Leon Edwards survives late scare to defeat Nate Diaz at UFC 263

Leon Edwards

Tonight at UFC 263 we saw the return of one of the biggest stars in the sport. Nate Diaz (20-12) returned to the welterweight division and took on one of the very best in the world in Leon “Rocky” Edwards (18-3, 1 NC).

This is the first time we’ve seen Diaz since his BMF title fight against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244. That night, Masvidal was getting the better of Diaz before a cut stopped the fight. However, Diaz was coming on strong in the middle rounds.

Diaz has always been known as a guy who starts really slow then really gets going. Likely why he wanted this fight to be five rounds. Stockton’s own looked more motivated than ever entering the octagon tonight.

UFC 263 was a massive opportunity for Leon Edwards. Entering 2020, Edwards had won eight fights in a row and had a fight booked against Tyron Woodley in a title eliminator. However, COVID shut everything down. Multiple fights for Edwards got cancelled for a variety of reasons and he didn’t return until March of this year.

After looking good early, Edwards accidentally poked Belal Muhammad in the eye and his anticipated return ended in a No Contest. Now, at UFC 263, he’s going to look to make a massive statement and show why he should be challenging for the title.

UFC 263 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 263 welterweight contest started with immediate pressure from Leon Edwards. Diaz circles on the outside as he tries to find his range. Wild left straight misses for Nate Diaz. Diaz plays around and Edwards lands a left hand.

A little gamesmanship from Nate Diaz here in the first round. Powerful leg kick lands for Leon Edwards. Another leg kick lands for Edwards and Diaz briefly switches stances. The two men come together but nothing big lands.

More pressure from Edwards. Leg kick lands for Diaz. Front kick to the body lands for Diaz and a massive straight left lands for Edwards. Powerful leg kick lands for Edwards. A couple of jabs land for Diaz as Edwards resets.

Combination lands for Diaz and he taunts Edwards. Edwards goes for a takedown and ends up getting the back of Nate Diaz. Diaz tries to force a scramble, but Edwards just rides the position. The first round comes to a close and it’s 1-0 Edwards at UFC 263.

Round 2

Diaz was walking a little gingerly in between rounds at UFC 263. However, he was smiling at Edwards before the second started. Massive leg kick from Edwards starts the striking here in the second round.

Diaz pushes forward, but nothing lands. Good straight left and a check right hook for Edwards lands. Edwards with a ton of pressure here. Right hook lands for Nate Diaz. Now Diaz is pushing forward. Edwards looks for the low kick again and it forces a Diaz stance switch.

Diaz pushes forward with a 1-2, but another big kick lands for Edwards. Big connection from Diaz, but Edwards lands his own shots. Edwards gets a clinch and pushes Diaz against the fence. Nice trip and Edwards is on top here.

Edwards stands up and Diaz trips him with a leg lock. Diaz almost has it, but Edwards escapes. Massive leg kick buckles Nate Diaz. However, Diaz keeps coming forward. Both men trade big punches and the second round comes to a close. 2-0 Leon Edwards after two at UFC 263.

Round 3

Entering the third round here at UFC 263 and Nate Diaz needs to turn this around. Diaz takes the center to start the action and Edwards throws a big elbow that just misses. Edwards starts pressing forward and lands a good left hand that backs Diaz up.

Another powerful leg kick lands for Edwards. Diaz starts moving forward and Edwards circles along the outside. The two men come together in a clinch and Diaz presses Edwards against the fence. Diaz shrugs him off and they’re back to striking.

More pressure from Diaz and he looks for his left hand. The two clinch again, but it’s Edwards that presses Diaz against the fence. Diaz rolls and Edwards is on top in half guard. Edwards looks for his elbows halfway through the round.

Slicing elbows land for Edwards and Diaz is busted open. They stand back up and a nice jab lands for Diaz. Big leg kick lands for Edwards and they go back to the clinch. Edwards is heavy here against the fence. Takedown for Edwards and he lands another elbow. The round ends and it’s 3-0 at UFC 263.

Round 4

Entering the fourth round at UFC 263 and Nate Diaz looks like he needs a miracle here. Pressure from Diaz to start things here in the fourth round. Body kick lands for Edwards. 1-2 lands for Nate Diaz and Edwards counters with a leg kick.

