New York Giants: Gettleman “Very Serious” About Trading Back For Brown

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants are faced with the matter of choosing from a wide selection of players with their number four overall pick in this year’s draft, ranging from outside linebackers to offensive tackles, but if some rumors hold true the team may not spend the pick at all and could instead send it to a team looking for a quarterback.

The question remains of who the Giants will draft lower in the first round if they do trade back, but it looks like they may have found their man. According to Matt Lombardo, of NJ Advance Media, the Giants are serious about the idea of going for Auburn’s Derrick Brown.

Brown showed good athleticism and put up good numbers last year in his senior season at Auburn – 54 total tackles and 11.5 tackles for a loss with 4 sacks, to be specific – but the potential selection still seems somewhat odd. The Giants could use help at defensive end or outside linebacker, which is the reason why Isaiah Simmons has been listed as one of the best fits for them on defense by a lot of sources. Brown, however, is a defensive tackle.

The decision would also leave the Giants without top quality help at the offensive tackle position from this draft, likely leaving them to look for someone to come in during free agency to fill that role.

Is focusing on a defensive tackle in the draft and upgrading the line through free agency the best idea? That still remains to be seen, but right now there’s a buzz building around the idea of Brown going to the Giants – still, this is the time of pre-draft predictions, and for every correct prediction, there’s usually plenty of wrong ones.

Only time will show if there’s truth to this or if it’s simply pre-draft hype.

2020 NFL Draft: Giants Could Have Ten Picks

The NFL has yet to release the list of compensatory draft picks for the upcoming NFL Draft, perhaps due to the proposed rule in the new CBA regarding core veterans, but no one is for sure.

The league usually awards the picks before the NFL Combine, which is ongoing as we speak. The New York Giants have a lot to gain in this draft in which they are projected to have nine selections. They will have seven of their own picks plus three possible compensatory selections.

The Giants have the fourth overall pick in Round One and Pick #36 in Round Two. They traded their third rounder to the Jets (#68) in the Leonard Williams deal but are expected to receive a third round comp pick (#101?) for losing Landon Collins in free agency last March.

They own their picks in rounds four through seven (#s 110. 151, 183 and 219), have the Saints’ seventh rounder from the Eli Apple trade and are in play to receive two more compensatory sevenths for losing Josh Mauro and Mario Edwards in free agency last year.

There is still the possibility that general manager Dave Gettleman trades back in the first round for more draft capital, but we’d have to see that to believe it.

New York Giants: Mekhi Becton and Tristan Wirfs blow away competition at NFL Combine

New York Giants, Mekhi Becton, Tristan Wirfs

Two of the most sought after offensive tackles in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft had the opportunity of showing off their athleticism during the Combine this week. Both Mekhi Becton and Tristan Wirfs, two of the New York Giants‘ top OT prospects, blew the competition away, portraying elite speed for a 364-pound lineman, and incredible hops, setting a Combine record at the position.

The Giants currently sit with the 4th overall pick in the draft, meaning they have a bevy of different avenues they can elect to take. Either they can draft an offensive tackle, trade back, or select an elite defender like Isaiah Simmons. The possibilities are endless, but with such a deep class at offensive tackle, it’s possible they can trade back to accumulate more capital and still land a player of their choice.

However, both Becton and Wirfs were incredible on Friday. Becton, who featured for Louisville in 2019, ran the 40-yard dash in 5.11 seconds — an astonishing time for a man of his size.

Wirfs posted a 36.5-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot, 1-inch broad jump, both Combine records for an offensive lineman. The Giants have the opportunity to land either one of these incredible prospects, and while Becton has the worst film of the top four tackles, he also has the most room for growth based on his size and athleticism.

