New York Yankees Analysis: Yankees are addressing lack of left-hand hitters

yankees, joey gallo

The New York Yankees have killed two birds with one stone. They have finally addressed a lack of contact hitting and left-hand batters. In as many as two days, they have added two left-hand bats to the lineup. They acquired lefty Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers and lefty Anthony Rizzo from the Chicago Cubs. This season’s Yankees’ primary problem is a lack of hitting from an underachieving lineup. Part of that problem is that the lefties they have outside of Rougie Odor have not been producing. Brett Gardner has a batting average of .196. Tyler Wade at .191, and Odor at .227.

At the beginning of July, when it comes to the left side, New York is dead last in the majors in batting average (.168), OPS (.540), BABIP (.204), wOBA (.249), and wRC+ (58). Yankees lefties are only a few steps from the cellar regarding runs, home runs, RBI, and ISO. Although not superstars Gallo and Rizzo will greatly increase those figures even if they don’t play well. Their combined batting average is in the .240s with 39 home runs and almost 100 RBI’s. The addition will also make it more difficult for opponent pitchers to navigate the Yankee lineup.

The New York Yankees now have the option of putting out 4 lefties in the lineup when it is called for.

Joey Gallo:

Gallo has had a fine career for nine years with the Texas Rangers. Gallo is both a contact and power lefty. The 27-year-old is also a fine defensive player that is versatile. Primarily, he can play any outfield position, but he can also defend at the infield’s corners. This season he is batting .223 with 25 home runs, more than any Yankee hitter. He also has 55 RBIs. Going into a 3 game series with the Miami Marlins; fans will likely see Gallo somewhere in the middle of the lineup and out in left field.

Anthony Rizzo:

Rizzo is an eleven-year veteran who has spent all but one year with the Chicago Cubs. He doesn’t have the power he once had but will be a valuable contract hitter for the Yankees. His batting average this season is .248 with 14 home runs. He, similar to DJ LeMahieu, gets on base and moves runners. He is an excellent defender at first base. He will likely find himself somewhere in the middle of the lineup, possibly breaking up Stanton and Sanchez. With two successful lefty hitters now in the Yankees lineup, it entirely changes the lineup dynamics and may turn around a season for the team.

Notes: Previous to the Gallo and Rizzo trade, the Yankees acquired Glay Holmes, a righty reliever. He is 28 years old, the Yankees, even with his elevated ERA, see Holmes as a righty assassin. The Yankees acquired him from the Pirates. He made his Yankee debut last night in the ninth inning, pitching a scoreless in for the Yankees.

With the trade deadline drawing to a close at 4 pm today, the Yankees still have $4 million to spend without going over the luxury tax threshold. Stay tuned to EmpireSportsMedia.com for all the latest developments.

New York Yankees: 4 Major takeaways from 14-0 shutout of the Yankees

New York Yankees, Albert Abreu

The New York Yankees entered last night’s game with the Tampa Bay Rays feeling fully confident that they would sweep the Rays with ace Gerrit Cole on the mound for the Yankees. Unfortunately, that is not close to what happened; instead, the Rays shut out the Yankees 14-0. Another case this season as the Yankees take two steps forward and one step back. Nevertheless, the Yankees did take the series.

Gerrit Cole loses the game before recording an out

It would be an understatement to say that Yankee ace Gerrit Cole didn’t have it as he stepped to the mound in the first inning of last night’s game. Cole gave up four runs without recording an out. With the Yankees not hitting, the death knell led to a 14 run shut out from the Rays. Once that was over, Cole settled in and put down 8 in a row at one point. With his secondary pitches not working, he had to revert to solely throwing his fastball.

In his time with the Yankees, Cole has never given up 8 runs in a game, making this his worst outing in years. It is the first time since 1912 that a pitcher has given up eight runs in a game while recording 10 strikeouts. It is also the first time the Yankees have given up 14 runs in a game since last year against the Toronto Blue Jays at Buffalo.

This loss has to be a concern for the Yankees; it’s Cole’s second loss in a row when he couldn’t complete six innings. His last loss was a critical one against the Boston Red Sox. This trend can’t be acceptable to the Yankees; as the season progresses, he is trending down, not up. After April, Cole’s ERA was 1.43; now, it has risen to 3.11, which is still good but not what you want to see from your ace.