Diaz plots forward trying to find his openings. Massive left hand lands for Edwards and that hurts Diaz. However, Diaz smiles and gives the thumbs up. Edwards holding the center of the cage and now he’s pushing forward.

Good check right hook lands for Leon Edwards. Front kick lands for Diaz and Edwards pushes forward and gets a trip. Diaz gets up and is cracked with a left from Edwards. Edwards is landing clean here in the third round and he lands another good leg kick.

Diaz pushes forward, but nothing really lands. Edwards looks for a big elbow, but it just misses. Now Diaz is moving forward. Double jab and a solid straight left lands for Diaz. Nice head movement for Diaz late in the round.

Another 1-2 lands for Diaz. Huge elbow connects for Edwards. 1-2 for Diaz and a big counter left for Edwards. Both men trade jabs. The round closes and Diaz had a good end to the round, but it’s 4-0 Edwards at UFC 263.

Round 5

You can never count Diaz out, but he’s going to need a miracle finish at UFC 263. Both men exchange big shots to start the fifth and Edwards lands a nice trip off the break. They go back to striking and a leg kick lands for Edwards.

Diaz switches stances and takes the center of the octagon. Good jab lands for Diaz. Lead elbow lands for Diaz and Nate is the one pushing forward early in the fifth. Big counter left hand lands for Leon Edwards.

Edwards pushes forward and Diaz lands a check right hook. Jab and a 1-2 behind it lands for Diaz. Another good left lands for Diaz and he shoots for a takedown. However, Edwards defends well and they stay in the clinch.

They break and a right hook lands for Diaz. Big body kick lands for Edwards and now he’s throwing more kicks. Jab lands for Nate Diaz. Left overhand and left uppercut lands for Edwards, but Diaz just keeps moving forward.

Diaz lands a massive shot and Leon Edwards is hurt badly. Nate Diaz is pouring it on and Leon Edwards is out on his feet. Oh my goodness Nate Diaz almost pulls it off but the bell sounds. Edwards survives and should get the nod here.

Leon Edwards def. Nate Diaz by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)

New York Giants listed with playoff contenders in Sports Illustrated

Daniel Jones, Wayne Gallman

The New York Giants just narrowly missed out on the playoffs last season – but they’ll need a better performance to get in this year. They can’t expect the same degree of luck and other teams losing at just the right time to keep them in the race until the end of the season. However, the Giants have made a number of additions targeting a playoff run and that’s gotten them on the radar of some of the media as a dark horse playoff contender this season.

In a list of losing teams from 2020 that should make the playoffs in 2021, Sports Illustrated’s Conor Orr placed the Giants as the sixth team in along with names such as San Francisco and divisional rival Dallas.

Why they’ll make the playoffs: The Giants are well coached and have a rising star defensive coordinator in Patrick Graham who, while he’s there, could potentially have a top-seven or -eight defense this year if his best players stay healthy. Saquon Barkley is back, yes, though our bullishness on the Giants stems mostly from a surge in general optimism around Daniel Jones. While it is difficult to predict a star rise based on his film in particular, some around the league are seeing Jones as a diamond in the rough who will benefit from stability at the coordinator position and a bolstered weapon set. Will Jones be Offensive Player of the Year good? Probably not. Could he be Garoppolo-plus in 2021? Absolutely.

What the Giants have going for them

Aside from the obvious new additions, the Giants have several things going for them that give them an advantage over their 2020 roster when it comes to making the playoffs.

For one, the team is expected to have Saquon Barkley involved with the running game all year and not just in the first couple of games. The loss of Barkley was one of the major factors in the lethargic offense of last year, after all. Another one of the problems was lack of receiving talent, but the Giants have addressed that in both the draft and free agency.

This will also be the second year for the current Giants staff. There won’t be as sharp of a learning curve and there’s less COVID-19 related restrictions to training this offseason compared to the last one. This is probably the reason the Giants stuck with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

After trouble in multiple areas got in the way of success during his first season with the team, he’ll have a shot to put together a better offense with more pieces at play and a more in-depth offseason training program to teach his system.

And as the SI article mentions, Patrick Graham is already considered a star defensive coordinator and will only have more time to refine his defense after a successful first year.

All in all, things still likely hinge on Daniel Jones. The SI article mentions that fact too, but has an optimistic outlook on the third year player. Based on the changes made this offseason, there’s more reason than ever to believe that Jones can take a step up.

