New York Yankees: All-Time Starting Rotation and Bullpen

The New York Yankees have a great history of starting pitching and relievers. They arguably have the best closer of all time and a top 5 pitcher in the league every decade.

Ace: Whitey Ford

Ford won 25 games in his CY Young award-winning season, which is almost unreachable in this day and age. He was probably the most consistent pitcher in the 50s and never had an ERA over 3.24, helping him win the ERA title twice.

He was also a 10-time all-star, 6-time World Series champion, and even won a World Series MVP. A sure hall-of-fame player if the game has ever seen one.

2nd Starter: Vernon “Lefty” Gomez

The triple crown is usually associated with hitters, but Gomez won the triple crown for pitchers twice! In 1934 and 1937, he led the league in wins, ERA, and strikeouts.

Gomez was also clutch when it counted, he did not lose a single postseason game in his career. This made him the main reason for the 5 World Series titles the Bombers won in the late ’30s.

3rd Starter: Ron Guidry

In 1978, Guidry had one of the best seasons ever for a pitcher. He won 25 games, had an astounding 1.74 ERA, and nearly 250 strikeouts. That is a type of dominance only a few pitchers have reached in their careers.

He was even a slick fielder throughout his career, earned himself 5 Gold Glove awards.

4th Starter: Charles “Red” Ruffing

Along with Babe Ruth, the New York Yankees stole another piece from the Red Sox, Ruffing helped them win 6 World Series and achieved 6 all-star appearances.

Ruffing and Gomez was a deadly one-two punch back then, both had 20-win seasons in the late ’30s. If they held their opponents to under 4 runs on average, them they were guaranteed to win a lot of games with Ruth, Gherig, and others in the lineup.

5th Starter: Andy Pettitte

The model for health and longevity, Pettitte led the majors in games started three times in his career. He pitched 200+ innings in 10 seasons of his career and even won 20 games, in 1996.

Pettitte, as well as other pitchers above, helped the Yankees win 5 World Series rings in the late ’90s and early and late 2000s. He pitched in and won many big games for the New York Yankees, making it hard to leave him out of this rotation.

An argument can be made for Spud Chandler, Mike Mussina, CC Sabathia, and Mel Stottlemyre to be in this rotation, but the five pitchers above allowed the Yankees to be. most successful throughout their history.

Bullpen

Long Reliever/Middle Reliever: Johnny Murphy

Murphy helped the ’30s New York Yankees win 6 World Series.

He even pitched 200 innings one season as a reliever, proving he can stay in games and consume innings. He led the league in saves four times as well.

Middle Reliever: David Robertson

His slider and ability to escape bases-loaded jams throughout the mid-2000s gives him a spot on this team. He could come out of the bullpen in the middle of an inning and let up no runs.

Robertson’s stuff allowed him to earn the second-best strikeout percentage in Yankees’ reliever history. He is the only active pitcher on this team.

Middle Reliever: Joe Page

Page only had an 8-year career, however, he led the majors in saves twice. He was also a 3-time all-star and lit up the radar gun.

Middle Reliever/Setup Man: Sparky Lyle

Lyle was a huge contributor to the 1977 and 1978 World Series Champion teams.

He led the league in saves in ’76 and would usually finish off games when he appeared. His most significant statistic was winning the 1977 CY Young award as a reliever.

Lyle could pitch multiple innings in relief, making him a good candidate for middle relief and setup man.

Setup Man: Dave Righetti

Beginning his career as a starter, Righetti was converted to the bullpen.

In 1986, Righetti led the majors in saves with 46. He won the 1981 Rookie of the Year award and reliever of the year twice.

He is second on the Yankees all-time saves list, behind none other than Mariano Rivera.

Setup Man: Rich “Goose” Gossage

He led the majors in saves three times, made 9 all-star appearances, and had his best years with the Yankees.

Gossage dialed up the radar guns and blew away hitters with his high 90s fastball. Not many pitchers in the league could throw with such velocity in the ’70s, making it even tougher to react to and make contact.

Closer: Mariano Rivera

There should be no argument here, Rivera won pretty much every award one can win as a reliever. He is the first unanimous hall of fame player in the history of Major League Baseball.