Now, GM Dave Gettleman is reportedly considering trading back a few slots to offer the 4th pick to a quarterback-needy team. In this scenario, the Giants have two great opportunities in front of them. Either, they land one of the top defensive options in the draft — Simmons, Derrick Brown, Jeff Okudah, or they tackle an offensive tackle. Alternatively, they can select a defensive playmaker and package two first-round picks (one acquired in the trade back) and move back up into the first round to land a prospect. Options like Houston’s Josh Jones and others should be available in the mid-20s if the Giants can get to that spot.

New York Yankees beat Atlanta Braves, Deivi Garcia has antsy debut

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

The Atlanta Braves welcomed the New York Yankees to CoolToday Park in North Port, Florida, where the skies were mostly sunny, and the game-time temperature was 58 degrees.  Mike Soroka started in his first start of the season for the Braves, and Deivi Garcia, who is either No.1 or No.2 on all Yankee prospects lists, pitched the first start of spring training.  Today’s game started with DJ LeMahieu leading off for the Yankees.  LeMahieu started with a single to right as the first baseman couldn’t handle the ball that bounced off his arm  But he was saved by Mike Tauchman getting a double play when he grounded out.  Gleyber Torres followed striking out and ending the inning for the Yankees.

At the bottom of the first Deivi Garcia took the mound to face Ronald Alcuna Jr., Deivi Garcia got the 466th strikeout of his young career.  Ozzie Albies flew out, but then Gleyber Torres bobbled a ball hit by Markakis, recovered, and sent a wild one past the first baseman.  Marcell Ozuna struck out to get Garcia out of the inning.  In the second, Soroka faced 3rd baseman Gio Urshela, who struck out.  Miguel Andujar had a long single to center.  Higashioka singled advancing Andujar into scoring position, Gittens and DH Thole struck out.        In the Braves half, d’Arnaud struck out, Inciarte walked, Johan Camargo homered to right off Garcia for the 2-0 Braves lead. Alonso flew out to Tauchman.  Kozma grounded out courtesy of a dazzling play by DJ LeMahieu.  Garcia gave up two runs in the half.

Josh Tomlin, in the third, struck out Amburgey.  DJ went down looking,  Tauchman flew out to center as the Yankees remained scoreless.       At the bottom, Nick Nelson replaced Garcia and got Kozma on a ground out to Torres.  Acuna Jr flew out to Andujar in left, and Markakis singled over DJ’s head.  Higgy made a pickoff to end the inning.  In the top of the fouth Torres ground out, Urshela also ground out, Andujar walked but, Higgy grounded out right back to Tomlin for the half.  The bottom of the fourth Nelson faced Ozuna, who flew out to Andujar, d’Arnaud lined out, Incairte stuck out to end the inning.

Tomlin in for the fifth stuck out Gittens, Thole singled off the right-field wall, which should have been a double, but the ball bounced back to the right fielder.  Amburgey blooped one down to third for the out. DJ LeMahieu hit an inning-ending fly out to the right.  At the bottom, Nelson was replaced by Tyler Lyons, who faced Camargo, who hit a line drive just off third, and Gio Urshela made a stellar play throwing a strike to first for the out.  Alonso struck out, Kozma followed with a lineout.  Lyons put the Braves down, one, two, three. At the top of the third, Will Smith came out to pitch for the Braves.  Mike Tauchman walked, Torres hit to left for a single and moving Tauchman to third.  Holder pinch-running for Torres.   Holder stole second and scored Tauchman Holder at third.  Andujar struck out, and Higgy flew out to center, ending the top of the sixth, but the Yankees picked up a run.   Atlanta 2 New York 1.

Acuna Jr. struck out against Avilan, the new Yankee pitcher.  Albies got fanned, Drew Waters fanned as Avilan struck out the side. At the top of the seventh Smith faced Gittens, he singled, Burt in to pinch run.  Shane Greene replaced Smith.  Thole singled, and Estevan Florial homed to center for the Yankees first lead of the day; Yankees 3 Braves 2.  Zehner followed with a single.  Ruta got fanned.  Zehner got to second on a wild pitch to Holder.  Holder struck out to end the half, but the Yankees picked up two runs for the lead.  Brooks Kriske handled the pitching for the Yankees and got an out, back to him.  Langelier flew out to Holder.  Robinson threw out for the second one, two, three inning for Yankee pitching.

The top of the eighth, with most of the starting Yankees out of the game, Oswaldo Cabrera grounded out.  Hoy Jun Park doubled.  Wynston Sawyer doubled, and Park scored for the Yankees 4-2 lead.  Max Burt flew out to the shortstop for the second out.  Kellin Deglan singled driving in Park for the Yankees 5-2 lead.  Florial stuck out to end the two-run inning for the Yankees.  The bottom of the eighth Alexander Vizcaino faced the Braves.  The first fastball was 97mph.  Kazmar, Jr. struck out. Jenista was fanned.  CJ Alexander out as the Yankees put down the Braves one, two, three for the fifth straight inning.

Zehner went down against Sobotka at the top of the ninth.  Ruta struck out; Kyle Holder ground out for the Yankee exit in the ninth.  In for the save for the Yankees was Albert Abreu. Trey Harris homered as the Braves picked up a run. Solarte ground out. Waters stuck out on a 99mph Abreu fastball. Salazar ground out to end any threat from the Braves. Abreu saved the Yankees 5-3 win.

Luis Avilan got the win for the Yankees, and Shane Greene took the loss for the Braves. After Deivi Garcia gave up two runs in the second, the Yankee’s relief pitching was stellar. Nelson, Avilan, Vizcaino, Abreu in the save gave up a home run.  All three Braves runs were home runs. The Braves didn’t get a hit after the third inning until Harris homered in the ninth. At one point, the Yankee pitching got five straight one, two, three innings. The win today was the fourth consecutive win for the Yankees.

Tomorrow’s action will be wild with split squads playing two games on a Saturday afternoon. Both games start at 1:05 pm. Gerrit Cole, in his second start of spring training will face the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field while the second Yankee squad will play at Jet Blue Park facing the Boston Red Sox for the first time in spring training.

 

WATCH: New York Yankees’ Domingo German assists after vehicle accident

New York Yankees, Domingo German

To add to the injury concerns the New York Yankees are already facing, starting pitcher Domingo German confronted an overturned vehicle in the Dominican Republic, however, this time, he was there to help.

German was suspended for the first quarter of the season for abuse against his girlfriend but has taken to the streets of the DR to enjoy his time off. Take a look at the video below as German assists the overturned vehicle.

German was one of the Yankees’ top staters before having his season cut short. He posted an 18-4 record with a 4.03 ERA and 153 strikeouts. His development last season was significant, making him a promising option for 2020. Luckily, the Yankees will gain him back at some point, helping to relieve the stress of losing Luis Severino for the entire 2020 season.

New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman proved us all wrong this offseason

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

When the beginning of the 2020 offseason began, everyone knew the signing of an ace starting pitcher would be in the near future. General manager Brian Cashman made it known that the New York Yankees wouldn’t go quietly into the night. Unloading $324 million on Gerrit Cole sent a vibration throughout the MLB that shattered records.

Cashman made Cole the highest-paid pitcher in league history, but one of his better decisions came toward the end of the starting rotation. While most clamored on about J.A. Happ and why he should be released/traded effective immediately, Cashman stood his ground, likely informed of the discomfort Luis Severino had been facing this offseason.

Happ had a tumultuous 2019 campaign, finished with a 12-8 record, 34 homers allowed (career-high), and a 5.57 ERA through August. The Yankees barely used him in the postseason due to his inefficacy on the mound.

The New York Yankees might be getting the old J.A. Happ back:

This spring has told a different story for Happ and his lack of confidence from last season. His fastball has been excellent, painting corners and generating easy outs.

“I really wanted to throw strikes from the get go,” Happ told reporters after his outing. “I’m better when I do that. So that’s my main focus … attacking.

Happ threw 30 strikes out of 40 total pitches, which he was happy with. The lone run J.A. allowed on Thursday came by a pop-fly that sneakily landed right before the right-field foul line, allowing a double and a run scored. However, the other nine hitters that walked up to the plate were retired. He forced six ground-outs, two strikeouts, and a fly ball.

“The crispness on his fastball, which we saw return kind of return to that J.A. Happ level late last season, I feel it’s carried over into this spring so far,” Boone said.

The Yanks desperately need Happ to return to his 2018 form, as losing Severino for the entire season and James Paxton for months will undoubtedly hurt the efficiency of the rotation.

New York Giants: Is Dave Gettleman preparing to blow our minds again?

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

Before the 2019 NFL draft commenced, New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman was reportedly enamored by quarterback Daniel Jones.

Of course, everybody wrote this off as a silly rumor, despite the absolute truth of it. Jones ended up being the Giants’ selection with the sixth overall pick, beginning the succession of Eli Manning after more than a decade of service.

However, the difference between 2019 and 2020 ultimately comes down to the quarterback position. Last year, the Giants were in desperate need of a rookie signal collar to being the process, and they found him in Jones. This year, they require assistance in other areas, and recent reports have Gettleman looking at interior defense of lineman, Derrick Brown, out of Auburn, as a potential option with the fourth overall pick.

This is concerning, as Brown, a 326-pound defender, is considered one of the best defense of tackles in the upcoming draft. However, the Giants can easily re-sign Leonard Williams, who can also put pressure on the quarterback. The reality is, Big Blue needs help at other positions, notably on the offensive line and at the linebacker position. Passing on Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons and a top tackle prospect would be malpractice in the grand scheme of things.

The New York Giants need to be careful letting Gettleman run the show:

Gettleman is a firm believer in winning games in the trenches. In 2017, he made his “hog mollies” statement and ensured that you must win through running the ball and stopping the run.

That boils down to Derrick Brown, and while the Giants have more pressing needs than the interior defensive line, Gettleman just can’t help but indulge in his gut feeling.

Other reports have mentioned that the Giants and Gettleman are open to trading back and accumulating more draft capital. This would be the ideal scenario where they can address multiple positions instead of spending a top-five pick on a position that was filled by Dexter Lawrence just one year ago.

Moe Harkless still coming to terms on playing for the New York Knicks

The New York Knicks have officially clinched their 7th losing season in a row.  It’s got to be tough going from one of the top teams in the West to one of the worst in the East.  Even if Maurice ‘Moe’ Harkless’ favorite team growing up was the Knicks.

Harkless told the Daily News, that he’ll be with the Knicks for the rest of the season, despite buyout rumors.  He went on, “It is definitely an adjustment with the way things are.  Everything is different, the culture and everything.”  That’s for sure Moe.

He added, “It’s not like we’re trying to lose.  Guys are still competitors.  It’s just a different situation.”  The Knicks situation entirely different.  Fans tweeted observations of Harkless wondering why he looks so sad.  It’s a simple answer, he now plays for the Knicks.  Case-in-point, here, after hitting a big shot, look at his emotion.

Whether or not you were a fans of the Knick growing up, consistently losing and being a laughing stock isn’t going to make players smile.  No matter what they say.

Even when Harkless had the hot hand last night in Philadelphia, he still didn’t appear happy.  The bench was happy considering he hit 5 3-pointers in 3rd quarter.  He was the main reason the Knicks got back into the game.  Even with his brilliant shooting performance the team couldn’t contain the Sixers hot players, losing their 6th straight, 115-106.

Maybe Harkless is onto something.  He’s showing the same emotion all Knicks fans show from a game-to-game basis.  It’s pretty easy to do since he was a fan of the team growing up.

Harkless shouldn’t be criticized for being honest about coming to the New York Knicks.  No one blames him really.  Somethings just need to be said.

Are the Yankees Doomed to Repeat 2019’s Injury Problem?

