The New York Yankees Can’t Keep Holding Back Jonathan Loaisiga

New York Yankees, Jonathan Loaisiga

The New York Yankees starting pitching has been great recently. Whether it’s Jordan Montgomery having a 3.52 SIERA and 3.24 xFIP in his last two starts, Happ’s 4.17 SIERA in his last two outings, Masahiro Tanaka getting back on track, and Paxton looking to be great when he comes back. Gerrit Cole has been really good, and it seems like he’ll just need to keep pitching to get back to being more than just good. The one guy who doesn’t get any credit however is the youngster Jonathan Loaisiga, who has been stellar this year.

One of the Most Reliable Arms On the Team

Among starters and relievers on the team, Jonathan Loaisiga (minimum 10 IP) is one of the best arms on this squad. This is by any stretch of the analytical imagination, and it’s indisputable. Here’s where he ranks in some of the most important pitching stats:

ERA: 2nd
FIP: 5th
xFIP: 2nd
SIERA: 3rd
K-BB%: 4th

While he has only 16.1 innings to his name, he’s still been elite so far. The youngster needs innings and needs to be utilized more. If the Yankees are going to use him the bullpen or in the rotation, it can’t be sparingly.

Not Getting Any Trust

I think taking Jonathan Loaisiga out of the game in the 3rd inning against the Mets is why we lost. Jonathan Loaisiga had 39 pitches with a 74% strike percentage. He was dealing and looked great with 3 SOs, 1 ER, 0 BBs, and 3 Hits. He was the hot hand in terms of pitching and the Yankees robbed themselves of a win. To not let Loaisiga pitch beyond the 3rd is asinine when your bullpen hasn’t been great. This then led to the Yankees having to resort to Nick Nelson to come in, and he surrendered a run that would contribute to the blown lead. The 2-run walk-off bomb could’ve been a game-tying one and the Yankees could’ve gone on and won said game.

This hesitation to let Johnny Lasagna pitch is what’s bugging me, and they don’t show any consistency.

Giving Jonathan Loaisiga No Defined Role

Is he a starter? Is he a reliever? I mean he gets used as a starter and pitches well then is sent to the bullpen and pitches well but is used sparingly. He is only 6th on the team in innings pitched despite his excellence as a starter. He isn’t called into games as much as Adam Ottavino despite Otto struggling a ton. Even Michael King gets used a lot, and he’s been atrocious. The New York Yankees give Loaisiga no real role or use on the team, and it’s infuriating as they need guys to be a lockdown, and instead of bringing in the gunslinger, they opt to trotting out names rather than performance. Adam Ottavino is a name not a talent, he’s been terrible since the postseason. Jonathan Loaisiga needs a defined role to be in so he can thrive.

Yes the Yankees broke a ghastly 7 game losing streak and all finally seems somewhat well in Yankee world, but the managing of Loaisiga and other arms has been a complete joke. This is despite me being a huge fan of Boone. You need to pitch your hot hand, not the guy with the more notable name.

Three things to keep an eye on from the New York Jets’ scrimmage at MetLife

The New York Jets descended upon East Rutherford for the first time in 2020. There are several storylines that warrant attention.

It had been just over eight months since the New York Jets made the Sunday drive down Route 3 to MetLife Stadium. It’ll be even longer before fans accompany them with the stadium’s seats left empty due to COVID-19 regulations.

The Jets certainly looked different when they took to the turf at East Rutherford on Sunday, with several starters missing from their last descent against Pittsburgh on December 22. A training camp scrimmage was the Jets’ first on-field action in what will certainly be the most unusual season in recent memory. The official home slate gets underway on September 20, when the Jets take on the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers.

New York practiced on Sunday and the proceedings will be available for fans to watch on Monday evening on tape delay (6:30 p.m., SNY). Fans can expect at least a somewhat decent showing, as head coach Adam Gase seemed enthused by what he saw, as remarked to the New York Post’s Brian Costello that “I thought today was way better than the last time we had a scrimmage atmosphere”. Sam Darnold agreed in the same report, declaring “I think we’re leaving here pretty happy with where we are”.

Here’s what you should keep an eye on as New York finally welcomes back its green gridiron proceedings.

(Spoilers follow)

Well, Received?

The Jets may be already be dealing with the toughest opponent on their schedule…and they don’t even face the defending champions from Kansas City until November.

Injuries are perhaps the Jets’ most formidable adversary on their 2020 slate thus far. When it comes to the receiving group, the injury bug is winning. Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims were expected to be the top targets for Sam Darnold, but their camp participation has been minimal with respective knee and hamstring issues. Rare returnee Vyncint Smith (core muscle) probably won’t be back until mid-to-late September. Second-year man Jeff Smith had an opportunity to rise, but he has a shoulder ailment that might keep him out until the regular season. Even the undrafted hopefuls, like Lawrence Cager, haven’t been exempt from injury woes.

Reliable slot prescience Jamison Crowder is set to bear a good burden of the responsibility, as are veteran newcomers Chris Hogan (a two-time Super Bowl champion in New England) and Donte Moncrief (who is still working through COVID-19 protocols). Undrafted Cleveland standout D.J. Montgomery has also been added since Sunday’s proceedings wrapped up. But behind them, there are major question marks, which would the Jets in the early portions of their schedule.

Rare veteran returnee Braxton Berrios (six career receptions) has been primarily been used as a receiver but earned himself an opportunity in the corps. He had a nice opportunity on Sunday, catching a touchdown pass from Mike White. Undrafted free agents may also be called into the fray, with Jehu Chesson and George Campbell inserting themselves into the conversation. Fourth-year veteran Josh Malone (seven career receptions) was also showcased.

Run All Right

Kalen Ballage’s reunion with Adam Gase will have to wait, as Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that a failed physical will keep him in Miami. The Jets ran into a bit of a snag on Sunday, as fourth-round rookie Lamical Perine is set for an MRI after sustaining an ankle injury during Sunday’s proceedings (per Connor Hughes of The Athletic).

Thus, the roles of Le’veon Bell and Frank Gore, already expanded with the plethora of medical woes at the receiver spot, have gotten bigger, at least until some assistance arrives. The 37-year-old Gore has received some strong reviews from camp, while the supposedly icy relationship between Bell and Gase has been placed under a microscope.

Both Gase and Bell have spent the weekend quelling rumors of a struggle both on and off the field. Gase admitted that he wasn’t expecting tweets from Bell when he was pulled from a scrimmage in Florham Park for what he later claimed was hamstring issues. Bell denied the allegations to his followers, but peace has prevailed through what Gase referred to as “a good talk”.

“We talked about a lot of stuff,” Gase said, per ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “We talked about some things that maybe we can do a little different. He understood how I was going to do some things in practice. He’s a veteran player that’s been around for a while. When I explained some things to him, he understood what I’ve been trying to do in practice. He knows we’ve been trying to thread the needle on quite a few things with reps, making sure we’re doing a good job of getting guys in the right shape heading into Week 1.”

Despite struggling through the worst full-time rushing season of his career, Bell did rank in the top amongst running backs with 461 yards on 66 receptions. It appears that prowess carried over to Sunday’s events, with Bell earning a touchdown grab from Sam Darnold.

Be Very, Very Quiet

In perhaps the upset of 2020, more fans of the XFL’s New York Guardians will support their team at MetLife Stadium this year than fans of both the Jets and New York Giants combined.

Sacrifices will have to be made to work our way through the 2020 NFL season, and one such forfeiture will be the legions of “J-E-T-S” chanters that will be forced to shout from their couch. It will certainly take some adjusting, and the Jets had some practice with the concept during Sunday’s proceedings.

“Nobody’s really played a football game in an empty stadium,” Berrios remarked of the empty stands, per Costello. “The constant crowd noise is (something) they’re trying to replicate or simulate what it would normally be like, but it’s not even close. It’s different and it’s something we’re obviously adjusting to so it’ll be a non-factor come game-time.”

We’ve seen other sports adjust to the lack of spectators through fake crowd noise. Fox has continued its practice of creating virtual spectators for the proceedings. It’ll be good for New York fans to see their team back in action, but also prepare both they and the Jets for a (temporary) new normal.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Giants receive good injury news on Blake Martinez

New York Giants, Blake Martinez

The New York Giants luckily escaped Friday’s scrimmage without any significant injuries. Unfortunately, the good news comes in the wake of rookie safety Xavier McKinney fracturing his foot and linebacker David Mayo requiring meniscus surgery.

The Giants are relatively thin at every defensive position, meaning any more injuries could be devastating to their 2020 hopes and dreams. Improvement is the goal for new head coach Joe Judge, and he has the talent to make it happen.

New York Giants injury report:

Blake Martinez:

The Giants signed former Green Bay Packers linebacker Blake Martinez this off-season to a three-year deal. He is the cemented starter at one of the middle linebacker spots, but missed Friday’s scrimmage with an undisclosed injury. Joe Judge has made it apparent that releasing injury updates is not part of his master plan. Giving the media something to harp on and create stories around doesn’t help the team succeed, but rather fuels a fiery New York market.

However, keeping Martinez’s injury under wraps undoubtedly caused some concern. Luckily, he was back on the field on Sunday for practice. While the Giants had a walk-through and some light training following the scrimmage, seeing Martinez out there was a positive sign.

Darnay Holmes:

Darnay Holmes was injured in Friday’s scrimmage. He picked up a lower-body injury designation, but it didn’t seem too serious as he was walking around with Jabrill Peppers on the sideline. The Giants simply can’t afford to lose Holmes, who will be a starting corner this year with Sam Beal opting out of the season and DeAndre Baker on the commissioner’s exempt list.

A few days off and light practices should give Darnay plenty of time to heal and what seemed to be more of a stinger than anything.

Aside from Martinez and Holmes, the Giants are only missing TE Rysen John and defensive back Jawuarius Andrews.


New York Giants: Good Camp So Far For Dexter Lawrence

New York Giants, Dexter Lawrence

The New York Giants should have better talent on the defensive front this year. That’s a matter of them simply having more experience and added talent compared to last year. The pass rush should be better with Markus Golden returning and Kyler Fackrell joining, but don’t forget about what the Giants have in the middle.

Specifically, don’t forget about Dexter Lawrence. The second year lineman is improving since last season according to Joe Judge, who spoke on his camp performance on Friday.

Dexter Lawrence earns praise from Joe Judge

“I think Dex had a really nice camp. He’s a guy that came in really good shape, really ready to go. He’s done a really good job working with [Sean] Spence[r] and working on some of the pass rushing stuff,” Judge said when asked about his thoughts on Lawrence’s game and improvements. “But really where he’s improved this year a lot is his ability to build that wall and anchor in the run game, and really help us get them to a third down situation.”

It’s another mention of third down. It appears to be an important down for the Giants this year. Kyler Fackrell also spoke of third downs recently, saying it will be a ‘fun down’ this year. And Lawrence might play a part in getting the opposing team to third down in the first place through stuffing the run and pressuring the quarterback.

“He has a good knack for getting his hand up at the right time and batting the ball down,” Judge said about Lawrence’s ability to knock down passes at the line.

“A lot of that comes into just his instincts. But he’s also got that good length where he can really keep extension off the offensive line and see through them to when the quarterback is in a rhythm of throwing the ball, he gets his hand up at the right time.”

Last season, Lawrence had a decent run as a rookie player with 38 tackles and 2.5 sacks. He started every game, which is expected to continue into this season as Lawrence is unchallenged at his spot by others on the depth chart.

And so far, it looks like there’s good reason to be optimistic about his play.

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees have two astonishing wins, both in extra innings against the Mets.

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

What a turnaround for the New York Yankees. They win one against the New York Mets to break their seven-game losing streak yesterday, and then took two in a row, with heroic performances in extra innings in a day-night doubleheader. The amazing performance of the day was the debut of Deivi Garcia, in his major league debut in game two of the doubleheader.  Garcia pitched six innings of scoreless ball while striking out six Mets in the Yankee win. Deivi couldn’t have wished to pitch better. He pitched 75 pitches, 51 of which were for strikes.

The New York Yankees entered the doubleheader after winning one game against the Mets in a Saturday matinee, after losing seven straight games, which the Yankees haven’t done since 2017.  The Yankees with big hopes hoped to win both games yesterday to take their first series in the last three.  They did that, and did it in amazing fashion, winning both of the games in extra innings.

In game one Michael King started for the Yankees and lasted 3.2 innings allowing six hits and two earned runs. He actually pitched quite well, before things got sticky. He left the bases loaded for Brooks Kriske, who went on to allow five runs and currently has a 20.25 ERA.  He gave the Mets the lead they needed to establish a chance for victory. King with little problem kept the Mets scoreless through three innings, but the third he ran into trouble loading the bases. Manager Aaron Boone pulled him and replaced him in fourth, with Brooks Kriske who gave up five runs in just 1.1 innings.

The New York Mets led the Yankees, 7-2 after the bottom of the sixth inning. But in the bottom of the seventh, the Yankees scored five runs in a rally that left the game tied and caused extra innings. This was the first time this season that the Yankees faced an extra-inning game with a man on second base.  The Mets failed to score in the top of the eighth inning.  At the bottom of the inning, Gio Urshela had a walk-off single scoring Mike Tauchman from third, for the Yankees win. Final score Yankees 8 and the Mets 7. Edwin Diaz took the loss for the Mets and Chad Green, after a perfect top of the eighth took the win for the New York Yankees.

“I’m going out to play catch with my son”

Before the start of game two, 40-year-old veteran catcher Erik Kratz dashed out the dugout to take his place at backstop. As he emerged, he briefly turned and shouted back at the dugout saying “I’m going out to play catch with my son, referring to the age difference between him and the 21-year-old Deivi Garcia.

Game two featured the major league debut of Yankee prospect Deivi Garcia.  The 21-year-old Garcia took the mound with the confidence of a much more seasoned veteran. He pitched a one, two, three first-inning, setting up the tone for the game.  Garcia went six scoreless innings without an earned run in his major league debut.  Tyler Wade started off the game with his first home run of the season. The Mets tied the game in the sixth at one apiece.

The seventh inning was scoreless for both teams, leading to the New York Yankees’ second extra-inning game in a row. At the top of the eighth inning, Gary Sanchez who hasn’t been able to hit his way out of a paper bag hit a grand slam, with the bases loaded for the Yankee 5-1 lead.  At the bottom of the inning, the Mets got another run but it wasn’t enough, and the Yankees won the game in extra innings. The winning pitcher was Jonathan Holder, the loser the Mets Smith, and Luis Cessa got the save in the game.

In game two, Gary Sanchez stole the spotlight from Deivi Garcia’s debut pitching performance, but it was Garcia that won the game for the Yankees. All in all two Yankee triple-A pitchers won the Yankees Mets series for the Yankees.  Today the New York Yankees will go into a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Ray with momentum. The first game one Monday night will be started with New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole facing right-hander Tyler Glasnow.

Notes:  Deivi Garcia is the youngest pitcher to make his major league debut for the New York Yankees since Phil Hughes in 2007. Garcia is just 21-years-old.