He has the most saves out of any closer ever (652), the most games finished (952), and the best ERA+ (205).

Any time “Enter Sandman” played on the loud-speaker, everyone in the budding knew the game was pretty much over. In 96 playoff appearances, Mo’ only lost one game.

He also had one of the most unhittable pitches ever, his cutter. He threw it inside on lefties and generated a lot of broken bats. He played on a level only a few relievers have reached in their careers.

When a bullpen consists of a Cy Young winner, two live arms, and the best closer ever, there is almost a guarantee the current game result as a win. A full 25-man all-time Yankees roster has been formed. This team could easily be the best group of players ever assembled.

With Reebok deal set to expire, who will be the next exclusive apparel company for the UFC?

UFC, Dana White

Back in December of 2014, the UFC agreed to a landmark deal that made Reebok the exclusive athletic wear provider of the UFC. The six-year deal was a huge step for the company that was seeking to fall more in-line with mainstream sports. However, over the past six years, the deal has received plenty of criticism from pundits and fighters. Many fighters said that they lost out on a ton of money from sponsors when the Reebok deal went into effect. The deal is expiring in December, and the world is starting to wonder what are the next steps for the UFC. Will they resign with Reebok or will they go in a new direction?

UFC President, Dana White, has hinted that the company would not be resigning with Reebok following the termination of the Reebok deal over the past couple of months. Then, White seemingly confirmed that when he announced on “The Schmozone Podcast” that the company would be moving in a different direction. “The Schmo” asked White if the UFC would sign with one of three companies: Nike, Under Armour, or Venom. White seemed hesitant to answer at first, but then replied, “Yes, it will be one of the three.”

The UFC & Nike

The one the jumps off the page as an early favorite to me would be Nike. Nike has a history with UFC athletes having sponsored Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, and Junior dos Santos in the past. Nike is known as the premier outfitter in American sports. Nike is the primary outfitter for the NFL, MLB, and the NBA. It would only make sense for the UFC to try to ink a deal with Nike to join the stable of sport leagues. It would seemingly legitimize the UFC even more than it already is. If I had to place a bet at this stage, I would say that Nike is the safest bet to replace Reebok in 2021.

The UFC & Under Armour

Under Armour is one that is fascinating for a number of reasons. UA is known as one of the biggest athletic apparel companies in the world, yet, the company isn’t the primary sponsor for any major sport league. UA is a major sponsor in the college ranks, but no professional league uses Under Armour as their primary sponsor. Under Armour sponsored UFC Hall of Famer, Georges St. Pierre, so they have experience with the sport. Maybe UA makes a big push to become the primary sponsor for the UFC. They will definitely be in the running, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them become the sponsor.

The Underdog

The suggestion that caught me off guard was Venom. Venom has a long history with combat sports including sponsoring many UFC fighters over the years. They are a company that exclusively provides combat sports/workout apparel. Venom is currently the primary sponsor for the world’s best pound for pound boxer, Vasiliy Lomachenko. With the history in combat sports, it doesn’t surprise me to hear their name mentioned, but I’m not sure it’s entirely realistic. I could be 100% wrong, but in the end, I think the UFC will go a little more mainstream with their pick. I’m sure we will get our answer in the coming months on who will be taking over for Reebok in 2021. You can catch White’s full appearance on “The Schmozone Podcast” below.

New York Yankees Prospects: Carlos Verdecia

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

The next New York Yankees prospect that we will be taking a look at is one that I’m very excited to watch progress. This prospect raised a lot of eyebrows when he only struck out one time in 115 plate appearances in the 15U Cuban National League. That prospect would be the dynamic infielder, Carlos Verdecia. Verdecia has poise at the plate that I like to see from such a young kid. Verdecia just turned 18-years-old back in March, but his maturity at the plate for surpasses his age. Last year, Verdecia made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League for the DSL Yankees. It was going to be a question on how well he’d be able to still make contact seeing professional action. Verdecia did not disappoint in his first professional season.