Yankees’ lack of hitting continues

The Yankees’ lack of hitting all season continues to dog them in most games. Last night was no different. The Yankees could only muster up 4 hits in the game. With three runners in scoring position, no home runs, they couldn’t bring a run home. Most concerning last night was Giancarlo Stanton, who stuck out three times with one walk. Stanton, who was a legitimate spark before the All-Star break, has not hit the ball since then. He had 16 home runs then, and that is where it sits. Both Judge and Stanton should be the power bats in the lineup, but Stanton is missing in action.

By taking this series, the Yankees now have a winning record at Tropicana Field for the first time since 2015. The Yankees are now 7 and 9 against the Rays this season, with the last 3 games between the teams to be played at Yankee Stadium to end the season in September.

Yankees give up 10 in the sixth

After giving up four runs in the early part of the first inning, Gerrit Cole pitched well into the sixth inning, striking out 10 Rays. But everything went south in the sixth inning, putting the Yankees in an unrecoverable 14 run hole. In the sixth, Cole gave up another two runs before being removed from the game, leaving two on base that was his responsibility. With the bullpen, overused Boone sent Michael Abreu to replace Cole. However, the Rays had their way with Abreu, who gave up another eight runs including the two base runners Cole left.

Sal Romano did his job; between the seventh and eighth, he allowed two hits but kept the Rays scoreless. On a good note, the Yankees sent out their newest pitcher Clay Holmes in his Yankee debut. He pitched a hitless ninth inning for the Yankees.

Hal means business

New York Yankees general partner Hal Steinbrenner said recently that he doesn’t see the Yankees as sellers at the trade deadline. It seems he was true to his word. The Yankees acquired Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers and last night announced that they had acquired first baseman Anthony Rizzo from the Chicago Cubs. With $4 million left without going over the luxury tax threshold and a 4 o’clock deadline today, he may still improve the team.

New this season, after the deadline today, there will be no waiver deals made. At the end of today, the team will be what they will go with the rest of the season. With the additions of Gallo and Rizzo, it seems Cashman is addressing the lack of left-hand hitters in the lineup. If there is another deal coming before that deadline, it will most likely be in the pitching department.

 

The Knicks plugged two massive holes with brilliant NBA Draft execution

miles mcbride, knicks

The New York Knicks clearly had a priority during the NBA draft, three-point shooting, and defense. Their selections are refined in both categories, specifically Miles McBride out of West Virginia and Houston stand out, Quentin Grimes.

The front office executed a flurry of trades, showing off their ability to work the system and add capital for the future. The team simply didn’t have the luxury of hosting four rookies next season, but with several players set to be utilized as trade pieces, the Knicks will likely have open roster spots for the taking.

In addition to several trade assets, the Knicks have upwards of six players hitting the free-agent market, so replacing them in some fashion was a necessity.

Knicks Draft Moves:

1.) Traded 19th pick to Hornets for future 1st rounder

2.) Traded 21st pick to Clippers for 25th pick and future 2nd round

3.) Traded 32nd pick to Oklahoma for 34th and 36th picks

Players selected:

G: Quentin Grimes, Houston

Quentin Grimes this past season:

-84th percentile in overall offense

-92nd percentile in transition

-86th percentile P&R ball handler

-70th percentile isolation

-72nd percentile off screens

-81st percentile on handoffs

G: Rokas Jokubaitis, Lithuania

-Combo guard

-Averaged 7.0 points per game in Euro League

-Faced off against good competition in Europe, showed signs of promise

PG: Miles McBride, West Virginia

-Defensively stout point guard

-Fits Tom Thibodeau’s system

-Solid shooter

-Biggest hands of any guard in draft class

-Shot above 41% from range last season

Taking a look at the biggest stand out traits:

McBride isn’t just a fantastic perimeter defender, he also shot 41% from three last season. He averages 15.9 points, 4.8 assists, and connected on 43% of his shots from the field. He is a high effort player who fits Thibodeau’s system perfectly. Allowing him to develop behind a veteran, potentially someone like Derrick Rose, will give him the confidence and time to adapt efficiently.

Grimes, on the other hand, is a perfect 3-and-D player for the Knicks, who could be outpaced in the Reggie Bullock sweepstakes. Grimes averaged 17.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and shot 40% front range last season. Featuring on one of the best defensive teams in college basketball, you can see the trend beginning to form here with Thibodeau’s strategy.