Belal Muhammad defeats Demian Maia at UFC 263

Belal Muhammad, Demian Maia

On the main card of UFC 263, we saw a showdown between two top fifteen welterweights. 12th ranked Belal Muhammad (18-3, 1 NC) returned to the octagon to take on the MMA legend Demian Maia (28-10).

What a career it’s been for Demian Maia and UFC 263 might just be the end. At 43 years old, Maia might be gearing up to hang up the gloves. Maia made his UFC debut in just his seventh pro fight all the way back in 2007.

While he’s never won a world title, Maia has proven to be the model of consistency. When he lost to Gilbert Burns last March, that snapped a three-fight win streak. Had he won that fight with Burns, he might’ve gotten his third UFC title shot.

Standing across from Maia tonight was Belal Muhammad. Back in March, Muhammad had a golden opportunity. On short notice, the UFC gave him a main event slot against Leon Edwards. If Muhammad won that fight, he would’ve jumped right into the title picture.

However, an accidental eye poke in the second round by Edwards ended the fight in a No Contest. That NC snapped a four-fight winning streak. Muhammad was looking to get back on the winning track at UFC 263.

UFC 263 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 263 welterweight contest kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Maia immediately took the center and looked for his left hand. Nice straight right hand lands for Muhammad and Maia tries to shoot in for a takedown.

Good left hand lands for Demian Maia. Straight right for Muhammad pops the head back of Maia. Maia gets deep on a takedown attempt, however, Muhammad defends well. Muhammad gets his back to the fence as he continues to defend the Maia takedown attempt.

Maia uses a trip to get Muhammad down and Muhammad lands awkwardly on his leg. However, Muhammad works his way right back to his feet. Muhammad is able to escape and they go back to striking. Sloppy takedown attempt from Maia is easily defended by Muhammad.

Left hand lands for Muhammad and Maia shoots in deep on another takedown. Muhammad defends well and lands a nice left when they go back to striking. Good right hand lands for Belal Muhammad. The round ends with Maia trying another takedown attempt. I lean Muhammad after one at UFC 263.

Round 2

The first round could have gone to either man at UFC 263. Maia gets the striking started in round two with a left hand. Little activity here in the opening minute as both men were a little out of range to land anything significant.

Good lead left hand lands for Demian Maia and Muhammad tries to answer but whiffs. Muhammad looks tentative here in the second round. Maia tries for a takedown, but Muhammad shrugs him off with ease. Nice jab lands for Muhammad.

Right and left lands for Demian Maia. Muhammad pushes forward with forces a shot from Maia. Another stuffed takedown for Muhammad. Both men trade good left hands. Another left lands for Demian Maia.

Right hand lands for Belal Muhammad and Muhammad starting to string together some punches. Double jab lands for Muhammad. Maia’s shots are getting sloppier and sloppier here in the second. He tries in the final minute to get another takedown, but can’t get Muhammad down. After two, I have it 2-0 Muhammad at UFC 263.

Round 3

It could be even, but I think Maia needs a finish here at UFC 263. Both touch gloves to start the action. Nice left straight lands for Demian Maia. Muhammad pushes forward, but Maia uses it to try and land a takedown.

However, Muhammad defends well and they go back to striking. Right hands for Muhammad seem to stagger Maia briefly. Another good right hand lands for Belal Muhammad. Head kick and jab lands for Muhammad.

Maia tries for another takedown, but Muhammad again just shrugs him off. Left hand over the top lands for Muhammad and he’s pulling away here in the third round. Solid right hand lands for Muhammad, but Maia does land a sneaky left.

Combination lands for Muhammad. Good lead uppercut lands for Muhammad, but Maia counters with a good left. Body shot lands for Muhammad and he throws another head kick. Maia again goes for the takedown, but nothing there.

Maia is wearing the damage a little in the third. He tries for another takedown, but again, Muhammad stays on his feet. The crowd is getting restless at UFC 263 as the boos fill the arena. The fight comes to a close and this should be a pretty clear decision win for Belal Muhammad.

Belal Muhammad def. Demian Maia by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

New York Giants: Xavier McKinney will be a breakout player this season

new york giants

The New York Giants have formed a three-headed monster on the back end of their defense. In 2020, their two starting safeties created an excellent duo. Logan Ryan had a career resurgence moving to free safety full time for the Giants last year. Jabrill Peppers had a career year at strong safety, being a Swiss Army Knife on New York’s versatile defense.

The third piece of the safety puzzle was mixed in towards the end of the season. In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Giants landed a steal in the second round with Alabama safety Xavier McKinney. Almost all analysts projected McKinney as a first-round pick, but he wound up with the Giants in round two.

Unfortunately, the Giants did not get to reap many benefits from their second-round pick in his rookie season. Xavier suffered a foot injury in training camp that kept him sidelined until Week 12 of the regular season. Fans greatly anticipated his debut and McKinney impressed in the final few weeks of the season.

Xavier McKinney rookie season stats and highlights

Xavier McKinney appeared in six games this past season, starting in four of them. He ended the year on a high note, improving his performances week-to-week before having a stellar game in the season finale.

McKinney showed a lot of promise during that final stretch of the season. According to Pro Football Focus, Xavier McKinney’s 70 overall grade was on track to be the highest-graded rookie safety of the season in his 212 snaps after coming back from injury, but he did not meet the minimum snap requirement.

McKinney’s snaps did increase every single week. He played a career-high 73 defensive snaps in the season finale against the Cowboys, accounting for 89% of the team’s defensive snaps. In his expanded role, Xavier delivered. He had 8 combined tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass defended, and 1 interception.

In those six games, McKinney recorded a combined 25 tackles. He found himself getting active in run support and playing tight coverage. Xavier’s coverage stats might look unimpressive at first glance as he allowed 12 receptions on 13 targets (92.3%). But these receptions went for only 96 total yards, an average of 8 yards per completion. McKinney’s coverage was tight and he quickly made the tackle after the catch, not allowing opposing receivers to win with yards after the catch.

Xavier McKinney was not perfect in his small rookie-season sample size. However, he was impressive in small dosages and flashed the great potential that many saw he had during his time at Alabama. Entering his sophomore season in 2021, Xavier will play alongside two of the best safeties in the NFL on the Giants’ defense. He’ll be able to play a defined role with talented pieces around him, complimenting his skill set. After seeing him get acclimated to the pro game so quickly last season, the expectations can be pretty high for Xavier McKinney in year two as he gears up for a breakout campaign.

New York Yankees Recap: Taillon gives up 4 in the first inning for the Yankees 8-7 loss in the tenth

New York Yankees, Jameson Taillon

Late this afternoon, the New York Yankees took on the Philadelphia Phillies in the city of brotherly love. It was a beautiful day for a baseball game, cloudy with temperatures in the mid-seventies but with no chance of rain. The Yankees’ Jameson Taillon took on the Phillies Vince Valasquez.

In the first inning at Citizen’s Bank Park, Vince Valasquez took to the mound and faced DJ LeMahieu, who ground out to third base. Aaron Judge flew out to foul territory in right. Gleyber Torres skied out to center for the final out of the half.

At the bottom, the Phillies faced Jameson Taillon. Odubal Herrera had a broken-bat single. Jean Segura singles to right field, moving Herrera to second. J.T. Realmuto singled to left, loading the bases with no outs. Bryce Harper singled to center, driving in two runs and still no outs, with Taillon failing to put away any hitter. Rhys Hoskins, with men on the corners, walked to reload the bases. Andy McCutchen had a sac fly to Judge to drive in Realmuto and the 3rd run for the Phillies. Alec Bohm singled to center to drive in the 4th run. Ronald Torreyes faced the new Yankee pitcher Nestor Cortes Jr.; he singled, reloading the bases. Vince Valasquez and Herrera both struck out to end the Yankee bleeding. Phillies 4 Yankees 0.

Hoping to get the Yankees on the board, Gio Urshela struck out. Gary Sanchez hit a long home run into the left-field stands. Rougie Odor flew out to right. Miguel Andujar blooped into left for a single. Brett Gardner singled to right, with Andujar scoring all the way from first as Garder was in with a triple. Pitcher Cortes few out to end the ending the Yankees cut the Phillies lead in half. At the bottom, Segura stuck out. Realmuto walked. Harper singled, moving Realmuto to third. Hoskins popped out, and McCutchen struck out, leaving two on. Phillies 4 Yankees 2.

DJ LeMahieu led off the third inning for the Yankees, and he had a lead-off double to the left-field wall. Aaron Judge struck out. Torres ground out to third base. Urshela went down swinging to strand LeMahieu at second. At the bottom, Bohm hit out to Torres. Torreyes struck out. Pitcher Valasquez made the final out of the inning. Phillies 4 Yankees 2.

To lead off the fourth, Gary Sanchez flew out. Rougie Odor singled to right. Andujar hit into a double play ending the inning. Herrera led off the bottom, and he doubled. With Segura at the plate, Cortes served up a wild pitch moving Herrera to third. Segura singled scoring Herrera. Realmuto at the plate Segura tried to steal and overran the plate. Realmuto ground out to short. Harper struck out to end the inning. Phillies 5 Yankees 2.

Brett Gardner led off the fifth inning, had a push bunt, and beat it out. Chris Gittens pinch hit for Cortes, and he walked. LeMahieu two on and no outs ground out to short. With men on the corners Judge at the plate, he struck out. Torres struck out to end the half. At the bottom, Luis Cessa took over the pitching for the Yankees. Hoskins walked.  McCutchen reached on a bobbled ball by Urshela. Bohm singled up the middle with Hoskins scoring. Torreyes doubled driving in McCutchen, taking the game pretty much out of the reach of the Yankees. Miller pinch hit for Valasquez, who hit sharply to LeMahieu Herrera ground out. Segura ground out, but the Phillies picked up two runs. Phillies 7 Yankees 2.

The top of the six was led off by Urshela, who flew out to Harper, making a sliding catch. Sanchez struck out. Odor hit a homer (418′) into the second deck in right field. Andujar struck out to end the half. At the bottom, Realmuto facing Wandy Peralta, lined out to LeMahieu; Harper hit LeMahieu, who beat him out at first. Hoskins walked on four pitches. McCutchen hit back to Peralta to end the inning. Phillies 7 Yankees 3.

Brett Gardner led off the seventh by walking for all three times on base. Clint Frazier pinch-hitting hit into the 6-4-3 double play. LeMahieu hit directly to first to end the half. At the bottom, Zack Britton, in his first game back from the IL, faced Bohm, who ground out to third. Torreyes popped out to second. Luke Williams stuck out for a strong first inning pitched for Zack Britton. Phillies 7 Yankees 3.

With the new pitcher Saurez on the mound, Aaron Judge got a lead-off single. Torres flew out to left-center. Urshela chopped off of home plate for an out. Sanchez singled to right driving in Judge. Giancarlo Stanton’s pinch-hitting for Odor hit back to the pitcher for the final out. Herrera led off the bottom of the eighth by flying out to right. Segura stuck out, and Realmuto flew out to left for a quick inning for Chad Green, Phillies 7 Yankees 4.

At the top of the ninth, Andujar lined out to second. Gardner walked. Tyler Wade pinch-hitting for Chat Green walked. With two on and one out, LeMahieu came to the plate. He homered for three runs tying up the game at 7 apiece. Aaron Judge went down on strikes for the third time in the game. Torres went down looking, but the Yankee had come all the way back from a 3 run deficit to tie the game. At the bottom, Harper got a lead-off double to Gardner. Hoskins flew out to Judge in in right. McCutchen was intentionally walked. Bohm hit into a force out at second. Torreyes struck out for free baseball in the tenth.  Both teams scored 7 runs.

At the top of the tenth inning, with Torres at second, Gio Urshela hit back to the pitcher. Gary Sanchez struck out. Kyle Higashioka pinch hit for Odor, and he went down looking going to the bottom of the tenth. With Chapman on the mound, Jankowski with Torreyes as the ghost running at second reached a high throw. Herrera flew out to the foul left. Segura had an infield hit to Urshela, but he couldn’t get Torreyes at home, and that was the game.

The final score was the Philadelphia Phillies 8 and the New York Yankees 7. The winning pitcher was Bradley, and the loser was Aroldis Chapman.

BREAKING: New York Yankees’ Luis Severino injured in rehab appearance

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

New York Yankees‘ homegrown ace Luis Severino was injured in a rehab appearance for the Class-A Hudson Valley Renegades on Saturday.

After pitching 1.2 innings and touching nearly 100 mph on his fastball, Severino misstepped on the mound and injured his right leg. He was helped off the field by training staff and was in visible pain.

Severino was looking to be the starting rotation boost the Yankees need. Corey Kluber is out until further notice with an arm injury, while Jameson Taillon has really struggled to get going in New York. Severino was just weeks away from a return to the Yankees before his injury.

Saturday was Severino’s second start of his rehab assignment. He pitched earlier this week for Class-A Tampa, where he went 2.2 innings and gave up one run. Severino touched 98 mph on his fastball while batters looked helpless against the 27-year-old.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.

What’s next for Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy heading into year 4?

bears, matt nagy

Entering year four with the Chicago Bears, head coach Matt Nagy has failed to really establish any sort of consistency when it comes to the offensive side of the ball. To say Nagy hasn’t been good enough could be considered an understatement. Two playoff appearances in three seasons isn’t as meaningful when you’ve failed to win a game in January, let alone get past the first-round.

Once labeled as being an “offensive guru”, Nagy’s offenses have ranked 9th, 29th, and 22nd since 2018. He’s cycled through three starting quarterbacks (Mitchell Trubisky, Chase Daniel, and Nick Foles), and enters year four with two new starters at the most important position in sports: Andy Dalton and Justin Fields.

In a city with a defense-first mentality but in a league where the game is so catered towards the offense, Nagy must still turn the Bears into an offensive powerhouse alongside Fields if Chicago hopes to ever get back to the Super Bowl. With Fields now in the fold, 2021 should solely be focused on the development of the 11th overall pick. As a dual-threat quarterback who can hit any throw on the field, Fields operates in the redzone at a high level, while showcasing solid pocket presence, poise, and accuracy.

Bears ownership must also recognize that Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace need to be given extra time to develop Fields. Rather than hit the reset button with the front office and coaching staff during the 2022 offseason, ownership needs to operate with a two-year mindset, giving Nagy and Pace enough time to show that Fields could alter the course of franchise history.

Listening to Nagy speak in press conferences over the last few weeks has led to one main takeaway: He’s excited about his new rookie quarterback but he also sounds like a head coach who knows that his job isn’t on the line heading into 2021. Fields has brought renewed energy and hope for the Bears franchise but Nagy’s next step in year four includes focusing on the development of Fields because it could lead to the head coach having long-term job security.

New York Yankees: Latest injury update for 9 Yankee players

zack britton, yankees

Although not as bad as the last two years, the New York Yankees have had their share of injuries. But the future looks bright with most injured players being back with the team in the month of July, some sooner. Here are the latest updates.

Zack Britton (Bone chip)

We start off with Zack Britton returning from bone chip surgery as he will be back to the team sooner than any other player on this list. Manager Aaron Boone said on Thursday that Britton is doing well coming off his first rehab game. Boone suggested that Britton would be activated off the IL during this road trip which could be as early as today, but more like will be during the Blue Jays series in Buffalo.

Luis Severino (Tommy John surgery)

After a successful first rehab start (2 2/3 1 run), Severino will make his second rehab start with the Hudson Valley Renegades this afternoon. Aaron Boone has stated that Severino’s starts will be six days apart. He is drawing closer to the return to Yankee Stadium, which is still projected to be in a month or so. He will probably only be built up to 50-60 pitches when he returns and will finish building up over several games, hoping that he will be fully stretched out by the postseason.

Luke Voit (Oblique)

As reported by Aaron Boone, Voit will have his first rehab game at Scranton Wilkes/Barre early next week. He could return to the team after a week of rehab games.

Darren O’Day (shoulder)

MLB.com reports that O’Day has increased his throwing distance to 120 feet on the flat and that he may start throwing off the mound soon. Projected return to the team something before the All-Star break.

Clarke Schmidt (elbow)

Max Goodman of Sports Illustrated has reported that Schmidt has been throwing bullpens. But so far, he is only throwing his fastballs. His projected return to the team is also sometime in July.

Justin Wilson (hamstring)

Aaron Boone stated on Tuesday that Wilson is responding well to treatment of his hamstring injury but did not indicate when he might pitch for the team.

Ryan LaMarre (hamstring)

LaMarre started rehab games this week at Scranton Wilkes/Barre. He could be available to the major league time in a week or two at the most.

Corey Kluber (shoulder)

As of the last update, Kluber is still tossing the ball but has not thrown off the mound. He is still projected to be out until early August if all goes well.

Aaron Hicks (wrist)

The has been no change in Hick’s recovery from wrist surgery. If he returns to the team this season, it likely will not be before September at best.

3 players the Yankees could trade for to provide Aaron Boone with more weapons

Ketel Marte, yankees

The New York Yankees could use a bit more offensive prowess to help skipper Aaron Boone capitalize on his star-studded roster. Every season, it seems they need more talent via the trade deadline to bolster the squad, which is unacceptable given the Yankees have the highest payroll in baseball.

However, this is an unfortunate reality with the team, and there are players who will be available at the deadline to inquire about.

Most recently, the Yankees fell to the Minnesota Twins with closer Aroldis Chapman giving up two homers in the ninth inning to blow the save.

Normally, Chapman wouldn’t be this inefficient, but the MLB is cracking down on using substances to increase spin-rate and velocity, so whether or not this has anything to do with his performance, it definitely is odd timing.

Let’s take a look at a few players who could add value to the Yankees’ offense and provide a spark moving forward.

Three players the Yankees could trade for:

1.) Adam Frazier

One player, the Yankees, could consider is Adam Frazier, currently featuring on the Pittsburgh Pirates. The left-handed batter is traditionally a second baseman and can hold it down in the outfield, where the Yankees have been thin at times. He’s earning just $4.3 million this season and is currently hitting .324 with two homers and 24 RBIs. As a solid contact hitter, he can get on base sufficiently with the Yankees and drive in runners in scoring position. That has been the Yankees kryptonite this year, failing to drive in RISP.

2.) Joey Gallo

Another solid fit would be Joey Gallo, who currently plays for the Texas Rangers. Another lefty who can play an outfield role, the 27-year-old, is hitting .207 with 11 homers and 28 RBIs. He currently has a 32.3% strikeout rate, and while he doesn’t offer much in terms of contact hitting, he is a proficient home run hitter, which fits the Yankees’ mold perfectly. He is earning just $6.2 million this year, and the Yankees have been enamored by him in the past.

3.) Ketel Marte

One player who has been connected to the Yankees regularly over the past few weeks is Ketel Marte of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks have lost 19 consecutive road games and have the worst record in baseball, so they might be looking to sell a few players to acquire prospects. If the Yankees are willing to listen, Marte is currently hitting .350 with four homers and 14 RBIs over 109 plate appearances. A solid sample size to consider, representing an adequate contact hitter with plus defense.

Marte offers a few different positives, including being a switch hitter, premium athlete, and can play second base and shortstop.

Mets offer positive injury update on outfielder Brandon Nimmo

New York Mets, Brandon Nimmo

It’s not a secret that the New York Mets have had to remake their roster due to an unprecedented rash of injuries that forced the team to place, at one point a few weeks ago, 17 players on the injured list. That, however, has paved the way for sudden stars such as Billy McKinney to shine with the club.

One of those injured outfielders is Brandon Nimmo. The Mets’ usual leadoff hitter, he has had to see the games from afar with a hand/finger issue he suffered on a swing a few weeks ago, one that he hasn’t been able to shake off.

Mets manager Luis Rojas confirmed yesterday before the game against the San Diego Padres that Nimmo has received “second and third” opinions on his finger injury, and found out that he’s actually dealing with a small ligament tear instead of a nerve issue, as was initially reported.

The Mets’ leadoff hitter still has no firm timetable

Mets’ beat writer Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reported that the center fielder is expected to resume a rehab assignment at some point next week, but there is, according to SNY, no firm timetable for his return given that he will need to swing the bat with no discomfort and then take several at-bats with the minor league affiliates.

The Mets did say the injury will heal by itself, so surgery won’t be necessary. Nimmo should be back within the next 2-3 weeks as an estimate.

The Mets do miss Nimmo’s on-base prowess at the top of the lineup. Before hitting the injured list, he was hitting .318/.430/.439 with a homer and a 151 weighted Runs Created Plus, or wRC+, in 22 games and 80 plate appearances. He had also stolen two bases.

Nimmo will return to a now-crowded Mets outfield that includes McKinney, Dominic Smith, Kevin Pillar, and depending on their evolution from their own injuries, Michael Conforto and Albert Almora Jr.