Yankees: Manager Aaron Boone backs Chad Green despite recurrent ninth inning struggles

New York Yankees, Chad Green

For the most part, Chad Green has been a really good reliever for the New York Yankees in 2021. He has a 3.06 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP in 50 innings, and that’s near-elite production. However, it seems like he has struggled most of the times he has been called upon to finish a game in the ninth inning.

Last night, Green surrendered a two-run lead in the ninth inning of a 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park. However, Yankees manager Aaron Boone isn’t worried about him.

“Not really,” Boone said when he was asked if Green might be dealing with pressure in ninth innings.

In last night’s game, the Yankees gave Green a 3-1 lead. After one out, back to back singles put the tying run on the bases. That’s when Kike Hernandez ripped a two-run double that tied the ballgame.

The Yankees ended up losing in the tenth, the infamous four-wild pitch inning by Brooks Kriske.

Green had lost the Yankees another recent game in the ninth

In his previous shot at the ninth inning, Green also blew the game when the Yankees lost 8-7 in Houston, before the All-Star break.

“I think more with Chad, and in trying to protect him a little bit with some of his usage, we’ve leaned on him so heavily in the first half and in the back end of the first half with multi-inning situations, I’ve tried as best as I could lately to pick some spots with him to (give him off days),” Boone said, per NJ Advance Media. “I actually thought he threw the ball really well. I thought he was crisp. I thought they just put some really good swings on him. I thought he was sharper tonight than say in Houston when he was struggling out there to find it a little bit. I didn’t think that was the case (Thursday). I think they put some really good swings on balls to square him up.”

Aroldis Chapman and Zack Britton were unavailable yesterday due to high recent usage, and Jonathan Loaisiga was still on the COVID-19 list.

Leaving Luis Cessa after he retired the previous inning in five pitches was an option, but the Yankees’ skipper was prepared to go to Green, and he doesn’t regret it.

Yankees: Giancarlo Stanton could play the outfield this weekend in Boston

New York Yankees, Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

With the New York Yankees visiting the Miami Marlins next weekend in Florida, they don’t want to lose Giancarlo Stanton, the team’s regular designated hitter, and his offensive contributions. That’s why the slugger, who has been preparing to play the field for a few weeks now, will be deployed in left field sometime this weekend in the Boston Red Sox series.

Stanton was spotted taking the field, in front of the Green Monster, on Thursday afternoon during batting practice. When he does it in a game this weekend, it will be his first time since Game 1 of the American League Championship Series of 2019 against the Houston Astros.

According to Yankees’ skipper Aaron Boone, there is a good chance Stanton starts in left field during Saturday’s game.

“It’s something we’ve talked about for the last few weeks, maybe picking a day here,” Boone said to MLB.com. “It’s not for sure yet, but there’s a good chance he could be out there.”

The Yankees have taken it slow with Stanton, but it’s time

The Yankees haven’t played Stanton in the outfield since 2019 because of the perceived risk of injury, especially leg injuries. And truth be told, he has suffered his fair share of knee, quad, hamstring, and calf ailments over the last couple of years.

Boone said that doing it for the first time in months in the Green Monster makes sense because the area to cover is smaller.

If Saturday’s trial is successful, the Yankees would like him to play some right field innings in Yankee Stadium every once in a while.

 

“When we go play another National League series in a National League park, [we can] have that available to us,” Boone said. “If that goes well, especially when we get Aaron [Judge] back, maybe I can pick some spots at home in right field where I can give Judge a DH day. So, hopefully, this is something we can do, at least sparingly, to have in play.”

Do you think the Yankees should play Staton in the outfield more often?

The New York Yankees face big decisions as the deadline draws near

hal steinbrenner, brian cashman

Last night, the New York Yankees had a golden opportunity presented to them. Down seven games in the division against the Red Sox, they held a 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth with a chance to cut it to six.

Cutting it to six with Gerrit Cole pitching today means you were looking at a real possibility that the Yankees could be down only five games going into Saturday. However, Chad Green imploded and blew the lead in the ninth.

In extras, Brooks Kriske was historically bad and the Yankees lost 5-4 in ten. Another devastating loss in an extremely winnable game. This is the fourth time this season that the Yankees have lost after winning by multiple runs in the ninth inning.

Right when you think this team is building momentum, they find a way to rip your heart out. Now, as mentioned, they have a good chance to bounce back with the ace on the mound today. There is truly no excuse for the Yankees to lose a Gerrit Cole – Eduardo Rodriguez game to Boston.

If they lose?

In my opinion, tonight will be the night where we find out what the Yankees will do at the deadline. If they do not win this game tonight, I truly believe that will be the nail in the coffin in terms of the team being big buyers.