They clearly prioritized defense with offensive upside, depending on their coaching staff to extract value over time. Grimes has Alec Berks vibes on offense but offers far more on defense than the veteran contributed last season.

Aside from the two American-born players, the Knicks also landed Lithuanian native Rokas Jokubaitis. As a combo guard who featured in the Euro League last season, he has experience against better competition, which should allow him to translate nicely to the NBA.

One of his biggest selling points is defense, with the ability to play on and off-ball. With solid ballhandling and diversity in the back-court, his versatility should contribute toward playing time. Most didn’t anticipate the Knicks going this route, but they are looking for guards with potential, and both McBride and Jokubaitis offer just that.

New York Giants: 2 free agent guards who could fit the bill if Shane Lemieux injury is serious

New York giants, Larry Warford

New York Giants expected starting left guard Shane Lemieux suffered a knee injury on Thursday, which required a cart to carry him off the field. The front office didn’t allocate any resources toward bolstering the line this off-season, electing to sign receivers and strengthen the pass rush instead.

With Lemieux going down on the second day of training camp, a clear disregard for the trenches is boiling to the surface. Nonetheless, it’s not too late to sign a free agent to help reinforce the unit.

Two free agent guards the New York Giants could contact:

1.) Larry Warford

Some might name David DeCastro, former Pittsburgh Steeler, as a potential option. However, most are considering his release from Pittsburgh as his retirement. Coming off a notable ankle injury, relying on him to be a regular starter is optimistic.

Former New Orleans Saints guard Larry Warford might be a better alternative. Warford logged a 71.4 overall pass blocking grade in 2019, in addition to a 76.6 run-blocking grade, per PFF. He allowed 3.0 sacks and 32 pressures over 1025 snaps. He primarily plays right guard, which would shift Will Hernandez back to the left side.

Traditionally, Warford has been a quality guard for the majority of his career, electing to sit out the 2020 season. In all three seasons with the Saints, Warford went to the Pro Bowl but saw a significant drop off his performance two years ago.

Depending on his price tag, Warford could be an adequate option to compete in the trenches on a one-year contract.

2.) James Carpenter

The free-agent guard market is extremely thin, and one of the better options available is James Carpenter. Carpenter played in 675 snaps with the Atlanta Falcons last season, but the former first-round pick struggled mightily. Last season, Carpenter allowed 3.0 sacks at left guard.

The Giants are comfortable with Zach Fulton competing at LG and even had Kenny Wiggins, formally on the Detroit Lions featuring with the starting team on Thursday. Carpenter is an experienced veteran, though, and would at least provide competition in the trenches if Shane’s injury is serious.

Knicks cap eventful NBA Draft Night with athletic big man Jericho Sims

knicks, jericho simms

The New York Knicks selected Texas Longhorns’ Jericho Sims with the 58th pick to complete their haul in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Projected to go undrafted, Sims raised his stock after an impressive NBA Draft Combine. The 6-foot-10 Sims posted an eye-popping 44.5-inch max vertical in the NBA Draft Combine and the No. 8 overall three-quarter sprints.

Shortly after the Draft Combine, he went viral after hitting his head on the rim on a dunk he performed at the Klutch Sports Pro Day.

Sims was named to the All-Big 12 Tournament team after posting 9.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 26 games last season while helping the Longhorns earn their first postseason championship. He needs to improve his free throw shooting (52%) to thrive in the NBA.

The Knicks started the night with a pair of trades moving back in the draft after their targets went off the board. The shrewd moves saved the Knicks some of their cap space and earned them additional assets that may become trade chips down the road.

They dealt the 19th pick to the Charlotte Hornets for a heavily-protected future first-round pick. The selection is Top-18 protected next year, Top-16 protected in 2023, Top-14 protected in 2024 and will become a pair of future second-round picks if not conveyed.

The Knicks then dealt the 21st pick to the Los Angeles Clipper for the 25th pick and a future second-round pick. They used that to select Houston Cougars’ 3-and-D prospect Quentin Grimes who had an impressive Draft Combine by scoring 27 points on seven three-pointers in one of the scrimmages. He shot 40.3 percent from deep last season.

The Knicks weren’t done wheeling and dealing as they flipped the 32nd pick into the 34th and 36th picks they used for west Virginia’s feisty point guard Miles McBride and Lithuanian Rokas Jokubaitis.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo