The New York Giants have one of the best inside linebackers in the league in Blake Martinez – but he might be underrated still when compared to others. Martinez, of course, went under the radar as a good addition until the season started and he proved himself on the field.
Many thought the Giants were overpaying and doubted the move, but Martinez went on to register 151 tackles and 3 sacks in his debut season.
His numbers last year placed him with some of the position’s top tacklers, but Martinez still comes in relatively low in this year’s linebacker rankings from Pro Football Focus.
16. Blake Martinez, New York Giants
Only Zach Cunningham and Lavonte David have racked up more defensive stops over the past two seasons than Blake Martinez, whose first season with the Giants was a career-best for him in terms of overall PFF grade (75.9). He notched 57 defensive stops and forced two fumbles for the Giants, and he’ll look to build on that and be even better in 2021.
To be fair, the list involves more than just inside linebackers. Part of the reason why Martinez falls outside the top fifteen is competition from pass rushing outside linebackers.
Still, even including OLBs, the number looks low considering Martinez’s performance last season which saw him competing with some of the leading LBs in the league statistically as well as helping the Giants make a big improvement on the interior compared to previous years.
Going into this season, though, Martinez might have a chance to get more recognition. He is, after all, entering the year already having proved himself last season. The league in general will be more aware of Martinez’s ability, so we’ll see soon enough if he can keep up his standard of play from 2020.
This afternoon the New York Yankees met up with the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. It was game two of the three-game set. Last night the Yankees lost the opener with a walk-off win by the Tigers in the tenth inning. The Yankee starter today was Deivi Garcia, who was called up from Scranton. He faced one of the most dependable Tiger pitchers Spencer Turnbull. The final score was the Tigers 6 and the Yankees 1.
In the first faced DJ LeMahieu leading off for the Yankees, Turnbull flew out to right field. Rougie Odor went down on strikes. Aaron Judge also flew out to right to end the half. In the bottom, Deivi Garcia took to the mound to face Robbie Grossman, who popped out to right. Jelmer Candelario ground out to first base. Miguel Cabrera struck out for a 1-2-3 first inning for Deivi Garcia. No score.
The top of the second saw Gleyber Torres at the plate; he walked on four pitches. Gary Sanchez singled up the right. Mike Ford stepped to the plate with two on and no outs and walked to load the bases, and Turnbull was in trouble. Miguel Andujar hit into a double play. Torres scored. Clint Frazier walked. With two outs and men on the corners, Brett Gardner ground out up the middle, but the Yankees took the lead in the game.
At the bottom, Jonathan Schoop was hit by a pitch and advanced to first base. Nomar Mazara got a base hit up the middle. Eric Haase flew out to right. Nick Goodrum flew out to center. Akil Baddoo, with two on and two outs, walked to load the bases. That prompted a visit to the mound by pitching coach Matt Blake. Willi Castro should have ground out, but Odor overthrew first base, and two Tigers score. Grossman, with two outs and men on the corners, ground out to end the inning. Detroit Tigers 2 New York Yankees 1.
DJ LeMahieu led off the third inning by grounding out to second base. Odor struck out for the second time. Aaron Judge flew out to end the half. Candelario led off the bottom by lining out to Gardner in center. Cabrera flew out to Frazier in right. Schoop ground out to short for a scoreless inning. Tigers 2 Yankees 1.
The fourth inning was led off by Gleyber Torres, who went down looking. Sanchez ground out to third. Ford ground out to second. At the bottom of the inning, Mazara struck out swinging. Haase hit a triple to center field. Goodrum hit a sac fly to center, scoring Haase. Baddoo went down looking, but the Tigers tacked on another run. Tigers 3 New York Yankees 1.
Miguel Andujar led off the fifth inning by striking out. Clint Frazier went down swinging. Gardner popped out to second for Turnbull’s 10th in a row put down. The bottom was led off by Willi Castro, who doubled on a bobbled ball by Odor. Grossman flew out to foul territory caught by LeMahieu. Candelario doubled to far-right, driving in Castro. Cabrera faced the new pitcher Albert Abreu, and a wild pitch allowed Candelario to advance to third. Cabrera had a sac fly scoring Candelario. Schoop hit a homer to the Yankee bullpen. Mazara flew out to center. Tigers 6 Yankees 1.
LeMahieu led off the sixth inning by singling to left field. Odor that went 4 for 5 last night struck out for the third time in the game. Judge hit a sharp one directly to the third baseman. Torres singled to right, and that did it for Turnbull. Gary Sanchez faced the new pitcher Jose Cisnero with two outs and two on and struck out, stranding two. At the bottom, Haase ground out up the middle. Goodrum ground out. Baddoo ground out to second to end the inning. Tigers 6 Yankees 1.
At the top of the seventh, Mike Ford led off for the Yankees facing the new pitcher Daniel Norris; he was hit by a pitch and advanced to first base. Andujar flew out to foul territory in right field. Clint Frazier went down swinging. Gardner went down swinging. At the bottom of the seventh, Castro ground out to short. Grossman stuck out, and Candelario ground out to first. Tigers 6 Yankees 1.
With Funkhouser on the mound, LeMahieu struck out swinging. Odor ground out to first. Judge struck out looking as the Yankees went down in order again. Cabrera led off the bottom of the eighth by lining out. Schoop hit a single to left. Mazara was called out on strikes. Haase struck out to end the inning. Tigers 6 Yankees 1.
With last licks on the line for the New York Yankees, in the ninth inning Gleyber Torres took to the plate and ground out to short. Sanchez walked. Ford struck out. Miguel Andujar flew out for their second loss to the Tigers. The final score was the Detroit Tigers 6 and the Yankees 1. The winning pitcher was Spencer Turnbull, and the loser was Deivi Garcia.
The New York Giants‘ defense endured a plethora of injuries in 2020. In particular, many of the injuries occurred at the edge rusher position. Both starting edge rushers, Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines, suffered season-ending injuries.
Lorenzo Carter will return to the starting lineup this season. He has participated in OTA’s this week and looks sharp. Many were surprised to see him on the practice field. Carter has returned and he is joined by a new arrival on the practice field. Rookie edge rusher Azeez Ojulari was an exciting draft pick for the Giants in the second round of this year’s NFL Draft. The Georgia edge rusher will be a huge addition to the Giants’ defense.
Lorenzo Carter and Azeez Ojulari stats and highlights
The New York Giants’ edge rusher position seems to be improving steadily. They have added mid-round draft picks, like Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines, over the years, but the investment in a first-round talent like Azeez Ojulari is telling. The Giants recognize a weakness on the edge and have now fully addressed it.
Azeez Ojulari had been mocked to the Giants with the 11th overall pick pre-draft. He ended up in New York, but not until pick 50. That is incredible value for the Giants. Ojulari recorded an impressive 9.5 sacks in his breakout 2020 season. He also totaled 12.5 tackles for loss and an incredible 4 forced fumbles. Ojulari wasÂ credited with 35 pressures by PFF in 2020. Heâ€™s a bendy speed-rusher with a sick pass-rush move that beats down left tackles
Lorenzo Carter and Azeez Ojulari have more in common than playing for the Giants. Both of these players are speedy pass-rushers that played for the Georgia Bulldogs. The Giants’ new Georgia edge-rushing duo could be an imposing force for offenses to gameplan around.
Lorenzo Carter played in only five games in 2020. However, Carter’s play during those five games was impressive. The Giants finally felt confident in their edge-rushing with Carter. He racked up a sack and 7 pressures in those five games and looked faster and stronger than he had in the past.
Unfortunately, the duo of Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines was not keeping opposing offensive linemen up at night. The Giants recognized this and made it a priority to upgrade the position. They feel they have done that by adding Azeez Ojulari to the mix. Lorenzo Carter and Azeez Ojulari could be a dangerous tandem in 2021 as the Giants hope to improve their pass-rush.
When the Chicago Bears lost left guard James Daniel in a Week 5 Prime Time victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, many fans and analysts wondered who would step up and anchor the position. A few weeks later, center Cody Whitehair was sidelined with a calf injury. Wouldn’t you know it? Shortly after that, right guard Germain Ifedi joined the COVID-19/reserve list. It didn’t stop there as another addition to the Injury Reserve came in the form of Bobby Massie.Â
After the injury bug left the Offensive line in shambles, only Charles Leno was left standing among the line that started the season for the Bears in Detroit Week One. These conditions forced the Bears to reach into practice squad reserves, calling on former Notre Dame Center Sam Mustipher into the starting lineup. What happened next shocked the fanbase. Mustipher provided a solid and consistent option in week eight against the New Orleans Saints only to injure his knee, sidelining him for two weeks. His return performance in week ten against the Detroit Lions gained him the starting spot to close out the season.
Sam Mustipher: the 2021 starting center
In preparation for the 2021 season, I’m anticipating that Sam Mustipher will return to the starting center role. Sam, as centers often do, hasÂ become a leaderÂ on the offensive line. He has also developed a great relationship with running back David Montgomery. Considering his position on the roster, I think Sam Mustipher receives the tape breakdown he deserves. So here we go. Here is a rundown of Sam Mustipher, his areas of strength, and places where I think he can improve.Â
The guiding questions
In an analysis of interior offensive linemen, here the questions I ask while watching the film. How quick is he off the ball? Is he engaging defenders with his hands before his body? Does he hold the block throughout the play? Is he being tossed around? Is he throwing the defender around? Are his feet constantly moving, or is he pretending to be a tree in the local school play?
To begin with Sam Mustipher, I find a solid and reliable option at the center position. According to PFF, he delivered 334 snaps in passing plays and only allowed one sack in the seven games he started. That would place him T-19th amongst centers in the league. His PFF grade in the running game is 63.4, not a bad place to be for a former practice squad member.
The primary function of the center is to snap the ball to the quarterback cleanly. In his seven starts, I could not find a particularly egregious snap. I would find an occasional slow or off-target snap in the shotgun. But it is nearly impossible to remain 100% consistent at the position, especially after bashing heads with linemen for three quarters.Â
Impressive second-level athleticism
The first thing you notice about Mustipher is his athleticism. His ability to jump off his snap is something that every center needs to succeed in professional football. His ability to snap and get upfield to engage in the second level of defenders is a strength that cannot be understated.
In the video provided, I give two examples of Mustipher’s ability to engage with linebackers, removing them from the play. Mustipher has this unique ability to adjust on the fly. Although his defender has him on his heels, Mustipher twists his body to tie up the defender, buying the play enough time to leave the line of scrimmage. Mustipher having to rely on this ability is not ideal. I would prefer to see a lineman that completes the block using both strength and athleticism. Still, honestly, if it does not cost yards, it is not something that must change.Â
A need to improve his strength
On his overall strength, we find a need for improvement. In Week ten against the Lions, there were about ten or so plays where he gets flat-out beat. Do not expect Mustipher to pancake a defender; instead, he is a textbook example of the fundamental blocking technique. His hands are close to his chest before punching out to grab onto the defender’s chest. Offensive line coach Juan Castillo told reporters in December that Mustipher added 15 pounds by the end of the season, commenting, “He was about 305 or so, and now he’s 320 pounds. There’s a difference.”Â
To take the next step, Mustipher has to be better at adjusting to blitzes. The center’s secondary function is to read blitz packages and call protection audibles on the line. The clip provided shows Mustipher recognizing blitz in the A gap, yet his left guard Alex Bars doesn’t pick it up in time. Mustipher does not have a problem peeling off defenders. His ability to engage and re-engage is one reason he continues to play the position. Former starting center and current guard Cody Whitehair thinks he has quickly remedied this issue. In December, Whitehair stated, “You know, he’s done great with I.D-ing everything, getting us all on the same page.”Â
Centers are tasked with a lot, and Mustipher does it all well. I don’t consider him a pro-bowl future Hall of Famer on these past seven games alone. I think he has too many issues regarding blitz schemes, and his strength is nothing to write home about. But I think he has the potential to be a solid long-term starter.Â
Last offseason, Colts pro-bowl guard Quenton Nelson stayed in the Chicagoland area to assist Sam Mustipher and Alex Bars prepare for the season. Suppose Mustipher continues to train with talent such as Nelson and continues to develop. In that case, I may be biting my own words. I hope I end up doing so.
The New York Knicks were embarrassed by the Atlanta Hawks on Friday evening, losing by 11 points, as the entire starting Hawks team earned double-digit points.
Of course, Trae Young was their catalyst at offense, scoring 21 points and recording a game-high 14 assists, showcasing his ability to spread the ball around the floor efficiently. Nonetheless, thereâ€™s no real way to stop Young but rather limit him and mitigate his influence on the game.
The issue the Knicks are currently facing is:
While Atlanta’s star player is balling out, All-Star Julius Randle simply hasnâ€™t been able to replicate his regular-season performance. Randle scored just 14 points in the loss at Atlanta, shooting 2-of-15 from the field, missing open shots, and making poor decisions. It is clear when watching Randle move lately, he doesnâ€™t have the same confidence and isnâ€™t taking the same high percentage shots.
â€œTheyâ€™re loaded up pretty good,â€ Thibodeau said. â€œItâ€™s not just the second guy, itâ€™s the third guy also. So when that happens, the big thing is to get rid of the ball, make plays early. When you do that, usually you can get really high percentage shots off of that. And with your primary scorers, thatâ€™s what you want.â€
Essentially, the Knicks need to be more communicative and efficient with the ball in their hands, matching Atlanta’s best players and then taking advantage of their reserves. Unfortunately, Atlanta has been able to rest a majority of their starters throughout the game, as the Knicks compile fatigue with their primary options against backup Hawks.
If the Knicks want any chance of extracting a win on Sunday, it must be through Randle; he disappointed significantly during his first-ever postseason series.
Veteran point guard Derrick Rose has carried the load, scoring 30 points on 13-of-21 shooting and connecting on three 3-PT point shots out of five attempts. While his defense was spotty given the uneven match-up between him and Young, his offensive production has helped keep the Knicks in the picture.
The unfortunate truth is that if Randle and RJ Barrett donâ€™t step up and take over in game four, the Knicks will likely see an early exit in their first postseason series since 2013. Whether it be the energy of the crowd that is overwhelming, we know they can play better basketball than what they’ve produced lately. It feels as though they aren’t enjoying the process as they were during their 10 game win streak a few weeks ago.
The New York Yankees fell to the Detroit Tigers on Friday evening in an unfortunate turn of events. Again, the Yankees’ offense struggled considerably, tallying 12 strikeouts, with nine of them coming with the first three batters in the order.
DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Judge combined for nine of the 12 strikeouts, representing a disappointing outing for a team that desperately needs to string together a few solid performances.
Last week, the Yankees enjoyed a six-game win streak but have lost three of their last four games and have another contest against the Detroit Tigers at 4:10 PM on Saturday afternoon.
However, it’s not just their offense that is struggling now, their pitching is also giving up timely runs to help their opponents.
Good news and bad news for the Yankees:
In the loss to Detroit, the Yankees were simply running out of relief options, so they looked to former Met Justin Wilson to help finish off the game in the 10th inning.
However, Wilson gave up a two-run homer to Robbie Grossman, blowing a one-run lead for the Yankees.
“Any time you’re not pitching well, it’s not easy,” Wilson said. “I’m mentally tough. I’ve done it for a while, so I know what I can do. I just need to get back on the right track.”
The Yankees were resting Jonathan Loaisiga and still arenâ€™t comfortable pitching Aroldis Chapman through two innings, so they had little choice but rely on Wilson, who currently hosts 6.08 ERA the season, to finish off the game.
You could make the argument that skipper Aaron Boone made a mistake utilizing Wilson, who has struggled this season. He couldâ€™ve rolled with Albert Abreu or Michael King to finish off the game, two players Detroit hasnâ€™t seen much of yet. Grossman has experience against Wilson and was waiting for his pitch, so it is fair to place some of the blame on Boone, who shouldâ€™ve chosen a better match-up.
“I’ve faced him before, I know what he’s got,” Grossman said. “I kept telling myself we’re just one swing away from winning this game.”
Ultimately, the Yankees need to get their offense going, and scoring just three runs shouldnâ€™t be enough to extract a victory with a unit composed of LeMahieu, Stanton, and Judge alone. Considering they also have Gleyber Torres, Gio Urshela, and a bevy of quality hitters, there are no more excuses for lackluster run production.
The good news is that Gerrit Cole is still dominating, pitching 6.0 innings and giving up just one run on six hits. He struck out only five batters, but he gave his offense more than enough chances to take an early lead. He currently hosts a 1.78 ERA, the best of his career.
There probably isnâ€™t a day that goes by that something in New York Yankee history hasnâ€™t happened that is memorable in their 109-year history. Here is a look at this weekâ€™s happenings in that history.
1997, May 29th:
On this day, the New York Yankees acquired Hideki Irabu from the San Diego Padres. It turned out to be one of the worst trades ever made by the Yankees. He was 29-20 over four years. The only problem was that when he was acquired, he was supposed to be the new Yankee ace. That obviously didn’t come close to working out.
2002, May 29th:
Yankee pitcher Roger Clemens becomes the third pitcher in the majors to have 10 or more strikeouts in at least 100 games pitched. The other two were Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson.
1938, May 30th:
On this day, the Yankees had record attendance. It was Memorial Day and a doubleheader for the Yankees against the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees sweep the Red Sox in front of a crowd of 81 841 packed into the Stadium. It’s a record that will never be beaten. The new Stadium only has a capacity of 54,341.
1938, May 31st:
Lou Gehrig played his 2,000th consecutive game in a win over the Boston Red Sox. Gehrig would play another 130 games before ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) ended his Yankee career.
2009, June 1st:
The New York Yankees created a record that has not been broken to this day. They played 18 consecutive games without committing an error. The following day Jorge Posada would throw a bullet out into centerfield when trying to gun down a base stealer.
1935 June 2nd:
Former Yankee pitcher and slugger Babe Ruth announces his retirement from baseball.
1941, June 2nd:
The New York Yankees arrived in Detroit to play a series against the Tigers. Upon their arrival, they found out that Yankee Captain Lou Gehrig has passed away in this sleep from ALS. It was just 17Â days before his 38th birthday. Ironically it was 16 years ago exactly that he made the Yankee major league lineup.
1932, June 3rd:
Playing the Philadelphia Athletics, the Yankees’ Lou Gehrig becomes the first player in the modern era to hit four home runs in the same game. The Yankees won the slugfest 20-13 and scored a record 50 bases in the game.
1998, June 3rd:
After escaping Cuba only six months earlier, Orlando Hernandez “El Duque” got his first Yankee win.Â He defeated the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 7-1 in front of an adoring Yankees crowd at Yankee Stadium.
2003, June 3rd:
Derek Jeter was named the 11th captain of the New York Yankees. He would go on to being one of the best players in the game. He would play another 13 years for the Yankees. He was a 14-time American League All-Star and was sixth all-time with 3,645 career hits. He spent all 20 years of his career with the Yankees.
Javon Wims drop in the endzone against the New Orleans Saints in the Chicago Bears wild card loss still stings in the minds of Bears fans. Wims, wide open in the endzone dropped a pass from then-starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, just moments after he made a key catch down the sideline.
Once viewed as a promising piece of the Bears future, Wims showcased the potential to be a third-string wide receiver as a rookie and a player that could be a valuable depth piece, the former Georgia Bulldog and seventh-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft has developed more into a special teams contributor over the last two seasons.
Four months later, the Bears head into offseason workouts having added a significant amount of wide receiver depth throughout the offseason. Heading into year four, could Wims be on the roster bubble?
The case for keeping Wims
There appeared to be a point where Wims actually was a part of the Bears offense. While 18 receptions and six starts in 2019 may not be impressive, Wims showcased that he could at least be dependant and reliable depth piece who could get about 10-15 snaps a game but also contribute on special teams. Much of Wims contributions on offense came in 2019, when he played 46 percent of snaps, a career high.
Wims can be effective as a player who’s always willing to go up and fight for 50-50 balls. His size (6-foot-2, 221 pounds) gives him an advantage over small defensive backs but he does struggle creating separation which leads to a lack of targets at time. Speed also isn’t a strong aspect of Wims game. Rarely can he take the top off a defense, making him more of a player that can be effective in the short and intermediate passing game.
The case for cutting Wims
Chicago went into the offseason with the goal of getting faster on offense. That means adding speed to a unit that lacked enough quick and twitchy playmakers in 2020. As mentioned above, Wims doesn’t bring enough speed to the table which has always limited his impact.
Another aspect to examine is that Wims may have reached his ceiling. He’s been unable to carve out any significant role for the Bears but already entered the NFL with a limited ceiling. Wims also has been unable to consistently pick up yards after the catch, averaging just 1.2 yards after the catch.
Wims is clearly a player that will need to have a strong offseason and be on the same page with quarterbacks Andy Dalton and Justin Fields in order to have a shot at making the final roster. Chicago could also decide that Wims familiarity with the Bears system on special teams as a major reason to keep him around but ultimately, for a player heading into year four, he’ll need to improve significantly on offense to have a shot at making the team.
The New York Yankeesâ€™ offense hasnâ€™t had a good week to this point. Before Saturdayâ€™s action, the unit had scored 11 runs in four games, an average of 2.75 per contest, which just isnâ€™t going to cut it in modern baseball.
In three of those games, the Yankeesâ€™ hitters were held to just two runs. The offense was missing Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, and Luke Voit, while other stars such as DJ LeMahieu are struggling to get anything going.
Last night against the Detroit Tigers, they failed to back their ace, Gerrit Cole, who threw six innings of one-run ball.
The most worrying aspect of yesterdayâ€™s game was that the Yankees stranded 12 runners. They had several opportunities to score in the late innings but couldnâ€™t have the big hit of the inning.
The Yankees missed several opportunities
The Yankees had runners on first and third with two outs in the sixth, two on with two outs in the eighth and runners on first and third again with one out in the ninth, yet they could only score a couple of runs. They went 0-for-10 with runners on scoring position.
Stanton went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts in his return from a two-week stint in the injured list, while DJ LeMahieu went 1-for-4 with three Ks. They were the Yankees’ top two hitters in the lineup.
Last night the New York Yankees met up with the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park for the first game of a 3 game set away. The Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole was pitted against the Tigers’ Casey Mize. Going into tonight’s game, the Yankees were 2 games out of first place in the AL East, and the Tigers were at the bottom of the American League, winning only 19 of 50 games. The final score was the Detroit Tigers 3 and the New York Yankees 2.
Gerrit Cole didn’t have his best stuff
From the first inning last evening, it became clear that Gerrit Cole did not have his best stuff. He allowed a couple of runners with two outs in the first, but he got out of the early jam unscathed. In the third inning, the Tiger hitters strung three consecutive hits together, the latter, an RBI single from Jeimer Candelario. It would be the only run Cole would give up in six innings of work; he was able to get out of the third without any further damage.
When Gerrit Cole takes the mound for the Yankees, fans expect that first inning to be a 1-2-3 inning every time. Last night that type of performance just wasn’t there, but as any top-quality pitcher of the stature of Cole, he found a way to get the job done and keep the Yankees in the game. The Yankees bullpen of Wandy Peralta, Chad Green, and Aroldis Chapman pitched three scoreless innings in relief. But then, after the Yankees took the lead at the top of the tenth, manager Aaron Boone decided that would lose the game for the Yankees. Instead of Chapman, who had only 14 pitches, he choose to go to Justin Wilson, who gave up a two-run homer.
Yankee hitting underperformed yet again
The lack of Yankee hitting that has dogged them the whole season was again apparent in last night’s game. The Yankees, during regulation, were only able to score one run. Last night’s situation was a bit different than the norm, they did get 11 hits in the game, but none of them were timely. The Yankees went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position. The only run scored was from a solo home run from Rougie Odor. Even the go-ahead run in the top of the tenth didn’t come from a hit. Aaron Judge, the ghost runner, scored on a Tiger’s passed ball.
The New York Yankees should be able to crush the Tigers, they are at the bottom of the AL. They can’t continue to score only two runs in a game and expect to win, even against the worst teams.
One injured player returned
The New York Yankees have had a lot of bad injury news of late. Number two starter Corey Kluber suffered a shoulder injury to keep him away from the rotation for about two months. Also, they have again lost their starting first baseman, Luke Voit, to an oblique strain and is on the 10 day; however, that type of injury can take much longer to heal. The Yankees will also go without their centerfielder Aaron Hicks for the rest of the season after wrist surgery.
But there is good news, after missing 13 games, slugger Giancarlo Stanton has returned to the team. Before having a quad injury, he led the team in home runs and runs driving in. Since his absence, Aaron Judge has overtaken him in both stats. Reliever Zack Britton is getting closer to a return; both he and starter Luis Severino are supposed to have rehab games this week.