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Santon

The New York Yankees saw an All-Star team’s worth of talent on the injury list last season. After an overhaul of the strength and conditioning staff, we were all lead to believe that things would be different this season.

Oh, how wrong we were to assume.

Who’s Hurt/Missing So Far

Aaron Judge has yet to play in a Spring Training game. He’s hitting, he’s throwing, but if he’s healthy, why not start? Domingo German won’t be here until June, and he was told to stay in the Dominican Republic for Spring Training. Speaking as someone with chronic back pain, you CANNOT underestimate the severity of nagging back pain that will follow James Paxton the remainder of the season after having that cyst surgically removed. Aaron Hicks may not even be back at all this season, depending on how slow he is recovering from Tommy John. Luis Severino is gone until 2021. And now, Giancarlo Stanton has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 calf strain.

How Much Has Changed and How Serious is It?

That’s 5 high profile players who will be missing an impressive amount of time in 2020, which is still a far cry from the twenty-some-odd players we had on the IL last season. And there’s no guarantee that Stanton will miss more than a week or two at the start of the season. But good Lordy is it still frustrating. The new staff was supposed to change this, right?

But it isn’t as serious as people want to believe.

Look at how well we ended up doing last season without Severino until September. Piecing it together in the rotation until about June is manageable, especially with so many prospective starters in the house to fill in till then. We have Tauchman, we have Frazier, and we have Tyler Wade and Miguel Andujar. So our outfield is safe if Stanton AND Judge miss a chunk of the early season. We still will see more players go on the IL throughout the year.

But it’s important not to panic right now. It’s February, not June. Cashman will figure something out. We’re still a full month away from Opening Day of 162. And we’re still the team to beat in the east.

New York Yankees: Could and Should Mike Ford Receive More Games Played?

New York Yankees, Mike Ford

Short, sweet and straight to the point…please allow the 2nd coming of Babe Ruth, Mike Ford to participate in additional games once opening day arrives.

During the New York Yankees 6th exhibition game vs the Tampa Bay Rays, Ford shined bright when it mattered most. In 2 plate appearances, Ford collected 2 hits, including a 2-run bomb to right field.

In the 2019 season, Ford slashed .259/.350/.559/.909 with a .372 wOBA, 134 wRC+ and a 0.8 fWAR in 163 plate appearances. Although his defense isn’t superior by any stretch of the imagination, his metrics prove he’s a more reliable defender than Luke Voit.

In 217.0 innings played, Ford posted a -1 DRS and a -1.5 UZR, while Voit posted a -6 DRS and a -3.9 UZR in 706.1 innings played. If you want to dive further into advanced analytics, Ford posted 2 outs above average, while Voit posted -6 outs above average.

In the 2019 season, Voit slashed .263/.378/.464/.842 with a .360 wOBA, 126 wRC+ and a 1.7 fWAR in 510 plate appearances. I’m not a math magician, but I can acknowledge that a 0.8 fWAR in 163 plate appearances is significantly more productive than a 1.7 fWAR in 510 plate appearances.

Assuming Ford didn’t experience a massive slump and received just as many plate appearances as Voit, he could’ve produced anywhere from a 2.0 fWAR season to a 3.0 fWAR season just from his offensive production alone.

Ford doesn’t have to be in a position to start every game, as Voit will be the primary 1B, but more opportunities would be ideal. How would this work?

With Giancarlo Stanton questionable to begin the season and the general concern surrounding his history of injuries, placing Ford as a backup 1B/DH is a practical solution.

Miguel Andújar won’t start every day at DH and Voit won’t start every day at 1B. While you could make the same argument for Clint Frazier at DH, Ford’s lefty power bat is essential for blending and providing variety to the lineup.

In the worst case scenario, assuming Frazier improves upon his defensive abilities, him and Mike Tauchman can rotate playing LF. Either or, the Yankees lineup is stacked with reliable hitters who will make a significant impact moving forward.