At that point, the team would be nine games out of the AL East and five games out of the Wild Card. This team needs to send Brian Cashman a signal that there’s life and if they lose tonight, the Yankees won’t give off the image of a team with life.

What if the Yankees win?

However, let’s say the Yankees go out there and win tonight like they should. Well, you’re still down seven in the division and possibly four in the Wild Card. You’re not going to be favored in either of the games against Boston over the weekend.

Of course you want to win the series, but realistically, the Yankees wanted to at least split the series. They were in prime position to have that done at a minimum through two games.

At this point, Brian Cashman isn’t inclined to go out there and spend in prospect capitol to make a big move. The team isn’t doing a good enough job of making him truly believe that they are a World Series caliber club.

Yes, they’ve won a few series in a row and yes they are missing a ton of pieces right now. However, that last statement is why you might not see Brian Cashman do anything regardless of what the Yankees do between now and the deadline.

In 2019, Cashman said that the prices were too high. Getting Betances and Severino back was better than any trade they could’ve made per Cashman. Well, If the Yankees are still contender a week from now, Cashman can point to getting Judge, Voit, Urshela, Severino, and Kluber back.

What the Yankees should do

In my opinion, the Yankees should make a move that benefits them not just for the rest of this year, but for next year as well. There has been talk with Colorado about Trevor Story, but in speaking with MLB folks in Colorado, the odds of a deal coming together are slim.

Story is a free agent after this season and it’s not a guarantee that the Yankees would want to dish out a big deal for him. So if not Story, who should the Yankees target? I still love the idea of going out and getting Joey Gallo.

Gallo provides much needed pop from the left side and he’s controlled through 2022 as well. Gallo is a move they can make that benefits both this year and next year. Another guy I would love to see the Yankees get is Adam Frazier.

Frazier is cut from the same cloth as a DJ LeMahieu. Low strikeouts with a lot of contact and he swings it from the left side. Frazier would be a great addition for the Yankees and again, he’s controlled through next season.

Call Kansas City Now

My other picks would be Andrew Benintendi and/or Whit Merrifield. I’m from Kansas City and I know a lot of people in the Royals scene. Dayton Moore is not inclined to sell Merrifield or Benintendi despite the fact that the Royals are in last place.

However, if the Yankees could put together a good enough package, maybe he’d do it. If you could somehow get both of them, that would be a huge deal. Benintendi is proven in the East and Merrifield gives the Yankees another LeMahieu type player.

There are a ton of options for Brian Cashman. I do not think they should sit back and do nothing, however, from what I’m hearing, that’s more likely than seeing them make a big splash. For my sake and the sake of Yankee fans, I hope I’m wrong.

Yankees News, 7/22: Kriske sets the wrong Yankee record, team in desperation mode

New York Yankees, Brooks Kriske

The New York Yankees had victory all but finalized in the bottom of the ninth inning with a two-run lead, but relief pitcher Chad Green gifted Boston with a chance to make a comeback. With one out and nobody on, Green allowed two consecutive singles before a double to left-center by Enrique Hernandez, which drove in two runs, giving Boston another chance at life.

In the 10th inning, Brett Gardner hit a sacrifice fly to left field, driving in Tyler Wade, but Boston enjoyed one of the most spotty pitching performances of the season by relief option Brooke Kriske.

Kriske set a Yankees franchise record in the worst way possible, allowing four wild pitches to occur, allowing Boston to steal an essential win as the Bombers try to climb their way back into the AL East standings.

The Yankees currently sit eight games back from the Boston Red Sox in the East and are 4.5 games behind the Oakland Athletics in the Wild Card. While they have a chance to make the postseason, the next two weeks are essential to their plans. The Bombers have three more games against Boston in a four-game series before taking on Tampa in a three-game series, which represents an equally important challenge.

On Friday evening, the Yankees will feature Gerrit Cole on the mound, who has a 2.63 ERA and 0.94 WHIP this season. Their opponent, Eduardo Rodriguez, hosts a 5.19 ERA, allowing 104 hits over just 95 innings. Comparably, Cole has allowed 89 hits over 120 innings, so the Yankees have a serious advantage in the pitching matchup.

With rumors spreading that the Yankees could be active at the trade deadline, posting a few more wins with their reserve pieces before the starters return from the Covid list and injured reserve would be fantastic, as the team recently embarked on a four-game win streak before the loss on Thursday, dampening the mood and stopping the momentum. The Yankees need to shake this loss off and put it behind them quickly, as another loss would further bury them in the abyss of the AL East.