2019 season with the DSL Yankees

Verdecia appeared in 28 games for the DSL Yankees back in 2019. In those 28 games, Verdecia had 100 plate appearances where he hit .280 and had an OBP of .415. As I mentioned, his plate discipline was really the thing to watch for in his first season. Well, Verdecia actually walked more times than he struck out. In those 100 plate appearances, Verdecia walked 22 times while he only struck out 19 times. Another thing about Verdecia is that he has pretty decent speed. He was successful in 12 of is 17 steal attempts last season. At this stage, Verdecia is not much of a power threat at the plate. He didn’t hit one home run, but you should see an increase in power as he continues to fill out his 5’11 frame. Verdecia spent the majority of his time at second-base last season, but is currently projected as a shortstop prospect.

Development moving forward

Moving forward, I think Verdecia just needs to continue to add strength. I think his approach is already fantastic, but I would like to see him add just a little more pop. Verdecia looks really smooth at second, but the Yankees seemed inclined to develop him at short. He’s going to need to improve his range just a little, and be more consistent with his throwing. I really like him long-term as a second base prospect. Verdecia is a guy who is going to be under the radar, but with his approach at the plate, do not be shocked if he moves quickly through the system. To me, he projects as the kind of guy who is going to hit at all levels.

New York Giants: Is Blake Martinez an improvement over Alec Ogletree?

New York Giants, Blake Martinez, McManus Designs

When the New York Giants signed former Green Bay Packer Blake Martinez to a three-year, $30 million deal this off-season, most were perplexed by the decision. With options like Cory Littleton still available, signing Martinez came as a surprise, but the way the Giants plan to use him fits the mold.

Evidently, the Giants are replacing Alec Ogletree with Martinez, two players that have questionable coverage skills. Ogletree posted an 83% completion rate against and three touchdowns allowed in 2019. That doesn’t even factor in his 16% missed tackle rate. Blake Martinez landed an 83.8% completion rate against with two touchdowns allowed. He posted a 10.4% missed tackle rate.

Clearly, both of these players are poor in coverage, despite the Packers utilizing Martinez in a mesh-zone scheme that didn’t allow him to trail opposing tight ends and pass catchers. Nonetheless, the former Packer represents a fantastic clean up linebacker who can rack up tackles.

The Giants are getting a patient linebacker in Martinez, who brings intelligence and experience to a position that has failed to live up to expectations in recent years. Ogletree was a disaster at times in coverage and stopping the run. Martinez can diagnose offensive plays quickly and remain patient to mitigate large gains.

He did state that Green Bay’s defense did not value the linebacker position or the player he’s capable of being. The Giants see him in an expanded role on defense and believe he can produce even more than his 155 combined tackles with Green Bay in 2019.

“Going through the process, I just thought about what kind of fit [would be best] for myself, individually, my play style and those types of things,” Martinez said during a Tuesday appearance on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.” “Obviously, looking at the potential places I could go to, New York just jumped off the tape for me. Just seeing the guys that are on the team, the young talent across the board, obviously a new head coach [Joe Judge].

“Then my old inside linebacker coach [Patrick Graham] is now the defensive coordinator. Everything kind of just paired together easily. I was just super excited that I had the chance to go be a Giant.”

Martinez has 522 total tackles in his career, averaging about nine per game. He’s also capable of rushing the passer in unpredictable sets, something new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham will utilize heavily moving forward. Graham blitzed 41% of the time on third downs in 2019 with the Miami Dolphins. Having worked with Graham as his linebackers coach in Green Bay, Martinez has experience that will hopefully translate over to New York. It is important to note that Martinez had some of his best seasons with Graham as his coach.

The Giants desperately needed an upgrade over Ogletree, and while Martinez might not scream elite, he can get the job done, especially against the run.

New York Yankees: All the baseball news in one place, details here

Yankee President Randy Levine, get back to negotiations

The New York Yankees President Randy Levine says it time to get back to the negotiating table.  Levine says he has learned that the stumbling block to a baseball season is not money, it’s a host of issues such as health and safety protocols and determining how to deal with a second wave of the new coronavirus.  That statement makes you wonder if he has been watching the situation closely enough.

“So what I believe needs to happen is that the parties need to get together as soon as possible to resolve those issues so we can get the season going,” he said Tuesday. “All 30 clubs want to play. The commissioner wants to play. The players want to play. So let’s get these issues solved so we can begin playing baseball. The March agreement said the players would negotiate these issues. The commissioner has assured me he’s ready to do so. The players should get in a room and start negotiating so we can get going.”

