New York Giants: Is 2021 a make or break year for Daniel Jones?

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The success of the New York Giants in 2021 is predicated almost entirely on Daniel Jones and his progression. Since he was drafted sixth overall in 2019, he has shown flashes of elite potential. He has also simultaneously struggled in different areas of the game. In order for the team to be productive offensively next season, Jones needs to step up big time and prove that he is franchise quarterback material. If not, they may be forced to explore other options at the quarterback position.

Saying that the offense struggled in 2020 is a drastic understatement. They averaged just over 17 points per game and were ranked 31st in total offense. Granted, their best playmaker Saquon Barkley went down for the season with an ACL injury in week two against the Bears.

Nonetheless, their passing attack was completely stalled. Their lack of a true number one wide receiver, questionable play-calling by OC Jason Garrett and Evan Engram with a league-leading 14 drops in the regular season all contributed to yet another sub .500 record for the Giants. That made it the seventh negative season since they won it all in 2012.

The New York Giants are still ironing out Jones biggest issue:

Critics of Jones will typically point out his biggest issue, which has been turning the ball over. Since he was drafted, he’s thrown 22 interceptions and fumbled the ball 29 times, only six of which were recovered by the Giants.

This, to me, is not an issue that will doom Jones. Turnovers are something that can be fixed. Good coaching, solid offensive line protection, and receivers that are able to create separation all help the quarterback turn the ball over less. When the Giants won four games in a row this year from weeks 9 through 13, Jones did not commit a single turnover. When Jones has control of the football and avoids turnovers, the correlation to offensive success is obvious.

I still believe in Daniel Jones. He wasn’t an elite prospect coming out of Duke and is far from being a top ten quarterback in the NFL. However, he has all the tools to become successful and lead the Giants in the right direction. Elite mobility along with underrated arm talent and accuracy, Jones has still managed to complete at least 60% of his throws in his two full seasons starting. With Joe Judge looking like a solid hire thus far and hopefully some moves in this offseason to bolster the offensive weapons, we could be preparing to see Jones take a big leap in 2021.

New York Rangers host Boston in a Sunday matinee at MSG

The New York Rangers will close out a two-game set against the Boston Bruins with a Sunday afternoon contest at Madison Square Garden.

Rangers: 7-8-3 (17 pts)
Bruins: 11-5-2 (24 pts)
NBC, 12:00 P.M.

The New York Rangers will face the Boston Bruins for the second time in three days following their 6-2 win on Friday night. The Blueshirts have won three of their last four games (3-1-0 record) and have earned at least one point in eight of their last 12 games (6-4-2 record).

The Rangers will be going with the same lineup that they used in Friday night’s win meaning Philip Chytil, Jacob Trouba, and Artemi Panarin will be out of the lineup. Chytil did participate in the team’s last practice, but the coaching staff was not prepared to put him back in the lineup.

 

Projected Lineup

Lafreniere – Zibanejad – Buchnevich
Kreider – Strome – Blackwell
Lemieux – Rooney – Brodzinski
Di Giuseppe – Howden – Gauthier

Lindgren – Fox
Miller – Smith
Johnson – Hájek

Georgiev

Georgiev Gets the Consecutive Start

Alexandar Georgiev will start in net Sunday and has helped the Rangers earn at least one point in each of his last four appearances (2-0-2 record over the four appearances) and in five of his seven appearances this season, and he has earned a win in each of his last two appearances. Georgiev’s four-game point streak is tied for his career-high. ( via NYR PR)

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Rangers have either outscored their opponent on special teams or have tied their opponent in special teams scoring in 13 of 18 games in 2020-21.

Power Play:

The Rangers were 1-for-4 (6:10) on Feb. 26 vs. Boston.
The Blueshirts have tallied a power-play goal in each of the last four games (5-for-19; 26.3%).
New York ranks second in the NHL in power-play opportunities per game in 2020-21 (3.94); the Rangers have had at least four power-play opportunities in each of the last four games and in five of the last six games.

Penalty Kill:

The Rangers were 3-for-3 (6:00) on Feb. 26 vs. Boston.
The Blueshirts have not allowed a power-play goal in nine of their last 11 games (40-for-43; 93.0%), including three of the last four games (18-for-20; 90.0%).
The Rangers have killed off 43 of their opponents’ 47 power-play opportunities over the last 12 games (91.5%) and have held their opponents to only 56 shots on goal during their opponents’ 47 power-play opportunities over the span.
New York ranks eighth in the NHL in penalty kill efficiency this season (85.1%).
The Rangers are tied for fifth in the NHL in shorthanded goals in 2020-21 (two).
The Rangers rank third in the NHL in penalty kill efficiency at home in 2020-21 (90.0%; 36-for-40) and have killed off 25 of their opponents’ 26 power-play opportunities during their last eight home games (96.2%).

The Rangers will play their next game against the Buffalo Sabres at home on Tuesday and then will embark on an 11 day 6 game road trip playing the New Jersey Devils, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Boston Bruins.

Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu details how important having fans in the stadium is for the players

New York Yankees, Luke Voit, DJ LeMahieu

With baseball preparing to welcome back fans for the 2021 season, the New York Yankees will have a bit more excitement than usual. In 2020, operations shut down in March, and that was the last time fans were allowed to attend games, let alone practice. The Yankees face off against the Toronto Blue Jays at Steinbrenner field on Sunday, and fans will be in the stands for the first time in months.

What does this mean to the players?

2nd baseman DJ LeMahieu exuded excitement, a trait he usually doesn’t display in public.

“To me it’s just Major League Baseball with fans,” LeMahieu said on Saturday. “Last year I’m glad we played. Glad we were able to get in as many games as we could and I thought the playoffs was cool but just missed that adrenaline and excitement.”

Sunday’s game will have approximately 2,800 fans in attendance, just a fraction of the total capacity. Nonetheless, it’s a positive step forward for baseball and the Yankees, who lacked that excitement and adrenaline during the postseason.

“You can definitely tell how excited people are to go to baseball games, especially to watch the Yankees and that’s what I’m excited about,” LeMahieu said. “I enjoy the game but I know how much it means to a lot of fans to watch the Yankees and baseball.”

Fans returning will hopefully increase the revenue for baseball next season, as teams were significantly damaged by COVID-19 and the difficulties it brought.

However, that doesn’t stop the Yankees from signing LeMahieu to a six-year, $90 million contract. He will now be with the team until he is 37 years old in 2026, but his ability to play multiple positions in the infield and also offer a fantastic bat is why they locked him in over the long term.

Last season, LeMahieu finished with a .364 average, a league-high, 10 homers, and 27 RBIs. He had a career-low 9.7% strikeout rate and was once again defensively efficient. He was a player the Yankees couldn’t afford to lose, and they actually managed to retain him on a cheaper deal than previously anticipated. Luckily, the Yankees don’t have to worry about supplementing his production any longer and having fans in the stadium will only fuel his abilities.

Should the Brooklyn Nets consider trading DeAndre Jordan as the trade deadline approaches?

Brooklyn Nets, DeAndre Jordan

The Brooklyn Nets are on fire right now. Currently coming off an eight-game winning streak, the Nets are playing at an extraordinarily dominant level that has led them all the way to second place in the East with a mere .5 game back from first (ESPN).

This success has been predicated on their offensive production, led by Brooklyn’s elite big three in Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving. Leading the NBA in points with 120.7 per game, the Nets have founded their success by overwhelming their opponents with offensive fortitude and finesse (ESPN). Just to give you an idea, Durant, Irving, and Joe Harris are all shooting over 50% on the season, producing a level of consistency that is hard to come by in the NBA (ESPN).

However, the Nets have 13 losses for a reason, and at the heart of that blemish is their defense. Defensively, the Nets rank 27th in the league in points per game and have allowed their opponents to shoot 46.9% from the field (ESPN). Their small ball approach is certainly to blame for this to an extent, but the core issue for the Nets defensively is their inability to produce any sort of interior defense and prevent teams from carving them up inside. Although Durant minimizes that when he’s on the floor, it still remains to be the greatest thorn in the side of this Nets team. And the biggest cause for this dilemma, is an out-of-his-prime DeAndre Jordan.

In all fairness, there’s only so much you can pin on Jordan, especially when he has stretch, power forwards in Durant, and Jeff Green alongside him who don’t dwell in the paint. But at the end of the day, Jordan is turning 33 this summer and is simply not the menacing center he used to be 7 years ago (ESPN). In addition, it appears that head coach Steve Nash will stick with this small ball approach, and as a result, Jordan would have to continue to handle most of the heavy lifting inside, which he’s struggled with throughout this season. And no matter how well the Nets are playing right now, they will need a much stronger interior presence in the paint if they want to reach the NBA Finals.

Essentially, this is why the Nets should look to trade Jordan and a couple of other players from their roster for another premier big man who could fulfill the role the Nets need so desperately inside. The trade deadline is on March 25th, so the Nets do have some time to work with. However, despite such, the Nets don’t have a vast variety of options to choose from and shouldn’t take too long to make their decision. And with the month of March just a few days away, it is of the utmost importance that the Nets target and trade for the best rebounding center in the NBA, in Andre Drummond.

Is this bold, far-fetched, and probably unrealistic, absolutely. But trading for Drummond would not only make for a near-perfect fit for this starting five but, above all, is a trade that could actually come to fruition; it’s just a matter of how forthcoming the Nets will choose to be when making the necessary sacrifices to execute it. You see, Drummond is in his prime, but at the same time, the Cleveland Cavaliers are in the midst of a full-on rebuild project and will want a substantial amount of compensation in return. And since draft picks from the Nets won’t hold that much value, Brooklyn will need to offer a convincing trade package instead. Although they have a handful of different players to choose from, the best trade offer the Nets can pitch to the Cavaliers consists of the following:

 

Brooklyn Nets Send:

  1. DeAndre Jordan
  2. Spencer Dinwiddie
  3. Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot

 

Cleveland Cavaliers Send:

  1. Andre Drummond

 

After already giving up Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert, and Taurean Prince, it might be difficult for some Nets fans to accept another major overhaul that would send three of their best role players to the Cavaliers. But believe it or not, this trade works out really well for both teams.

For starters, the Cavaliers already have two centers in Allen and JaVale McGee, so Jordan would potentially be passed along to another team the Cavaliers could trade him to. But outside of that, Cleveland would receive two good, young guards that would help reinforce a backcourt that doesn’t have a whole lot of depth behind Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. Dinwiddie is most likely out for the remainder of the season but is still in his prime and would uplift the Cavaliers backcourt significantly when healthy. On top of that, he has fantastic chemistry with Allen from their days together in Brooklyn, so bringing him to Cleveland would really improve their offensive cohesion. Luwawu-Cabarrot, on the other hand, is healthy and a rising talent the Cavaliers could benefit from having. Providing scrappy perimeter defense, solid rebounding, and a natural ability to score, Luwawu-Cabarrot is a bright, young prospect that the Cavaliers could really use off the bench.

In regards to the Nets side of the deal (outside of receiving Drummond), sending these three players is also quite helpful for the development and progress of this team and for the following reasons. First and foremost, after Harden arrived earlier this year, there’s just no room for the kind of role and minutes Dinwiddie would want and requires. At age 26, Dinwiddie is entering his prime, and there’s just no way he’s going to accept 20 minutes off the bench. Moreover, the Nets also have a lot of guards on their team, and although someone like Luwawu-Cabarrot brings great depth, there’s just no need to hold onto him when you have Bruce Brown, Landry Shamet, and Tyler Johnson already handling a large load of the guard duties off the bench. Although removing Jordan from their starting lineup might be a bit disruptive, bringing in the best rebounder in the league eradicates that void almost immediately.

At the end of it all, the Nets have done a lot to get their team on track, so it’s hard to predict if they will actually go forward with this trade proposal. But if they want to give this franchise a real chance at winning their first championship title, it’s in their best interest to trade for Andre Drummond.

The New York Knicks might have already made their prized trade

New York Knicks, Derrick Rose

The New York Knicks are coming off an impressive when over the Indiana Pacers, bringing them to .500 and even to the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference.

In the victory, All-Star Julius Randle posted 20 points, second-year player RJ Barrett recorded 24, and youngster Immanuel Quickley also contributed 10 points and shot 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.

However, one veteran has quickly been climbing the ranks on the roster, making a significant impact. Some might say the Knicks have already made their prized acquisition this off-season, and his name is Derrick Rose.

Rose played 38 minutes against Indiana, scoring 17 points and recorded 11 assists. He has been an absolute menace on defense, and his vision on the court has helped the Knicks in transition and finding open shots consistently.

Thanks to a close relationship between Rose and head coach Tom Thibodeau, his adaptation to their style has been seamless and efficient.

“Any time you’ve spent the amount of time that we’ve spent together and to have all the experiences that we’ve had — we’ve had some great highs, we’ve had some lows — there’s just an appreciation for him,” Thibodeau said Friday. “I think that’s one of the best parts of coaching, as you get to know people over a long period of time you appreciate all the things that they bring.

Thibodeau knew what Rose would bring to the team, including improved court vision, the ability to get the ball to their primary scorers, and tantalizing defense. With that being said, at 32 years old, the Knicks are utilizing Rose significantly and need to be careful they don’t overwork him.

“I think it’s very important, especially when you have a coach like Thibs, he’s a martinet-type of individual,” Rose said Friday. “He’s very serious. He knows the standings and he’s going to remind you this is a team that if we make it to the payoffs we could end up facing them.

Mind set and mentality is oftentimes half the battle, and Thibodeau is keen on reminding his team what they’re fighting for and what the goal is this season.

Historically, Thibs is known for getting his teams to the playoffs, even if it means working twice as hard as everybody else and playing vigorous defense. The Knicks, so far, have done well in both categories, taking exponential steps forward despite multiple factors working against them. The acquisition of Rose, though, has been one of the bright spots this season.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: “Gardy” paved the way for Frazier, Torres on Torres, and more

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

The New York Yankees have their first exhibition game today at 1:05 pm; it will be broadcast on the YES Network. Yankee players are excited to get to the season starter and super happy that there will be fans in the stands at George M. Steinbrenner Field in St Petersburg, Florida. The starter for today’s opening game will be Michael King, who was 1-2 last season, as announced by Yankee manager Aaron Boone on Thursday.

For the first time since March 12 of last year, fans will be allowed in the stands socially spaced. The tickets for today’s game were sold in pods of 2 – 3 and 4 seats. Those pods were sold with six feet between pods. So today, when you watch the game, the stadium will be 28% filled. That’s 3,000 fans in a stadium that normally holds 10,000.

It will be a perfect day for baseball in St. Pete, the weather forecast is for an 80-degree temperature throughout the game. It will be played under bright sunny skies with a few passing clouds, and with a nice light warm breeze from the south.

Gardner has paved the way for Clint Frazier

 

One year ago, Clint Frazier voiced a desire to play in the outfield and take over Brett Gardner’s job.  The New York Yankee’s Brett Gardner has been the veteran presence in both left and center fields, according to who was injured at the time. He has done that for the last eleven years. At the time, Frazier’s statement raised some eyebrows during spring training. Until last year Frazier had little hope of doing that as he mostly sat on the Yankee shuttle between Scranton and the Stadium.

All that changed last year when seemingly out of nowhere Frazier’s defense in the outfield took an amazing turn that eventually earned him a Gold Glove nomination and earned him a starting role in the lineup. One would think that Frazier’s comment a year earlier would not sit well with the veteran Gardner, but the opposite was true; he wanted the young man to succeed. Frazier, for his part, is happy to accept the challenge and even improve over last season.

“I think it starts with how Brett handled a young guy coming in that plays the same position as him and was vocal about wanting to win that job,” Frazier said. “Just how he treated me, he went about it in such a positive way that I felt like it was a big brother-little brother relationship. He’s such a good teammate.”

Over the past several springs, Frazier has tailed Gardner, frequently picking the veteran’s brain during drills and swapping good-natured smack talk. Those exchanges reminded Gardner of his own path toward playing time; he similarly chased Johnny Damon around Bombers camp beginning with his first spring in 2007. Gardner, for his play in 2009, won a World Series ring with the New York Yankees. Gardner has this to say about how last season ended:

“I didn’t want my career to end the way the season ended last year against the Rays,” Gardner said. “I wasn’t able to play in front of any fans all year for the most part, and my family wanted to see me play again. I went into the offseason fully expecting to be playing this season and expected it to be back here. This is where I want to be.”

Now Frazier has the golden opportunity of his career being named the starting left-fielder, it’s his time to shine, and no one is more thankful for Brett Gardner than Frazier himself.

“He’s such a jokester; he’s a little kid,” Frazier said. “I swear, he’s more immature than I am. He’s been a light that is shining really bright for me. I’d selfishly like to have this guy around until he’s like 50, just so I could finish my career with him.”

Gleyber Torres on the upcoming season

All will agree that Gleyber Torres had a very sub-par season last year, bot at shortstop and behind the plate. In 2019 the young shortstop, although not perfect at short, he did lead the team with 38 home runs and a nice batting average. Strangely that all changed in 2020. At one point, he had more errors at short than any other shortstop, and he finished the year hitting only three home runs. Manager Boone commented that Torres got screwed up with two spring training camps and didn’t come into the season ready to play.

Any criticisms from his New York Yankee 2020 season have been tucked away far back in Torre’s mind. It’s a new season, and Torres says it’s a new beginning for him, and he intends to embrace it. The now 24-year-old is coming into the exhibition slate intent upon rewriting his narrative from last year.

“I just want to feel my body really work again and get better and better,” Torres said. “I’ll be ready for the year and prepare myself really well. I’m working hard to be ready to win coming into the spring and the regular season.”

 

 

New York Mets: Starting Pitchers Announced For First Two Spring Games

New York Mets, Luis Rojas

New York Mets begin their spring training schedule on Monday and announced their starting pitchers for the first two games. Harol Gonzalez opens game one on the road against the Miami Marlins, and Jordan Yamamoto gets the home opener against the Houston Astros.

The 25-year old right-hander has spent the last six seasons pitching through the Mets farm system. In 2019, Gonzalez had his best season pitching between Double and Triple-A. Gonzalez pitched to a 3.01 ERA over 137.2 innings pitched. He is a long shot to make the roster, but we could see him debut later in the season. Like most road spring training games, this one will not be televised.

Yamamoto was acquired during the offseason after a dreadful 2020 season. In 11 innings, he allowed 24 runs (23 earned) and eight home runs. Yamamoto burst onto the scene as a rookie with a 2.61 ERA in his first seven career starts but has not rekindled the same success. His debut will be televised on SNY at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

New York Giants could target Rashod Bateman in trade-back scenario

New York Giants, Rashod Bateman

The New York Giants need to allocate resources toward the wide receiver position, and looking toward the 2021 NFL draft could be the perfect move. Of course, free agency offers several options with upside, including Corey Davis, Curtis Samuel, and even Kenny Golladay of the Detroit Lions elect to tag and trade him.

The draft, however, is where the Giants can find a young player who fits their scheme and could also blossom into a WR1. With that being said, the Giants have been connected to players like Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, and even TE Kyle Pitts.

There is one wide receiver in the draft that is going under the radar, and his name is Rashod Bateman of the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Bateman spent three years in Minnesota, developing in their program and refining his skills. He’s one of the best route runners in this wide receiver draft class but posted only 472 yards and two scores last year before opting out after five games.

In 2019, though, he earned 1219 yards and 11 scores, showcasing his ability to push the field vertically and create separation from corners. He averaged a marvelous 20.3 yards per reception, indicating he was a downfield threat as well as an intermediate weapon.

Bateman isn’t projected to have elite speed at the next level, but he did post a 4.39 40 yard dash at his Pro Fay. Of course, it is fair to take that with a grain of salt, given the people timing him.

Nonetheless, Rashod is quickly climbing the draft board, and the Giants could be in a position to trade back and potentially snag him while adding more capital to their equation. Currently, the Giants don’t have a fifth-round pick, as they traded it away when GM Dave Gettleman acquired Leonard Williams from the New York Jets.

By trading back, not only do they return some of that lost capital, but they also have the opportunity to land potentially the best receiver in the draft class.

Again, Bateman’s fundamentals and refined route running makes him a fantastic prospect with upside. Based on his size and tangible traits, if the Giants add a gadget player like Curtis Samuel with Bateman on the outside, they would have a solid one-two punch.

Factor in Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton and this unit could be categorized as “underrated.”

Yankees’ Clarke Schmidt avoids major injury, positive update

New York Yankees, Clarke Schmidt

It was only a matter of time before the New York Yankees picked up their first injury of the season, and this time around, it was starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt.

Schmidt exited spring training with elbow issues earlier this week, and with the expectation of missing several weeks, the injury could put his desire to land the 5th spot in the starting rotation in jeopardy.

At 25 years old, Schmidt is looking to take the next step in his professional career, and becoming a regular starter for the Yankees will be a significant jump. He has been working this off-season tirelessly to improve his mechanics and increase his pitch velocity. In 2020, he received his first action at the highest level, pitching just 6.1 innings and logging a 7.11 ERA.

The young starter was initially worried about the elbow injury but reports that it is minor have spurred optimism.

“Obviously, the day after my first [bullpen session], I was worried it was going to be more significant with the lack of range of motion that I had,” Schmidt said. “When I got the MRI back, everything was so clean structurally and it was the best-case scenario.”

The New York Yankees will have to proceed with caution, but all is good on the western front:

Despite the lack of severity surrounding the injury, he will still have to wait several weeks to return to full form. It could set him back in his quest to land a spot in the rotation, but he’s expected to be on the equation nonetheless.

“Obviously I won’t be competing for that fifth spot out of the gate, but my goal hasn’t changed at all,” Schmidt said. “I feel like I can really contribute for this team and I will do that. Right now, I just want to focus on getting healthy. That’s my No. 1 thing, just taking it day-by-day.

“This was the best I’ve felt coming into a camp, as far as from an arm and body standpoint. It was definitely a blow. It was very frustrating for me. This was one of those offseasons where I’d put in more work than I ever have before. But I’m thankful it’s not more serious and I should be back soon.”

Luckily, the Yankees were preparing to create a position battle in the fifth spot. They have Domingo German, Deivi Garcia, Michael King, and Schmidt as potential options. While losing Schmidt for a few weeks isn’t ideal, they have the depth to supplement his loss with ease.

New York Yankees: Cutouts gone, fans return to the stands today

New York Yankees

Win or lose, tomorrow will be a special day for the New York Yankees; fans will be in the stands when the Yankees take the field in tomorrow’s spring training opener at George M Steinbrenner Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. 3,000 lucky Yankees fans will be allowed in the Stadium confines that the elder Steinbrenner built near Tampa Bay in Florida. It will be the first time that fans will be able to watch a Yankees game in person since March 12 of last year. The Yankee players are super excited to see fans again.

Last year the dread coronavirus shut down spring training, and from then on, during the entire 2020 Yankees season, fans, due to health concerns, were not allowed to watch games in person, relegated to seeing their team play on television. Major League Baseball is directing its teams to sell its tickets in “pods,” or small groups. These groups tend to be limited to two, three, or four per pod, and each pod is separated by six feet of space. In the case of the New York Yankees, Steinbrenner Field has a capacity of 11, 000 but only 3,000 fans will be allowed in the stands. That’s about 28% capacity, and all fans will be relegated to wearing face masks.

To start spring training exhibition games, the Yankees will have Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, and Jordan Montgomery; other options include Deivi Garcia, Domingo German, Michael King, Nick Nelson, and non-roster invitees Jhoulys Chacin and Asher Wojciechowski. Clarke Schmidt will start the season on the IL with a right elbow injury. Tomorrow’s scheduled starting pitcher will be Michael King. Yankee fans will want to see newly acquired Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon pitch, but that probably won’t happen in tomorrow’s game.

The game tomorrow will be at 1:05 pm at the training complex. It will be against the Toronto Blue Jays, and it will be broadcast on the YES Network for all those fans that will not be allowed in the Stadium. During this spring training, the Yankees will avoid travel by playing only teams with their stadiums on the West coast of Florida.  The Yankees will play 28 games, 14 of which will be at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. The other 14 will be on the road. It’s a shorter spring training with modified rules. Specifically, the Yanks will play only the Blue Jays, Orioles, Phillies, Pirates, and Tigers. East coast teams like the Boston Red Sox will play only east coast teams.

Yesterday On a beautiful Florida Saturday morning at the Yankees’ player-development complex, Aroldis Chapman threw live batting practice to teammates on Billy Martin Field (Field 1) as Zack Britton did the same on Derek Jeter Field (Field 2). Then Chad Green followed Chapman on Field 1 in preparation for today’s spring training season opener.

Fans will hope to watch a fast start for New York Yankee’s slugger Aaron Judge who hit 9 home runs in the first 18 games last year. They will surely zone in on catcher Gary Sanchez who had a horrible season last year but hit a 95 mph fastball yesterday almost to the east coast. Gleyber Torres, who had a sub-par season last year, will also be watched closely. Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 6 home runs in just 7 games in the postseason last year, will also be on the fans’ radar. Whatever the case, tomorrow marks the start of the 2021 baseball season.