New York Mets’ reliever reveals he had COVID-19

New York Mets

The New York Mets are about to receive a veteran reinforcement to their bullpen corps, as they try to navigate a difficult schedule this season that includes the current World Champions and teams like the New York Yankees, the Atlanta Braves, the Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays, just to name a few.

Right-hander Jared Hughes, who was signed by the New York Mets on June 30 to a minor league deal, was placed on the injured list back on July 10 with an undisclosed issue. However, he revealed today that he tested positive for COVID-19 in early July, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

According to Anthony DiComo, Hughes was scheduled to throw live batting practice Sunday and could be just days away from activation off the injured list. The Mets need him and Brad Brach to strengthen the relief pitching in what is shaping up to be a tight race for the playoffs.

The Mets are about to gain a valuable righty

The 35-year-old hurler missed all of summer camp and the Mets declined to explain why. However, the pitcher himself came forward with an explanation today, saying that he suffered the disease, just like Brach.

Last week, when addressing the absences of Brach and Hughes, Mets’ manager Luis Rojas said to the press that in them, he has “a couple of weapons pending.”

Indeed, Hughes could be an extremely useful piece as the Mets bridge the gap between the starters and closer Edwin Diaz. Last season, he had a 4.04 ERA in 72 games with the Cincinnatu Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies, with a 5-5 record, 54 strikeouts and a 1.18 WHIP.

Hughes is known for the heavy usage of his sinker, relying on the offering roughly three quarters of the time. The pitch has helped him maintain a very low career ERA of 2.88, with a 4.11 FIP. He complements his arsenal with a changeup, a curveball, a four-seamer and a slider.

New York Giants OT Nate Solder Opts Out Of 2020 Season

New York Giants, Nate Solder

The New York Giants have had their first player officially opt out of the 2020 NFL season: offensive tackle Nate Solder.

Nate Solder announced today that he will be opting out of the 2020 season due to serious health concerns. Nate’s son, Hudson Solder, has been fighting an ongoing battle with cancer. Hudson is at high-risk if he were to contract the coronavirus. The Solder family has also welcomed a baby boy as a new addition to the family this spring. Nate Solder has eliminated certain risks by opting out of this year’s NFL season to protect his family’s health.

Nate Solder released this official statement on Twitter below:

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to numerous opt-outs across the NFL. Nate Solder is the twenty-sixth NFL player to opt-out of the season, the first member of the New York Giants to do so. Training camp began yesterday for the Giants. Players underwent their first round of COVID-19 testing and will continue to be tested until they are cleared to practice.

With this news, the Giants have lost one of their two starting offensive tackles. This leaves the door wide open for rookie Andrew Thomas to start immediately at left tackle in 2020. Solder opting out also frees up $19.5 million on the Giants’ 2020 salary cap. But the money does roll into 2021 and likely extends Solder’s career with the Giants.

Nate Solder’s opt-out could also have a ripple effect across the Giants’ offensive line. This creates even more uncertainty over who might start at both right tackle and center. Nick Gates could see himself take a starting role this season and rookie Matt Peart might now have a shot at the right tackle position.

Nate Solder’s family is the top priority. He has made this careful decision to protect the health of himself and his loved ones and he deserves respect and admiration for doing so.

New York Mets’ prospect David Peterson had a debut to remember: “One of the greatest days of my life”

New York Mets, David Peterson

While it wasn’t always a smooth ride, rookie left-hander David Peterson was impressive in his debut with the New York Mets last night. He managed to limit a very good Boston Red Sox lineup to just two runs in 5.2 frames, allowing seven hits and two bases on balls. He struck out three rivals.

He debuted at a difficult venue (Fenway Park) against a good lineup. And while he wasn’t stellar, Peterson, the New York Mets’ 2017 first round draft pick, handled himself with the poise of a veteran.

“That’s his first outing,” Rojas said. “He handled himself like it was one of many outings he’s had at the Major League level.”

The Mets’ rookie did encounter some trouble in the third inning. After a couple of base hits and a walk, he loaded the bases with no outs on the board. Things could have been ugly. However, he gained his composure, came back from a 2-0 count to a 3-2 one, and then struck him out with a very good slider. One out. The next batter hit for a double play and the inning was over.

“This is one of the greatest days of my life,” said Peterson. “This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a little kid. To go out there and make my first Major League start and get the win, I couldn’t have asked for much more.”

A chance to stick with the Mets

The Mets won, and everybody was happy. Now, Peterson will most likely be given a chance to stick in the rotation at least until Marcus Stroman returns from a left calf tear.

“You can’t ask a guy to have a better outing than he had tonight,” said second baseman Robinson Canó. “He was filthy tonight. He was putting pitches where he wanted.”

“His poise, once again, is something that stands out,” Rojas said. “His matureness, how he’s able to handle the scenario, that’s a great thing.”

New York Jets: C Leo Koloamatangi opts out of 2020 season (Report)

New York Jets

The New York Jets have their first opt-out of a potential 2020 season in the form of the backup offensive lineman.

Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, New York Jets offensive lineman Leo Kolomatangi has opted out of the 2020 season due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. He is the first member of the Jets to opt-out of a potential upcoming season.

The 26-year-old blocker entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2017. He spent two years in the Detroit Lions’ system before joining the Jets’ practice squad last October. Kolomatangi was later promoted to the active roster in November, though he did not appear in any games. The Jets re-signed Kolomatangi in April.

Kolomatangi has been working in Hawaii this offseason, forming the Hawaii Towards Zero program, which, according to its mission statement, focuses “on achieving ZERO cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Hawaii” and to “restore what our lives once were, in a safe and new way”. The Fort Worth native spent his college days at the University of Hawaii, where he helped the Rainbow Warriors end a six-year bowl drought with a victory over Middle Tennessee in the 2016 Hawaii Bowl.

“I am with Hawaii Towards Zero because I feel this is the least I can do for a state and a people that have impacted my life so much,” Kolomatangi says on the organization’s site.

With Kolomatangi’s opt-out, the Jets are down to 85 players on their active roster after two other moves relating to the current health crisis. The Jets are also set to place rookie cornerbacks Bryce Hall and Shyheim Carter were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Hall was chosen in the fifth round of April’s draft while Carter is an undrafted free agent. Teams are set to cut down to 80 players by August 16.

Placement on the reserve/COVID-19 list does not necessarily mean a positive test, as placement could mean mere contact with someone who tested positive.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

MLB COVID-19 outbreak: Another Marlin tests positive; Phillies to return on Saturday

COVID-19 has really changed the outlook of the MLB season in the last few days. After several players of the Miami Marlins’ active roster tested positive for the disease, the Philadelphia Phillies, who played the Marlins in Philly over the weekend, underwent days of testing and are quarantining.

Today, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, “another Marlins player has tested positive for COVID-19. Only positive result in most recent tests. Brings team total to 16 players and two coaches.”

The Marlins traveling party remains in Philadelphia as of Wednesday morning, awaiting additional COVID-19 test results before determining next steps. Their next scheduled game is at home, on Tuesday against the Phillies.

MLB, at least, can breathe easy knowing that the outbreak is limited to one team. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, who cited a source with knowledge of the situation, the Phillies returned all negative tests in the squad.

MLB wants to play through the situation

Despite the severe outbreak in the Marlins, MLB has decided to play out the season under the current circumstances, trying to navigate the situation. The Phillies were initially slated to return to play on Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays, but there has been yet another change of plans.

Rosenthal reported on Wednesday that the “Phillies will not play Friday.” There will be a doubleheader against the Blue Jays on Saturday and a single game on Sunday.

The Marlins were supposed to start a series against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday, while the Phillies’ calendar marked the Yankees. As a result of the outbreak, the Marlins and Phillies aren’t playing today and the Yankees and Orioles will face off Wednesday and Thursday.

Given the severity of the situation, it is unclear if the Marlins are going to be able to return to play next week as it is currently scheduled.

Fireside Giants Ep 33: Previewing New York Giants’ Training Camp, Discussing Baker and Rosas

New York Giants, Fireside Giants

The New York Giants officially begin training camp this week. In Fireside Giants episode 33, Alex and Anthony preview training camp and react to the recent news regarding Aldrick Rosas and DeAndre Baker.

iTUNES LINK HERE

In this episode, we react to the latest news surrounding the Giants and the rest of the NFL. We discuss player opt-outs due to COVID-19, the most impactful rookies for the short-term versus the long-term, and who could fill that cornerback two position. We also answer mailbag questions and discuss who might get cut in training camp and what is going on with Markus Golden.

Jabrill Peppers could be a darkhorse candidate for the second cornerback position. Alex and Anthony discuss that possibility and debate why it should or should not happen. Who would play safety if Peppers made the switch? Can we rely on Julian Love for sixteen games?

DeAndre Baker was officially placed on the commissioner’s exempt list this week. The Giants also cut Aldrick Rosas. Alex and Anthony react to this news and give their opinions on what it means for the state of the Giants’ roster.

This is another highly informative podcast, breaking down the positions in-depth and giving some insight into how things might turn out. Join our community on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Links are below!

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UFC: Is Edmen Shahbazyan the next big thing?

The UFC is always out looking for their next big superstar. They are looking all over the world for young prospects who have superstar written all over them.

In the world today, MMA is becoming more of a mainstream option for kids as they grow up. Instead of traditional martial arts, parents are enrolling their kids into MMA classes where they are learning everything.

As a result, more and more talent is going to be coming out of this next generation as fighters who can do everything. One fighter that epitimizes that is 22-year old phenom, Edmen Shahbazyan.

Shahbazyan will make the walk for his fifth UFC fight this Saturday, months before he turns 23. Shahbazyan is wanting to beat Jon Jones record as the youngest fighter to become a UFC champion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gue7–IUr7M

The next UFC star from the Glendale Fighting Club?

Shahbazyan trains out of the Glendale Fighting Club. The gym was the home of Ronda Rousey during her career. Rousey actually is Shahbazyan’s manager.

Shahbazyan started hitting the mats when he was really young. There is actually footage of him working with Rousey at an open workout when he was just sixteen. Shahbazyan has been brought up to be good at everything.

Shahbazyan already possesses a smoothness and patience that you usually don’t see from fighters that are so young. His striking and killer instinct are already near the top of the division.

When Shahbazyan hurts his opponents, he’s so patient and calm about looking for the finishing blow. Most UFC fighters go all out aggressively, but Shahbazyan continues to strike with force and precision.

Shahbazyan could really be the next big thing in the UFC. He headlines his first card this Saturday night against Derek Brunson. A win over Brunson would likely get Shahbazyan an opponent in the top five of the UFC‘s middleweight division.

Realistically if Shahbazyan wins impressively Saturday night, he might only be one more win away from a title shot. If Shahbazyan is able to get his hands on the title in the year he turns 23, we might see him reign for a long time.

New York Yankees: Let’s Talk About Giancarlo Stanton

New York Yankees, Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

The man, the myth, the legend. A one-time MVP, two-time Silver Slugger, and four-time All-Star. Former Miami Marlin, who demolished 59 bombs to the edge of the Andromeda Galaxy in the 2017 season. A man who’s constantly criticized for being “made of glass” and “striking out too much.” His name is Giancarlo Stanton.

In his career, Stanton has slashed .269/.358/.548/.906 with a .382 wOBA, 142 wRC+, and a 39.4 fWAR in 4900 plate appearance. Stanton is overlooked as an individual who has no business “playing defense.” The fact is, however, Stanton has saved 49 runs and accumulated a 37.8 ultimate zone rating in 9003 innings played. Stanton possesses a cannon of an arm and prospers in the outfield with plenty of range.

So, where does that lead us? Why are some individuals so reluctant and against Stanton playing the field? Why do some individuals only criticize Stanton for striking out, but greatly ignore a huge chunk of production? Why do some individuals ignore that Stanton played 158 games in 2018 and only started encountering issues with his health as of recently?

I can’t necessarily solve global peace and convince these types of folks otherwise, but I can predict one scenario: Stanton will be a force to be reckoned with in 2020.

According to Steamer from Fangraphs, Stanton is predicted to slash .268/.355/.591/.946 with a .385 wOBA and a 143 wRC+. Depth Charts and ZiPS, which are additional prediction tools utilized by Fangraphs, also expect Stanton to produce around the .370-.378 range in terms of wOBA and the 133-138 range in terms of wRC+. These types of numbers would indicate that Stanton is expected to hit at an above-average level.

While his defense isn’t expected to be anything less than below average, his offensive firepower is expected to be equivalent to past seasons where he produced at an above-average level. Also, nobody outside of the New York Yankees organization is entirely sure if Stanton will play the field or if his main role will be as a designated hitter.

Flashback to his past defensive metrics, Stanton deserves a chance to play the field. At the bare minimum, if Stanton stays healthy and focuses on hitting during the 2020 season, the Yankees will be in good hands with a reliable power bat.

Here’s another reason why Stanton will be a force: Stanton has been swinging the bat effectively since summer camp and was a prime factor in the New York Yankees’ first win of the 2020 season.

During the opening day game against the Washington Nationals, Stanton recorded a 2-run bomb that traveled well beyond the speed of light and drove in an additional RBI. Altogether, Stanton recorded 2 hits against an elite Max Scherzer. By a wide margin, that’s nothing to complain about.

Since these stats won’t remain for obvious reasons, as of this moment, Stanton is slashing .667/.667/1.667/2.333 with a 1.011 wOBA and a 391 wRC+. Now, tell me why you wouldn’t want that caliber of efficiency your lineup? Exactly.

New York Yankees get their Houston Astros revenge through crazy Joe Kelly

The Houston Trashstros. Everybody remembers the method they used to cheat their way to a World Series victory in 2017 and another appearance in 2019. The New York Yankees fell to the Astros last season in the ALCS, and whispers of blatant cheating were beginning to rise in the media.

The rest is history, as the Astros were punished for their actions, some might say not enough. However, the players weren’t going to let them get away with their wrongdoings. Seemingly, Houston has excepted the hostility that is still yet to come, and Dodgers’ pitcher Joe Kelly gave them a taste of their own medicine.

Kelly is known for his aggressive attitude and mentality toward getting in people’s heads. He did just that against Houston, but instead of getting inside their head, he threw a baseball at it. In the video above, you can see him throwing at Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa.

Neither of the Houston players reacted, despite being in the line of serious injury from a ball coming nearly 100 mph at their heads. Kelly didn’t only throw at Correa; he also managed to strike him out. Following the strikeout, he said, “nice swing, bi-ch.”

This fostered an argument between the two sides, which resulted in both benches clearing. Both Bregman and Correa failed to deliver adequate apologies several months ago, which is now directly affecting them and giving players like Kelly the greenlight.

Another layer to the fold:

In an interesting time, with COVID-19 running rampant through the Miami Marlins ranks and shutting down a majority of the world at one point, this is just another added layer to the complex reality we live in. Joe Kelly is not the most liked pitcher in baseball, but he redeemed himself nicely with this targeted performance. Considering Major League Baseball didn’t take back the Astros’ 2017 championship, there is still bad blood in the air.

The New York Rangers Announce Team Awards for 2019-20

New York Rangers, Artemi Panarin

In a press release, the New York Rangers announced their team awards for the 2019-20 season. The three awards handed out are the team MVP, the Players’ Player award, and the John Halligan Good Guy Award

Artemi Panarin named MVP of the New York Rangers

Panarin has won the award for the first time since joining the Rangers. He is the first player who has won the award in his first season with the Rangers since Mark Messier in 1991-92. Panarin is also a finalist for the Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award.

According to the Rangers, The Most Valuable Player Award was voted on by members of the New York Rangers media and has been given annually since the conclusion of the 1941-42 season.

While Mika Zibanejad did receive some first-place votes, Panarin’s season was truly one worthy of being the MVP.

Panarin ranked second in the NHL (and led NHL forwards) in plus/minus rating, tied for second in the NHL in assists, tied for third in the NHL in points, tied for 13th in the NHL in goals, and ranked 16th in the NHL in takeaways (56) in 2019-20. He tallied a point in 54 of the 69 games he played during the 2019-20 season (including 28 multi-point games), and he also registered a point in 34 of the Rangers’ 37 wins during the season.

With 95 points this season. this ranked Panarin 12th-most  in one season by a Ranger in franchise history, and his 63 assists were tied for the 12th-most by a Ranger in one season in franchise history. Panarin’s 63 assists were also the most by a left-winger in one season in franchise history.

Jesper Fast selected as the recipient of Players’ Player Award

This makes the fifth consecutive season that Fast has won this award.

The Players’ Player Award has been given annually since the conclusion of the 1958-59 season and recognizes the Ranger who, as selected by his teammates, “best exemplifies what it means to be a team player.”

Fast skated in 69 games with the Rangers this season, registering 12 goals and 17 assists for 29 points, along with a plus-16 rating and 20 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in plus/minus rating and average ice time (16:36) in 2019-20. Fast ranked 21st among NHL forwards (and led Rangers forwards) in shorthanded ice time (162:35) this season

Chris Kreider named winner of John Halligan Good Guy Award

The John Halligan Good Guy Award recognizes a player for their cooperation with the media throughout the season. The award has been presented annually since the 1974-75 season and was renamed in 2009-10 to honor the team’s late public relations director. The award recipient is chosen by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association who cover the Rangers throughout the season.

The 2019-20 season was Kreider’s second full season as one of the Rangers’ alternate captains; he was named an alternate captain at the start of the 2018-19 season and had worn an “A” for several games during the final month of the 2017-18 season.

Current Rangers who previously received the John Halligan Good Guy Award are Henrik Lundqvist (2007-08), Marc Staal (2013-14), and Mika Zibanejad (2018-19).