MLB has made three proposals, the last for a 72-game season starting July 14 that would guarantee about $1.23 billion of salaries that originally totaled roughly $4 billion and would increase the total to $1.45 billion if the postseason is completed. The union offered two plans, the last for an 89-game schedule starting July 10 with salaries of $2.25 billion.  These don’t sound like health issues.  MLBPA leader Tony Clark says further negotiations would be futile.

Maybe I have had my head in the sand, but I just learned that the sides in the negotiations have not met in person since March 14th.  They have had a few conference calls and have sent messages and letters back and forth.  The sides need to meet in person and hammer out a deal if there is to be a baseball season in 2020.  Commissioner Manfred, it’s your call the clock is ticking.

Gary Sanchez and others light-up Twitter with calls for games to start!

The New York Yankees starting catcher Gary Sanchez along with a host of other baseball players have been busy on Twitter asking for a baseball season to start.  Sanchez said on his Twitter account: “We are ready to get back on the field. Tell us when and where.” Tyler Wade and Mike Tauchman echoed the same thing.  The new Yankees ace pitcher Gerrit Cole put forth a video of him driving to Yankee stadium and having a bullpen session at the stadium.

Yankee’s first baseman Luke Voit retweeted pitcher Max Scherzer’s tweet calling for the season to start. Yankee pitcher Ben Heller: “We want to play,” Heller wrote. “We want to grow the game. We want to give the fans what they want. It’s beyond frustrating to see the current and future state of the game be destroyed.” Slugger Aaron Judge retweeted Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who wrote, “Tell us when and where! We are ready!” Star Mike Trout and pitcher Trevor Bauer among others, have also let their feeling be known as well.

New York Yankees sign four free-agent pitchers

In the MLB Draft last week, the Yankees used two of their three draft picks for position players. In the first round, they picked Austin Wells (catcher).  In the 3rd and 4th rounds, they picked Trevor Hauver (second baseman) and pitcher Beck Way.

Now they have signed undrafted free agents right-handers Carson Coleman (Kentucky), Ocean Gabonia (Everett Community College in Washington), Trevor Holloway (UCF), and Jared Lessar (BYU) to deals worth $20,000. After the draft, players that were undrafted were free to sign with the team of their choice.  After signing with the Yankees, Lessar said: “I hung up the phone and was overwhelmed with a sense of joy and gratitude.’’

New York Yankees have not cut salaries, or furloughed staff

All the teams around baseball have been hemorrhaging money since baseball was shut down on March 12th.  Teams across baseball have been cutting expenses as much as possible, with many teams cutting staff and salaries.  The New York Yankees have not cut any salaries or furloughed any of their staff.  It is not known how long that will last, but it is believed it will be at least to the end of the month.

The Athletics Ken Rosenthal calls out Rob Manfred

Rosenthal said on Twitter yesterday, “The best Commissioners offer statesmanlike presence and superior vision.  Few ascribe those qualities to Manfred.

He and the owners, supposed stewards of the game, are turning the national pastime into a national punch line, effectively threatening to take their ball and go home. At the same time, the country struggles with medical, economic, and societal concerns.

Tulane RHP Pellerin agrees to deal with Yankees

Last night Brian Hoch reported that the New York Yankees have signed a 5th undrafted player.  Connor Pellerin, a right-handed pitcher from Tulane University who signed as an undrafted free agent as the Yankees continue to beef up their pitching options.  Pellerin is a 6-foot-4, 210-pound hurler from Baton Rouge, La., Pellerin compiled a 4-4 record with a 5.67 ERA over 55 collegiate appearances (two starts), allowing 54 hits and 75 walks with 94 strikeouts in 74 2/3 innings.

Aaron Judge’s foundation helps kids in California

The Yankees slugger Judge and his All Rise Foundation have selected the Boys & Girls Club of Sierra Vista in Stockton, Calif., to receive its $2,500 Spring 2020 Mini-Grant for school activities, health and well-being, youth citizenship and character development.