Knicks News, 7/23: Kelly Oubre a Reggie Bullock replacement? An ideal trade target at center

Kelly Oubre, knicks

There is a possibility the New York Knicks are forced to replace five players preparing to hit the open market, and one of them is small/shooting guard Reggie Bullock.

Bullock is reportedly receiving interest from multiple teams, including the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, and Los Angeles Lakers. Reggie had himself a solid 2020-21 season with the Knicks last year, helping them take a big step forward in the three-point category, shooting 41% over 6.1 attempts per game. He averaged 11 points, 1.5 assists, and shot 44% from the floor over 65 games. In fact, he averaged the most minutes of his entire career last season with Tom Thibodeau’s, playing 30 per game.

Replacing his impact at the price point of $4.2 million is likely impossible, but there is one alternative option the Knicks could view as a long-term solution at small forward.

Golden State Warriors Kelly Oubre Jr. could fit the bill at 25 years old. Last season, he averaged 15.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, and shot 44% from the field. While his three-point percentage was a measly 31.6% over 5.2 attempts per game, the expectation is that he will elevate that number to a more consistent clip. His career-high sits at 35% from range, but it seems as if players under Thibodeau’s perform better, which Oubre hinted at when asked about the potential of signing with the Knicks this off-season.

Kelly Oubre raved about the Knicks on “The Putback” Podcast with SNY’s Ian Begley, stating:

”To come in and to help help the organization get better. They’ve already started, the uphill trajectory of what they’re trying to get to with this past year, having a great season and balling out, RJ coming into his own, everybody really coming into their own and making a family unit. That was pretty much the biggest thing and that is why I feel like Tom Thibodeau had a very big part in that.”

Replacing Bullock with Oubre has its pros and cons, as the younger of the two offers far better defense and potential, but Bullock is a more refined shooter, which the Knicks will undoubtedly miss unless they supplement his loss in other ways. However, I believe the team is looking to utilize Immanuel Quickley more strategically next season as a shooting guard, which would supplement the loss of Bullock’s three-point percentage to a degree.

Should the Knicks pursue a Myles Turner trade to bolster center position?

The Indiana Pacers could be looking to trade center, Myles Turner this off-season, and he is a player that offers not only quality defense, but scoring prowess. Last season, he average 12.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, and shot 47.7% from the field. In addition, he’s even capable of shooting from range, connecting on 33.5% over 4.4 attempts. He is a legitimate starting big man, who posted a career-high 3.4 blocks per game, indicating a massive step forward with his defense.

Pairing Turner with Mitchell Robinson will give the Knicks one of the best center duos in the NBA, both capable of elite defense and scoring at an efficient rate. However, sharing minutes between the two would be tough — it would open up the door for the Knicks to utilize Robinson as a trade piece.

In fact, trading for Turner might force the team to include Robinson in the deal, but they would be gaining a fantastic player in return who they can depend on regularly. Contractually, Turner signed a four-year, $80 million deal in 2019, and has two years left remaining. He is owed $17.5 million next season, representing a far more expensive player than Mitchell Robinson at $1.8 million. Ideally, the Knicks will roll with Robinson and he will prove to be a force on both sides of the floor next year, earning a second contract with the team that will keep them in New York for the foreseeable future.

Rangers buyout defenseman Anthony DeAngelo (Report)

Anthony deangelo

The New York Rangers to buy out the contract of defenseman Anthony DeAngelo.

The worse kept secret is about to become reality as the New York Rangers are beginning the process to buy out the contract of defenseman Anthony DeAngelo.

Frank Seravalli Tweeted the the club would be behind the process to buyout DeAngelo by placing him on waivers.

He played his final game for the Blueshirts on Jan.30 in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

There were several incidents throughout the early part of the season that had DeAngelo in the crosshairs of the organization.  The Sewell, NJ native was benched for two games by former head coach David Quinn after he incurred an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty for slamming the penalty box door and yelling at referees late in an opening-night loss to the Islanders.

He was warned by then-GM Jeff Gorton that if there were further issues, “the time is going to come where we’re going to put you on waivers and move on.”

DeAngelo was acquired in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes along with a first-round pick for Antti Ranta and Derek Stepan.

UFC Vegas 32 Preview: Cory Sandhagen – TJ Dillashaw

Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC Vegas 32, we will see one of the most highly anticipated main events of the year. Former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw (16-4) is returning after a two-year suspension and is taking on top contender Cory Sandhagen (14-2).

Just a few years ago, TJ Dillashaw was on top of the world. He was the undisputed UFC bantamweight champion with aspirations of becoming a two-division champion. Dillashaw decided to drop to 125 pounds to challenge Henry Cejudo for the flyweight title to realize his dream.

However, to assist with dropping weight and not losing energy, Dillashaw took EPO. EPO is a strong performance enhancer and the UFC informed him of the positive test after he lost to Cejudo in January of 2019. Dillashaw was then suspended for two years.

Obviously, Dillashaw relinquished the title, but it’s worth noting that he never truly lost that belt in the octagon. That’s why he wanted to go right back to the top upon his return and it doesn’t get much better than The Sandman, Cory Sandhagen.

Since making his debut with the UFC, Sandhagen has gone an impressive 7-1. The lone loss came against the current champion Aljamain Sterling. However, since that loss he’s bounced back with back-to-back knockouts over Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar.

UFC Vegas 32 Prediction

The two men in the main event of UFC Vegas 32 are very familiar with each other. In fact, the two men used to train together and Dillashaw has sang the praises of Cory Sandhagen in the past. However, tomorrow night is all business.

It’s worth noting that at bantamweight in the UFC, Dillashaw has been close to perfect. After losing in the finale of The Ultimate Fighter, Dillashaw has gone 12-2 in the division. The two losses were razor close split decisions and most believe he definitely won the Assuncao fight.

However, there are a ton of questions surrounding Dillashaw. Two years of his prime are gone and now he’s coming back to take on the best that the UFC has to offer. Sandhagen really looks like he’s coming into his own and doesn’t look like he’s going to be an easy challenge.

I think we are going to see a razor close fight tomorrow night. I’m expecting to see a very good version of TJ Dillashaw, but I’m not convinced he gets it done here. I think we might be getting ready to enter the time of The Sandman.

Prediction: Cory Sandhagen by Unanimous Decision

New York Yankees: 3 Takeaways from the implosion of the Yankee bullpen

New York Yankees, Chad Green

After four straight wins, the New York Yankees entered a four-game series with the rival Boston Red Sox last night. With such positivity the Yankees looked to get their fifth win in a row, it was not to be as the Yankee bullpen gave the game to the Red Sox. It was a crushing 5-4 loss for the Yankees in the tenth inning.

Montgomery’s bad luck continues

Jordan Montgomery is without a doubt the bad luck kid. For the fifth game in a row pitched adequately, but the game was lost by the Yankee bullpen. Last night Montgomery pitched really well and had good control of all of his pitches, especially his curveball. He pitched 5 2/3rd innings giving up only 3 hits and one walk. He threw 83 pitches, 57 for strikes. After not allowing a run, he left the game with the one-run Yankee lead.

Montgomery has gotten the least run support than any other Yankee pitcher. He is now 3-5 in 19 starts, with an ERA of 3.96. in four of his games, he got zero run support. in another 11 games, the Yankees only scored 3 or fewer runs.

One out away from another win bullpen implodes

After Jordan Montgomery pitch a fine game into the sixth inning, call-up Sal Romano pitched a clean 2/3 of an inning. Lucas Luetge gave up a run tying the game. Luis Cessa pitched a scoreless eighth. That was when everything went south. With the Yankees picking up two runs, the score was 3-1 when Chad Green stepped to the mound to close out the win. Green had no command of his pitches and gave up two runs pushing the game into extra innings.

At the top of the tenth with ghost runner Tyler Wade on second LeMahieu against closer Matt Barnes ground out, but Wade went to third base. Brett Gardner sac flew to left, driving in Wade for the as the Yankees again took lead. What happened next was something no one could ever predict. Yankee reliever Brooks Kriske threw four wild pitches. In doing so he gave the game away to the Red Sox as they scored two runs off the lost reliever.

Two steps forward, one back

It seems this season that every time things are starting to look rosy for the Yankee they take a giant step back. Last night the Yankees entered the game after winning four straight games and two series. With a win last night they could have gained a game against their rivals that lead the AL East, but no, they lost the game and went further back in the standings.

If the New York Yankees are going to turn their season around they have to win games against their division foes, particularly the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays. The next six games are against those teams. Gerrit Cole will take the mound tonight to face Eduardo Rodriguez in game two of the series. Jameson Taillon and Domingo German will pitch the last two games. The Yankees need to take these next three games to advance on the Red Sox.

Note: After this Red Sox series the New York Yankees will move on to face the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in Tampa. The Yankees this season are 5-8 against the Rays. In the news yesterday the Rays improved their lineup by acquiring Nelson Cruz from the Twins.

 

Why the New York Giants should extend Jabrill Peppers instead of trade him

New York Giants, Jabrill Peppers

The New York Giants have several pillars on the defense, and one of them is safety Jabrill Peppers, who not only brings a unique blend of coverage ability and run-stopping prowess but energy to a team that has lacked in the past.

