in April, and he has definitely benefited from Coors Field. He has an issue being above average outside of Coors Field, with 516 games outside of Coors and was mediocre:

Away
2169 PA
.265/.323/.476
98 HR
.799 OPS
71 tOPS+
20.031 AB/HR
6.01 PA/SO

Home
2188 PA
.324/.380/.615
129 HR
.995 OPS
121 tOPS+
15.295 AB/HR
7.22 PA/SO

You realize that the Yankees would pay a fortune for someone who’s below average outside of Coors Field right?

The Price is Not Even Close to Right

The New York Yankees would have to most likely have to use their farm system to get Arenado. He’d cost either an Andujar, Frazier, or Florial. That’s not even the worst part, the Yankees would need to give up guys like Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt, or Michael King for him. Those are top prospect talents to give up and that’s without the contract even being brought up. There would be $32.5 million to pay every single year until he is 35. Are there opt-outs? Of course! A player option though, meaning after 2021 he can say “Good Bye!” and go and get a more ludicrous deal somewhere else while your traded prospects go and have nice careers and you realize you’ve burned money you could’ve spent on some depth. No way should the Yankees do that.

Lineup Isn’t A Concern

The New York Yankees can quite literally have 10+ guys with a .800 OPS in 2020. From Aaron Judge to Mike Ford, the Yankees don’t have any shortage of talent in that lineup. If you’re going to trade away the future, do it for a gaping hole, something the Yankees do not have. They shouldn’t hoard prospects, but they shouldn’t just throw them away either. A good farm can be crucial for trade at the right time. When you hit 300+ home runs while setting the record for most injuries, your team is fine.

The need for a Nolan Arenado isn’t there, and overpaying for him is a mistake the Yankees should let a more desperate team make.

Where Does Jordan Montgomery Fit in the 2020 Yankees?

New York Yankees, Jordan Montgomery

New York Yankees fans, including myself, were happy to see Jordan Montgomery return from Tommy John last season. But, it was a very short-lived return. He threw only 4 innings, with a 6.75 ERA. It wasn’t great. Now, with a stacked rotation, and Brian Cashman throwing his full weight behind JA Happ as the number 5 man in the rotation, just where does Monty fit in on the team?

Stop Gap for German

Domingo German is suspended through June. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that Happ can be traded by June, clearing a spot in the 5 man rotation for Monty to stay in the rotation when German comes back from (obviously) a couple of tuneup starts in the minors. But you still have to fill the void between Opening Day and German’s return from suspension. I’m completely against openers, especially with how we saw the bullpen implode at the worst possible time last season (the ALCS). And with the new rules about “You have to face 3 batters, if you’re not the guy who gets the final out of an inning”, the Yankees should steer clear of an opener during German’s suspension.

Long Man in the Pen

One of the confusing parts about the use of Chad Green as an opener was that they only had him throw one inning. We know he’s capable of at least 2. If we’re going to go with the opener, why would we empty our pen every 5 days, why would we not use Monty and Cessa as a tag team for the opener days? Monty throws 3 innings, Cessa throws 3 innings, then Ottavino, Britton, Chapman. That way, we develop a couple of you g, controllable future fixtures in the starting rotation, while keeping our arms in the pen fresh, and we’d have 2 long men out of the pen, which helps us in the situation where we get blown out.

Option Him to Scranton

He has a couple of options left, like Andujar. He could start the season at AAA, then get called up. But, AAA hitters aren’t Major League hitters. Monty could slay for the Rail Riders, but get shellacked on the big club. We know Monty is a major league caliber pitcher, he should start on the big club. It’s just anyone’s guess where he’ll end up.

Jeurys Familia lost 30 pounds and claims the New York Mets have the “best bullpen” in MLB

New York Mets, Jeurys Familia

If you are a New York Mets‘ fan, there is no chance you don’t know that Jeurys Familia had a bad 2019. In 60 frames, he registered a 5.70 ERA with a 4.88 FIP and a 4.99 xFIP. It’s really hard to log 60 innings and put a negative fWAR, but he somehow managed to do it, finishing with -0.2.

With 6.30 BB/9, Familia just had his worst full season when it comes to control. He handed free passes left and right, which was the primary reason for his inflated ERA. Like he usually does, he struck out more than a hitter per inning (9.45 K/9.) However, the walks were a definite problem last season.

Right now, however, Familia seems to be in a much better place. The right-handed reliever claims he lost approximately 30 pounds in the offseason. He wants to be in a better shape to endure the long season.

The Mets’ reliever is looking good

Familia passes the eye test. He looks much slimmer than last season. In 2019, he played at around 270 pounds but now, he claims he is roughly in the 238-240 range. He looks ready to roll.

While Mets pitchers and catchers don’t officially have to report this week, Familia and fellow reliever Edwin Diaz are already in Port St. Lucie. They want to get some early workouts. They want to show the world that they are ready to put the past behind.

The New York Mets are counting on bounceback years from both Familia and Diaz. They also signed Dellin Betances and retained a good group headlined by Seth Lugo. Justin Wilson and Robert Gsellman will also be fixtures, as will whoever losses the fifth spot rotation battle.

“Our bullpen is the best bullpen right now in the big leagues,” said Familia to SNY. “If everybody’s healthy, I think we’re going to do something special this year, to win a lot of games.”

New York Yankees: Three fifteen game-winning pitchers

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone, Gerrit Cole

Back in July, the New York Yankees front office came under a lot of fire for their lack of acquiring a starting pitcher at the trade deadline. Luis Severino was hurt, James Paxton was struggling, Masahiro Tanaka was inconsistent, and J.A. Happ was a dumpster fire. It was a frustrating time to be a Yankee fan. On top of that, the biggest competition in the AL, The Houston Astros, went out and acquired Zack Greinke to pair with the top two pitchers in the league, Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander. For many Yankee fans, they could see the October writing on the wall. The Yankees were going to come up short against the Houston Astros and the lack of starting pitching would be a key factor. Sure enough, the Yankees fell short of making it to the World Series and lost to the Houston Astros. After another crushing defeat, Brian Cashman convinced Hal Steinbrenner to open up the checkbook to go out and get arguably the best pitcher in the game, Gerrit Cole. The Yankees signed Cole to a record-breaking 9 year $326 million contracts and the whole outlook on the rotation has changed.

The Yankees should be expecting big things from Cole, but I think the expectations should be high for the top three spots in the Yankee rotation. You read the article title right, I think that the Yankees could/should have three fifteen game-winners this season on their starting staff if everyone remains healthy. Ironically, this article was originally going to feature four fifteen game-winners, but it was announced that James Paxton had to undergo surgery and might not be back until the All-Star break. Considering that, hopefully, there are no additional injuries to the New York Yankees staff as we begin 2020. With that, let’s go through each of those three potential fifteen game-winners I was alluding to.

Gerrit Cole

This is the easiest one to write. There are not even words that I need to say about this one. Gerrit Cole is a monster and I think he is going to be motivated to prove he’s the best pitcher in all of baseball. Better than Justin Verlander and better than fellow New York standout Jacob DeGrom. Cole had a monster in 2019 where he should have won the AL Cy Young. If Cole remains healthy, he can walk to fifteen wins this year.

Luis Severino

To me, this one is going to come down to his health. If you take out his injury-plagued season in 2019, Luis Severino had a combined 33-14 record in the previous two seasons with an ERA sitting just above three. Sevy has the potential to be an ace and now he has none of the pressure. I wrote a while back that Gerrit Cole is Severino’s new secret weapon and I think we are in for a big year from Luis Severino. It wouldn’t shock me to see Luis Severino and Gerrit Cole have the same kind of year that Cole had with Verlander in 2019.

Masahiro Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka got the ball on opening day last year. He’s gotten the ball on opening day a few times since he joined the Yankees. He also took the ball in Game 1 of the ALCS last year against Houston which saw the Yankees win. Tanaka has been viewed as the most “clutch” when it comes to the pitchers on the Yankees staff in years passed. However, a big flaw with Tanaka is his lack of consistency in the regular season. In the last three seasons, he has a 36-27 record with an ERA over four in the regular season. Yet, at times, he looks absolutely sensational in the postseason. Tanaka is in his walk year and facing the least amount of pressure he has faced since he’s worn the pinstripes not having to be one of the top two guys. Tanaka has never won fifteen games in the regular season, and I believe that will change this year. I think Masahiro Tanaka will flourish in his role in this rotation and be the Yankees third fifteen game-winner of 2020.

Yes, I’m predicting that the New York Yankees top three pitchers will combine for over 45 decision wins in 2020. I believe in the starters, I believe in the offense, and I believe that the best bullpen in baseball will be able to contribute to those victories. Time will tell if I’m right, but if they stay healthy, the Yankees staff is going to be absolutely nasty in 2020.