“Education and staying healthy are very important to me,” Judge said in a statement. “The work that the Boys & Girls Club is doing within the Sierra Vista neighborhood is exceptional. I am excited to provide this mini-grant that will help keep members engaged in educational opportunities, creative projects and develop healthy habits. The values of the Boys and Girls Club are perfectly aligned with the mission of our foundation.”

This is not the first time The All Rise Foundation has come to the aid of children.  Earlier in the coronavirus season, Judge and his foundation donated thousands of headphones to needy children in the Bronx near Yankee Stadium to aid children as they transitioned to learning at home.

New York Yankees scout compares Austin Wells to six-time All-Star Joe Mauer

New York Yankees, Austin Wells

In a perfect world, New York Yankees‘ first-round pick Austin Wells would hit .365 with 28 homers at the top level of Major League Baseball.

Wells, who grew up a Red Sox fan, would be forgiven for eternity if he could develop into what one scout believes equates to Joe Mauer, six-time All-Star catcher and first baseman.

In an interview with YES Network’s Jack Curry, Yankees’ top scout Damon Oppenheimer compared Wells’ skill-set to a variety of different players at the major-league level. However, one stood out, which was Mauer.

The 2009 American League MVP recorded a .365 batting average with 28 home runs during the 2009 season. His efficiency at the plate and defensive quality made him one of the best players at the time, prior to his retirement in 2018.

“I wish I could say yes, that there’s an exact player that he reminds me of. But it’s a little difficult because I’ve seen some Joe Mauer in this guy’s swing. I’ve seen some of that kind of pop at times. Just to say, ‘Yeah, he totally reminds me of somebody.’ I can’t really say that. That’s the swing he reminds me of a little bit sometimes of Joe.

He played all 15 years of his MLB career with the Minnesota Twins, compiling a .306 average at the plate, 143 home runs, 923 RBIs, over 6930 at-bats.

The New York Yankees might have landed a stud lefty in Austin Wells:

Wells, who was drafted with the 28th overall selection in the most recent MLB Draft, was projected as a catcher coming out of the University of Arizona. However, his skills-set could fit more efficiently in the outfield. His lackluster arm from behind the plate and average defensive traits make him a prime candidate to swap positions and land in a spot like left field.

Of course, this would require him to completely adapt to a new position, but he has the ability to make the transition smoothly. Wells is the type of player who could develop quickly in the Minor League system, climbing his way to the Yankees’ top squad in two years or so. An injury several years ago disrupted his throwing motion, which no longer seems to be an issue. It could have lingering effects throwing from behind the plate.

 

New York Jets replace long-time trainer after injury-riddled 2019 season (Report)

New York Jets

John Mellody had been with the New York Jets since 1996 and spent the last 14 seasons as the team’s head athletic trainer.

According to a report from Rich Cimini of ESPN, the New York Jets have removed long-time head trainer John Mellody from the position and replaced him with assistant Dave Zuffelato. Mellody will remain with the organization as a consultant. The Jets have more or less confirmed the news, having updated the staff list on their team website.

An alum of Ursinus College and Syracuse, Mellody joined the Jets in 1996 as the assistant trainer before earning the move up to the top position in 2006 under head coach Eric Mangini. Last season was, unfortunately, an eventful campaign for Mellody and the Jets’ injury list. The team ended the year with 21 players on injured reserve.

Consulted by phone, Mellody declined to comment for Cimini’s report.

Among the casualties were linebacker Avery Williamson (torn ACL) and wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (neck), who were respectively lost in the preseason and opening weekend. Linebacker C.J. Mosley partook in the Week 1 contest against Buffalo before missing the next four games with a groin ailment. He played the October 21 game against New England but an aggravation of the injury put him on IR as well. Others starters who missed games included offensive linemen Kelvin Beachum (ankle) and Brian Winters (knee), as well as defenders Jordan Jenkins (calf) and Quinnen Williams (ankle).

Zuffelato first represented the Jets in 2002 as an intern and became the assistant trainer alongside Mellody in 2006. He earned Athletic Training degrees at Temple and Central Connecticut State University. Robert Daplyn has been hired in his old assistant position, having served in the head position for the Black Knights of Army West Point since August 2016. Fellow assistant Ezron Bryson, a Hofstra alum who has been with the team since 2016, has been retained.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags