New York Yankees: James Paxton’s MRI results are ready, as the lefty is set to miss time

New York Yankees, James Paxton

The New York Yankees‘ bad luck with injuries simply cannot be explained. Left-handed starting pitcher James Paxton was cruising in his last start against the Tampa Bay Rays, but allowed three runs in the fifth inning and departed shortly after battling with walks (he handed four.)

As it turns out, he felt discomfort in his left arm and was sent for an MRI. The results showed that his ulnar collateral ligament is intact, which is excellent news for his prospects of avoiding Tommy John surgery, but he is dealing with a flexor strain.

Flexor strains are multi-week injuries, so the ailment has the potential to end the New York Yankees’ lefty season prematurely. For now, no such scenario has been discussed, but he is looking at multiple weeks on the mend at the very least.

The Yankees need a starter

The information of the diagnosis was reported by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Paxton was slated to be the Yankees’ second starter behind Gerrit Cole, but since his first start of the season he showed diminished velocity, and the results suffered.

Last season, an average fastball from Paxton traveled at 95 miles per hour. To start the season, it barely touched 92.

The situation became to improve progressively through the season, but his velo never got back to normal.

The 2020 season has been a difficult one for Paxton, who is currently 1.1 with a 6.64 ERA in five starts and 20.1 innings. He has 26 strikeouts, but they have come with an ugly 1.48 WHIP.

For now, the Yankees are left scrambling for another starter. Candidates to fill in for Paxton in the rotation are Jonathan Loaisiga, Mike King and Clarke Schmidt. The team could also opt to pursue a starter in the trade market, although it is unclear whether they will choose to go that route having several internal candidates.

New York Islanders: Did Losing Game 4 Benefit the Islanders?

New York Islanders

Last year the New York Islanders got swept by the Carolina Hurricanes after sweeping the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Islanders were a game away from sweeping the Capitals this year. If the Isles won game 4, they would be the first team to officially make the second round. The first round is still going on, it either ends today or on Sunday. Rest is the enemy of a team that’s hot. The Islanders would’ve had at least five days of rest in between rounds if they swept. Isles fans saw how sloppy the team was after their elongated rest. I believe the Islanders will benefit from winning in 5 games.

The Benefits

This Islanders team is hot right now. Hotter than they’ve been in a while. For the first time in years, the Islanders are finally cup contenders. Players like Anthony Beauvillier, Josh Bailey, and Semyon Varlamov are on fire. Beauvillier has six goals and three assists during the playoffs.

Josh Bailey has recorded two goals and eight assists during the playoffs. These are some impressive performances for some unsung heroes. Speaking of unsung heroes, Semyon Varlamov is boasting a 1.59 GAA, and a .935 save percentage and most recently pitched a shutout. These players will continue to stay hot. Players like Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, and Mat Barzal will be able to find their rhythm. The Islanders need that first line to get hot. There’s a ton of benefits to lack of rest.

The Negatives

This team isn’t currently beaten up. Cal Clutterbuck is the only Islander with a confirmed injury, and he was a game-time decision yesterday. Just because there isn’t a confirmed injury doesn’t mean everyone is 100%. The playoffs are tough on everyone, especially the old bodies like Andy Greene. The Islanders will only have around three days to rest and recover. It’s not a long time, but it’s not a short time either. Three days should be enough for everyone to get healthy and ready to eliminate the Flyers/Bruins.

Conclusion

The Islanders will benefit from losing game 4. They still have enough time to rest and recover, but they haven’t been off the ice long enough to lose their hot streak.

New York Giants Intra-squad scrimmage top takeaways: Jones stock, Darnay Holmes elevates, more!

New York Giants rookie quarterback, Daniel Jones during voluntary OTAs.

The New York Giants had their first intrasquad exhibition game on Friday afternoon, composed of both offense and defensive personnel.

The purpose behind the scrimmage was to give opportunities to the younger players on the roster and iron out the back end. While undrafted free agents and late-round draft picks are the focal points, experienced veterans and expected starters also gained essential experience prior to the start of the 2020 regular season.

Some notable absentees where Xavier McKinney and Ryan Connelly. Head coach Joe Judge said that sitting both of them was just a precaution, giving them a rest day after several intense practices. McKinney nearly came away with several turnovers on Thursday, and Connelly, who is coming off a torn ACL, is working his way back to football form.

 

 

Stand-out players for the New York Giants:

-Darnay Holmes

Holmes had a stellar practice, coming away with an interception over veteran wide receiver Golden Tate. While Daniel Jones threw a lofty pass giving Holmes time to get underneath, the rookie showed off his athleticism.

-Dravon Askew-Henry

Askew-Henry has been stellar the past few days of practice, walking away with several defended passes. He’s making the transition from the XFL, and while it was a longshot for him to make the roster, this could finally be his opportunity to stick up in the NFL. He is a cousin of former Jet’s cornerback, Darrelle Revis.

-Dion Lewis

The New York Giants signed Dion Lewis to be Saquon Barkley’s complementary back, and he has done just that so far in training camp. He pulled off a few long runs using his shiftiness and elusive attribute. Utilizing 22 personnel, the offense can create more opportunities with Barkley and Lewis on the field. It will be interesting to see how they utilize the predominant pass-catching back.

 

As for second-year quarterback Daniel Jones, he had an up-and-down practice. While he threw some nice passes and walked away with two touchdowns, he also tossed an interception on the day. Ultimately, the offense struggled to get things going early but picked up toward the end of the scrimmage. He stated afterward that he feels confident in the huddle and has command at the line of scrimmage. Knowing his pre-snap reads and checks gives him the confidence in knowing he is moving in the right direction with Jason Garrett’s offensive scheme.

 

Defensively, second-year tackle Dexter Lawrence had a tackle for a loss on Saquon Barkley and looked agile. He lost a nice chunk of weight to increase his mobility and speed in the trenches.

New York Mets: How the Positive COVID-19 Tests Effects the Future

yankees, New York Mets, Luis Rojas

The cancellation of this weekend’s Subway Series marks at least four consecutive games that the New York Mets will miss and have to make up. The details of who and how the virus was contracted are still unknown to the public. Due to league rules, they cannot say who tested positive. Once someone lands on the Injured List without a specific injury, we will know the player. This was the situation with Brad Brach and Jared Hughes, but with the time off the Mets might not need to put anyone on the IL.

Limit the Spread

At the moment, their handling of each player has allowed them to contain the virus to only one player and one staff member. If all goes well with no other positive tests, the Mets could return within a week as the Cincinnati Reds did. Whether you agree with Marcus Stroman opting out or not, this was the exact type of situation he wanted to avoid when discussing his opt-out decision.

The entire weekend is going to be a test of how effective the Mets are with squashing a potential outbreak. If their roster and staff members were following guidelines before a positive test, then the cases will remain at two. The player and staff member remain in Miami while most of the team is back in New York.

Reports stated the flight back to New York had a different vibe to it and understandably so. Players could not eat or drink on the flight home and received assigned seats. Despite conflicting stories and articles, the Mets are taking the correct steps from preventing this from taking over the same way it did for the Marlins.

The speculation game is in full force with the situation and the Mets spending the week in Miami. Some assume it is related to going to a club, but all of that is just for show. Social media leads to some brutal fans or some wild comments from doctors who received their medical degrees through Twitter. At this point, all we can do is sit back and evaluate the information as it comes in.

Back to the Field

When the Mets do return to the field, the few days off should aid an ailing starting rotation. David Peterson and Michael Wacha receive extra time to rehab their injuries, and even Steven Matz gets some time to clear his head. The Mets also will not have to force Seth Lugo into the rotation, as they were before Thursday’s game was postponed.

The Mets and Yankees both have an off day on Monday, which could serve as a doubleheader opportunity for both teams. If not, the Mets play the Marlins at Citi Field starting on Tuesday. The Mets had a three-game winning streak and may receive the opportunity to start Jacob deGrom in their first game back.

Their schedule will be packed towards the end of the season. The Mets starters also must get deeper into the game if their bullpen is going to pitch successfully. But for now, the health of each player comes first. Once they are back to normal, then they can get back to worrying about their playoff push.

New York Yankees trade for right handed relief pitcher

New York Yankees, Addison Russ

The New York Yankees have been looking for pitching after a devastating sweep at the hand of the Tampa Bay Rays. Big names and trade ideas have been thrown around, yet this isn’t the big move people would think of. The New York Yankees acquired minor league RHP Addison Russ from the Philadelphia Phillies, and he is in the Yankees alternative site. This deal does not seem like an important move to most, but it has the potential to be a great pickup for the Yankees pitching depth.

Hard Thrower From the Bullpen

Addison Russ can sit in the 94-96 MPH range for his fastball, and it’s got life. He’s got a good fastball and changeup combo, and he can be a replacement in the bullpen for the injured arms. So far in his minor league career, he has a 2.46 ERA and has never had a season with an xFIP above 3.22, where he only pitched 3.1 innings as it was his first year. He commands an 11.8 K/9 with a solid 2.6 BB/9 with a 1.087 WHIP. These are great numbers for a reliever, and he can prove to be a great asset for the Yankees bullpen.

Another Diamond in the Rough

The New York Yankees honestly just fleeced the Phillies, because they just landed a player, who in over 150 innings as a reliever, has never really be bad with a good sample size to stand behind. The Yankees only gave up the DFA’d David Hale, who has had a 4.51 SIERA and 4.56 xFIP since 2018.

He has a 3.45 ERA since 2018, but his peripherals show it’s not at all sustainable, so the Yankees aren’t giving up much at all. Brian Cashman might have just gotten his diamond in the rough with Russ, as he can turn into a big pitcher for the Yankees if given innings.

Overall, this deal makes a ton of sense for the Yankees, and they get away with a reliever with gobs of potential. The price? A guy they DFA’d and were planning to get rid of anyways, so it’s a HUGE win for the Yankees.

Devin Vassell ‘has some fans’ in the New York Knicks organization

New York Knicks, Devin Vassell

The New York Knicks will select eighth in the 2020 NBA Draft after falling two spots in Thursday night’s draft lottery.

According to Ian Begley of SNY, Florida State wing Devin Vassell “has some fans” in the Knicks organization.

Vassell, a two-year player at Florida State, saw his minutes spike last season, going from 10.7 minutes in his freshman season to 28.8 minutes per contest in his sophomore season. Last season he started all 30 games he appeared in.

Vassell averaged 12.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.4 steals and one block per game while shooting 49.0 percent from the field, 41.5 percent from beyond the arc and 73.8 percent from the free throw line in his sophomore season.

The Knicks will select in the top 10 of the NBA Draft for the fourth consecutive year. Last year they selected Duke wing RJ Barrett with the third pick; the year prior they selected Kentucky forward Kevin Knox with the ninth pick; in 2017 they selected French point guard Frank Ntilikina with the eighth pick.

The Knicks have three selections in this year’s draft: their own first-round pick, the Los Angeles Clippers’ first rounder (27) and the Charlotte Hornets’ second rounder (38).

Wings who could be available at eight include Vassell, Deni Avdija, Auburn’s Isaac Okoro, Villanova’s Saddiq Bey and Vanderbilt’s Aaron Nesmith.

Another option for the Knicks is selecting a lead guard at eight. Guards who could be available at eight include Killian Hayes, UNC’s Cole Anthony, Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton, Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey and Alabama’s Kira Lewis.

New team president Leon Rose stated that Barrett and center Mitchell Robinson are “two young core pieces.” Rose and the Knicks hired former Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau to patrol the team’s sideline. They’ve added former Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne and former Utah Jazz assistant Johnnie Bryant to Thibodeau’s staff.

The NBA Draft is scheduled to take place on Oct. 16.

New York Yankees New/Rumors: The Yankees may now be active before the trade deadline?

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez, Gerrit Cole, Aaron Boone

In this shortened season the New York Yankees and the other 29 MLB teams likely will not see the normal amount of action by the trade deadline, that has been moved forward to August 31st.  The lack of blockbuster trades will be caused by a lack of money available to make those trades, due to the money that will be lost in this short season.

If there is much action, the New York Yankees will likely be involved.  After the mega purchase of the best available pitcher on the market in the offseason, the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole to a nine-year $324 million contract.  General Manager Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner have gotten the message that it’s pitching stupid.

As of now the pitching situation for the New York Yankees is not very good. Gerrit Cole is doing fine, but the rest of the pitching rotation has an ERA hovering around 6.  Now the Yankees may be short James Paxton who left yesterday’s game with forearm soreness. The bullpen has also had their problems.  Tommy Kahnle and Zack Britton are on the IL, putting much pressure on Adam Ottavino who hasn’t been making a name for himself of late.  Three of my trade targets the Yankees should seriously consider are pitchers.

Below are my five top targets the Yankees should at least look at if they want to challenge for a 28th World Championship.

1. Mike Clevinger

The Cleveland Indian Mike Clevinger a right-handed pitcher, could be a New York Yankee target. He is a premier starting pitcher that could have an impact on the Yankee rotation in a season that will see Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, Adam Warren, and most likely J.A. Happ reach free agency.

Clevinger’s last season was 13-4 in 21 starts for the Indians, with an ERA of 2.71. He had 169 strikeouts and a whip of 1.056.  Clevinger from Jacksonville, Florida is 29 just like Gerrit Cole. Clevinger has four pitches that he uses regularly.  A curveball, a slider, a changeup, and a top of the league 99 mph fastball.

2. Marcus Stroman

Last year during the trade season I constantly praised Marcus Stroman, not as top of the line pitcher, but as a mid-rotation dependable pitcher that would be a good fit for the New York Yankees. When the Yankees considered him, he was a Toronto Blue Jay.  A trade was made and he ended up with the Mets, certainly not his first choice.

Stroman has not kept it a secret that he would love to pitch for the Yankees. He is the type of pitcher that would eat up the spotlight of Yankee Stadium. The right-hander has already said in a Zoom call recently that he expects to dominate this season.

Stroman is known for coming on strong after a slow start. A trade for Stroman also could be the most cost-effective trade the Yankees could make. Stroman has opted out playing for the Mets this year.  He might be willing to play for the Yankees next.

3. Kirby Yates

The New York Yankees already have one of the best bullpens in baseball, but there would be nothing wrong with making it even better.  The easiest way to do that is the add Kirby Yates who would be the perfect fit for the Yankees. Yates will reach free agency after this season.

Yates has been one of the best relievers in the game for the past two years and earned his first All-Star nod in 2019. He pitched to a 1.19 ERA, led the NL in saves with 41, and struck out 101 batters in just 60.2 innings. The San Diego Padres are going nowhere in the next few seasons and just may be willing to trade the right-hander.

4. Francisco Lindor

During the last trade season the Yankees went after Francisco Lindor, often called the best shortstop in baseball.  Although the trade offer that was made never became public, the Yankees or other suiters could not make a deal. Lindor reaches free agency after the 2021 season. It has been rumored that Indians manager Terry Francona has ordered a trade of Lindor. With Gleyber Torres making so many errors at short, the Yankees might be wise to get an upgrade.

Last season Lindor hit .284 with 32 homers. The 26-year-old has a bright future in baseball.  In just five years he has been an All-Star four times, a Silver Slugger twice, and has won the Gold Glove Award at short twice. The downside to this trade is it will be costly for the Yankees.  How Torres performs early on in the season, may cause the Yankees to go after him again. The Yankees also would like to see his left-hand bat in a lineup that doesn’t take advantage of the short right-field porch.

5. Nolan Arenado

The New York Yankees have always liked trading with the Colorado Rockies.  The Yankees have looked at Nolan Arenado before.  Although the Yankees don’t need a third baseman, they certainly would like his bat in the lineup that saw him achieve 41 home runs and a .315 batting average, last season for the Rockies.

Should the Yankees go after Arenado they will be getting a 29-year old that has been an All-Star five times, a  Gold Glover seven times, and a Platinum Glover for the last three seasons. He also achieved Silver Slugger status four times.  Arenado is at the top of his career.

The New York Yankees may also be looking to back up the backstop.  With Gary Sanchez so subject to injury, Chris Iannetta retiring and now Kyle Higashioka on the IL, that leaves them with only Erik Kratz.  Possibly an additional glove behind the plate might be wise.

Image, if you will, Gerrit Cole leading off the rotation followed by Mike Clevinger, a bullpen that includes Kirby Yates, Francisco Lindor at short, and Nolan Arenado at third base with his 41 home runs.  If the Yankees forego, Lindor and get Arenado, that could move Gio Urshela to short, where he has had experience. Now that the Yankees have fallen from first place in the East they may just be willing to make a trade or two.  It all depends on how much money they want to spend and what they are willing to give up for these elite players.

 

Giants’ Joe Judge details what to expect from Friday’s intra-squad game

New York Giants, CJ Conrad

The New York Giants will hold an intra-squad game on Friday afternoon, composed of their own players looking to put film on the practice field.

With a major void being left in the middle of the preseason without scheduled practice games, undrafted free agents and late-round draft picks will find it hard to display their best self. Back-end roster guys like Binjimen Victor, Austin Mack, Kyle Murphy, and so many more will ultimately lose the opportunity to play in the NFL in 2020 due to the lack of preseason.

However, head coach Joe Judge will utilize this intra-squad games to give them an opportunity to shine.

Here’s what the New York Giants’ head coach had to say:

“Tomorrow will be a lot of put the ball down and play it out,” Judge said on Thursday. “We may put the ball down more in a red area and let them play in the red area, or we put them in a backed-up situation and let them play it out from that zone. But tomorrow is definitely going to be a lot more of just aware on the field, see the sticks, what’s the down and distance. Jason (Garrett) call it, Pat call it, T-Mac (Thomas McGaughey) have his unit ready to go if it’s third down. Go down to fourth down and let’s just go ahead and play it out and see how smart our players can react, see how physical they can play, and see how we can hold up our fundamentals and execution through a higher intensity.”

Awareness in-game is a factor that supersedes many dating back to the Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur eras. The lack of in-game clock management and awareness was devastating, and ultimately played a major factor in the Giants inability to win.

However, everything starts on the practice field, and carrying it over into the game is the key. It is quite alarming that a lot of teams don’t practice tackling when it’s a fundamental portion of football.

While injuries can occur practicing live-tackling drills, refining your form can prevent injuries during games. That is conclusively the goal for New York Giants’ Judge and his coaching staff.

Giving opportunities to the younger, more inexperienced players on the roster is the hope during these intra-squad games, along with mentally preparing the season veterans for an abnormal regular season.

“We’re looking to go ahead and give everyone a chance to compete and put on tape their resume,” Judge said.

The Yankees should go after Trevor Bauer

The New York Yankees are looking into Cleveland Indians pitcher, Trevor Bauer.

When it comes to the New York Yankees, fans have been complaining about the same thing since they last won a World Series in 2009. The knock on the team has been the lack of reliable starting pitching.

The Yankees did their best to correct that when they signed Gerrit Cole, arguably the best pitcher in baseball, in the off season. However, this season has proved that signing Cole was still not enough.

Granted, the Yankees are currently missing Domingo German (Suspension) and Luis Severino (Tommy John), but they do not have the pitching right now to win a World Series. Can you really depend on Masahiro Tanaka? What about Paxton? Well the Yankees might have just lost him too.

Earlier this year, I wrote about the extension debate between Paxton and Tanaka. I wanted the Yankees to resign Paxton, but it’s clear that wasn’t a good idea. Now, I think they should let both men walk after this year.

The Yankees need a Bauer Outage

There is one guy that I believe could not only fix the issues for the rest of this season, but he could be the missing piece to a dynasty moving forward. That player is Reds starting pitcher, Trevor Bauer.

Bauer is off to an incredible start this year at 3-0 with a 0.68 ERA and a WHIP of 0.570. Those are just silly numbers through his first four starts. Imagine if the Yankees were to go out right now and make a deal with the Reds for Bauer?

I know many people are going to point to the past issues with Gerrit Cole and his temperament, but I think at the end of the day, Bauer wants to compete for championships.

He’s a competitor just like the Yankees ace, Cole. I believe that the two are adult enough to set aside their differences. Also, I think he would thrive in a competitive environment like New York.

Moving forward, the Yankees have Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery, Clarke Schmidt, and Domingo German. Assuming Clarke pans out, that’s a pretty good rotation, but they need one more bonafide stud at the top.

While Severino definitely has the potential to be that guy, he’s had a difficult time staying healthy. Trevor Bauer is a guy who could fix a lot of issues for the Yankees. If I’m Brian Cashman, I’m calling the Reds now to try to make a deal. It would take a lot, but if it brings you one World Series and potentially more, it’s all worth it.

Yankees V Mets: Cancelled games a product of Mets’ foolishness

New York Mets, Jose Reyes

The New York Mets had two positive COVID-19 tests on Thursday, subsequently canceling their final game against the Miami Marlins and Friday’s game against the New York Yankees.

As ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports, one player and one staff member tested positive, putting the entire team at risk. However, knowing that the team was in Miami, a hotspot for the virus at the moment, it is possible that the positive cases stem from a foolish act.

Ultimately, if the team is staying together and being safe, this would not have happened. Clearly, something unethical had to occur for them to catch the virus in the first place. The MLB has since postponed 34 total games because of COVID-19, and it will undoubtedly be more with the Mets now having to test their players over multiple days.

If there’s any more positive tests, it is likely that the entire series against the Yankees, which was scheduled for four games, will be canceled. They will move the Yankees next game to Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves.

So far this year, right-hander Brad Brach missed preseason camp after confirming he had the virus. In a 60 game season, it is incredibly difficult to supplement the loss of these games, which can add up rather quickly.

As long as the Yankees remain safe and steady, one thing they can do is swap a series for later on in the season, potentially one the Mets were supposed to play. But being in different divisions doesn’t bode well for their matchups.

The Mets are hot, and the Yankees are not:

The Mets are coming off a three-game sweep over Miami, but all things come to an end, and this breaking rhythm could be hurtful.

Alternatively, the Yankees are coming off a three-game losing streak to the Tampa Bay Rays, who completely dominated them at home. This is the first home series lost they’ve had in quite some time, and it also included their first home loss of the year.

In defense of the Yankees, there without Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu, and lost Zack Britton and Gleyber Torres in the process.