Peppers first entered the NFL with the Cleveland Browns, transitioning from strong safety to free safety during his first two years, but it wasn’t until this past season where he truly found his potential under coordinator Patrick Graham.

To give you an idea of how much Graham helped Peppers elevate his game, he set personal bests in almost every influential defensive category. To list them all, Peppers improved in tackles, tackles for a loss, sacks, passes defended, pressures, hurries and posted the lowest missed tackle right of his career.

Statistically, he recorded 91 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, three QB hits, 2.5 sacks, and posted 11 passes defended. He was one of the Giants’ best defensive players and is only set to make $6.7 million this upcoming season, but some believe he could be a trade piece prior to the start of the campaign.

CBS Sports believes the Giants could trade Jabirll Peppers for cap space, which makes little sense:

He’s still a big name with a big role, but with 2022 free agency on the horizon, Peppers could be dangled for the chance to gain $6.8M in cap savings for a team with just $2.4M in current space. It’s not as if New York hasn’t invested in alternatives at the position, paying up to retain Logan Ryan, recently spending a high pick on Xavier McKinney and finding snaps for the versatile Julian Love.

Even if the Giants did manage to find a trade partner for Peppers, they would be creating a weakness where they currently have a strength. Adding $6.7 million to their $2.4 million available funds would have little impact, considering the only unit that could theoretically use an upgrade is the offensive line, and the options on the market are thin.

Some might argue that Xavier McKinney can play the role that Peppers currently houses, but the Alabama product is still finding his sea legs in the NFL and is far less adequate against the run. McKinney stands at 6’0” and 201 pounds, while Peppers has 20 pounds of additional muscle mass, giving him a bit more thump in the run game.

In addition, Jabrill is one of the team’s captains, and after letting Dalvin Tomlinson walk in free agency, parting ways with two captains doesn’t exactly scream efficiency in the locker room. The Michigan product has provided a level of energy for the Giants’ defense that was incomprehensible before his acquisition in the OBJ trade with the Browns.

If there’s an argument for trading away Peppers, it boils down to the trade deadline, and if the team is struggling, looking to add draft capital for the future. However, trading him away now and creating a weakness could be viewed as malpractice. If there’s any course of action, the Giants should be looking to extend Peppers before the end of the season than trade him, as his value could sky-rocket after another impressive campaign littered with growth and quality.

Report: Knicks looking to trade up into lottery, but how high can they go?

davion mitchell, knicks

The Knicks landed five spots outside of the lottery this year, having made the postseason and earned the 4th overall seed in the Eastern Conference. For the first time in years, the Knicks won’t be picking in the top 10, which is a major positive aside from the fact that they’re desperately trying to move up to land a top player.

Packaging their selections together should allow them to move up into the 8-14 range, where a bevy of quality talents will be available for the taking.

According to Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report, the Knicks are putting in calls to gauge trade interest and move into the late lottery, but the question is, how far high can they go?

Unless the front office is willing to give up selections and a potential player, they will have to settle for the late lottery, which will open up potential options like James Bouknight, Jalen Johnson, and, if they’re lucky, Davion Mitchell. I wouldn’t rule out Sharife Cooper or Trey Murphy III from being potential targets as well, as the Knicks have been looking into Cooper recently.

All of these prospects have different qualities, but the Knicks would have to pair their three first-round selections together, 19, 21, and 32. Moving up as high as possible would give them a bit of comfort knowing one of their top prospects on the board will fall, but it entirely depends on what Tom Thibodeau envisions next season with a rookie.

The team simply doesn’t have three roster spots to offer developing players, as the team is looking to win now and spend in free agency to supplement the loss of multiple free agents, including Derrick Rose, Reggie Bullock, Taj Gibson, Nerlens Noel, and Elfrid Payton.

Another report has indicated that the Knicks could wait until the 2022 off-season to spend the majority of their funds, which will likely amount to over $40 million after expenditures this off-season. Nonetheless, that might open up the potential return of Derrick Rose, who could sign a one-year deal allowing the team to move on from his cap hit after this season.

Pairing him with a young PG he can mentor would be ideal, so options like Mitchell, Cooper, and even Tre Mann stand out. If Thibs was is for a more defensively stout youngster, Mitchell would fit the bill, but Cooper is an elite facilitator with insane vision in transition, being compared to players like Chris Paul and Trae Young. Mann is a smooth scorer who creates shots for himself and opens up the floor for his teammates.

What lottery players do you have your eye on for the Knicks? Comment below!