New York Giants: Barkley and Rudolph out, others will be game time decision

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants are dealing with a number of injuries right now, and it’s unclear which players are in a position to return for the final preseason game. We do know, however, that two anticipated returns won’t happen in this game after Joe Judge ruled out the possibility already.

Those players are Saquon Barkley and tight end Kyle Rudolph, both of whom have mounting pressure to play in week 1. Judge confirmed on Friday that neither player will take the field against New England.

“He will not play in this game, no. We’ll dress him out. He’ll go through warm up. We’ll continue him on through ramping up. He won’t play. Him or Rudolph won’t play in this game,” Judge told reporters when asked about Barkley.

But more encouragingly, Judge also claimed that the Giants are still making decisions on some players.

Some decisions are still being made

“The other players – there’s a lot of guys where there’s still decisions being made. We’ll see how they come out today and even some tomorrow. We’ll see how they’re going to look for the game. So, I can’t give any final answers on a lot of guys,” Judge said.

The list of injuries includes three wide receivers – John Ross, Kadarius Toney, and Kenny Golladay.

With Toney being the team’s first round draft pick and Golladay being their biggest free agent signing, this has caused some reasonable concern that Daniel Jones won’t get a chance to build chemistry with his most important targets in a game situation before week 1.

But as the Giants generally rested their starters for the first couple of preseason games, it’s clear the staff aren’t prioritizing preseason experience for their key players.

We know Jones will play one half in the final game, but as of now, it remains to be seen if his new weapons will be there on the field with him.

New York Jets: 3 stars from Friday’s win/loss vs. Philadelphia

New York Jets

Delayed a half-hour by lightning storms, the New York Jets’ preseason finale in East Rutherford was dominated by reserves.

Thunder and lightning on and off the MetLife Stadium turf defined the New York Jets’ 2021 preseason finale.

East Rutherford rains pushed back the opening kickoff of the Jets’ resumed summer series against the Philadelphia Eagles, as the team met annually in their respective final exhibition game since 2001 before the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the proceedings last year. Two late hook-ups between James Morgan and Kenny Yeboah allowed the Jets to erase a late deficit and force a 31-31 tie on Friday night.

New York (2-0-1) and Philadelphia (0-2-1) mostly played their reserves after heavy precipitation delayed kickoff by a half-hour. Jets quarterback Zach Wilson was among the many held out.

ESM has three game balls from Friday’s unusual showdown…

Honorable Mentions

  • RB Josh Adams: 12 carries, 62 yards, 3 receptions, 17 yards
  • QB James Morgan: 13-of-23, 158 yards, 2 touchdowns
  • WR Jeff Smith: 3 carries, 44 yards, 2 receptions, 16 yards
  • WR Lawrence Cager: 3 receptions, 21 yards, 1 touchdown
  • WR Vyncint Smith: 2 receptions, 32 yards
  • S J.T. Hassell: 4 tackles, 1 sack
  • P Braden Mann: 3 punts, 51.3 average

3rd Star: TE Kenny Yeboah

4 receptions, 100 yards, 2 TD

With Tyler Kroft sitting out (perhaps solidifying his status as the Jets’ top tight end) and the Chris Herndon/Daniel Brown tandem struggling, Yeboah capitalized on an opportunity by becoming an eternal legend of New York summer lore. He got open over the middle for a score in the third quarter to reduce the Jets’ deficit to one before hauling in the Morgan miracle. With major questions surrounding the Jets’ veteran tight ends beyond Kroft, it’ll be interesting to see if Friday’s standout performance was enough for Yeboah to carve out a year-long role on the team through either an active roster or practice squad spot.

2nd Star: QB Josh Johnson

7-of-8, 73 yards, 1 TD

Jets fans who braved the rain to see the only sanctioned home game of the preseason were probably disappointed that they didn’t get to see new franchise man Zach Wilson. Johnson did what he could to make up for the loss of aerial antics and gave the Jets a quarterback quandary over the next few weeks. The Jets scored on two of Johnson’s three possessions, the first capped off by a short scoring hookup on fourth down with Lawrence Cager. Friday’s snaps were Johnson’s first of the preseason, as Mike White has taken a majority of the post-Wilson throws. White didn’t play on Friday night; it was vague as to whether was part of the Jets’ roster locks or the aftermath from taking several hits against Green Bay last weekend. Johnson certainly gave the Jets something to think about as Week 1 looms.

1st Star: RB Ty Johnson

13 carries, 53 yards, 1 TD

Thanks to Marvel, pondering the question of “What If…?” has become a national pastime of sorts. One such quandary from Jets fans could center around the hypotheticals of Ty Johnson getting the lion’s share of the rushing attempts instead of giving Frank Gore a farewell tour in green. It probably wouldn’t have shifted the Jets’ standing in…well, the standings…but run game clarity could’ve been gained. All signs currently point to veteran newcomer Tevin Coleman being the top back. Coleman has taken minimal snaps during the preseason but is still listed at the top of the Jets’ current depth chart. Many expect freshman Michael Carter (7 carries, 12 yards) to over at some point this season. But Johnson (108 yards on 28 carries behind an offensive line that was never at full strength) is making his case to be a premier back, once again taking advantage of the opportunities afforded to him like he did last season. The Jets also can’t forget Josh Adams, who wound up leading the team in rushing on Friday night as a major contributor to the Jets’ comeback effort.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Julius Randle left money on the table to help Knicks build a championship contender

knicks, julius randle

Julius Randle gets it.

As much as he’s embraced being the New York Knicks’ franchise cornerstone, he knows in his heart he can’t do it alone. His first playoff appearance showed him he needs more help to compete for a championship.

Randle became an All-Star, All-NBA Second Team forward, and the Most Improved Player of the Year last season that fueled the Knicks’ surprising playoff run. But they were bounced by Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks in five games in the first round, exposing their lack of talent and firepower.

That became one of Randle’s biggest considerations why he opted to sign a cheaper extension now rather than wait for next summer when he would have been eligible to sign an extension in the neighborhood of $200 million.

“For me, it’s kinda like a no-brainer,” Randle said after officially signing a $117 million, four-year extension with the Knicks.

He was motivated to help the Knicks build a contender during his prime years. After all, he’s already set to earn $180 million over seven years with the Knicks, including the original $63 million, three-year deal he signed in 2019.

“For me, I just truly enjoy being a Knick at the end of the day. And I don’t think there’s a better place to win a championship than here. And I want to be part of that, and I felt like I can help be a part of that,” Randle said. “I felt like me signing this extension will help Leon (Rose) and the other guys get pieces and continue to build the team so that we could have that opportunity.”

The Knicks have retained most of their core that finished fourth in the East last season, losing only Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock. But they brought in four-time All-Star Kemba Walker and a more dynamic scoring wing in Evan Fournier as upgrades while adding promising rookies — Quentin Grimes, Miles McBride, and Jericho Sims — from the draft.

As much as Randle hailed the Knicks’ offseason moves showing his excitement to grow with this team, Rose celebrated his extension as a big win for the franchise.

“Julius Randle embodies everything you want your star player and leader to be about, and we couldn’t be happier about the long-term commitment we made to each other,” said Rose in a statement. “His hard work and dedication to his craft are second to none, and what he did last season won’t be forgotten by New Yorkers any time soon. We can’t wait to see what’s next for him.”

Two summers ago, Randle wasn’t viewed as a star player despite putting up gaudy numbers, albeit on losing teams. He arrived in New York as a consolation prize after the past regime spectacularly lost in the Kevin Durant’s sweepstakes.

His first year with the Knicks didn’t go according to his plans, and the fans wanted him out of New York.

It felt like his marriage with the Knicks was headed to an ugly divorce. Until Rose and co. came along and saved the relationship.

The family atmosphere and the culture built around trust and accountability that the new regime established last year resonated with Randle, who is every inch a family man. It rekindled his love for the game that he nearly lost playing with losing teams.

“For me, the money was one thing. But for me, it’s more about the situation as far as my happiness – the basketball situation and my family, just being stable, being in New York, and really just continue to build this thing up. When I signed here two years ago, this was my vision — to be able to lock in something long-term and build something from the ground up. And that’s what we’re doing.”

Money makes the NBA go round. But winning, happiness and stability make players stay.

Randle knew he had an opportunity to make more money next summer, and he wrestled with that thought.

“But at the end of the day, I had stops along the way in my career where I haven’t been that happy playing – I understand both sides of how hard this game could be, how hard it could be being on a team where chemistry is not right. And it’s tough showing up to your job every night. For me, I truly enjoy showing up to my job every day. I truly want, and I’m happy being a Knick playing in front of the fans and everything. I went back and forth on it, but at the end of the day, you know, I wanted to win, and I felt like this could help us win. And stability was important.“

Now that stability has found its way back to Knicks’ vocabulary, Randle has indeed found a home after spending his first six years in the NBA drifting around looking for a lifesaver to hang on.

“I think the biggest thing is the culture. That was part of the reason why I took the deal. I talk to Wes (William Wesley) all the time, and he says, ‘it’s family, family, family-business like.’ It is what it really is. We’re all family. We enjoy being around each other. And we have that trust,” Randle said.

”So even if I left money on the table, I trust that, in the long run, it will gonna pay off. I trust Leon, Wes, Scott (Perry), Thibs (Tom Thibodeau), and all those guys that they’re gonna give us the best possible chance and put us in the best position now and in the future to bring a championship to the Knicks. That’s what it’s about.”

Randle got stability. The Knicks have maintained flexibility.

It’s been a long while since everyone — from star player to coach to front office — is on the same page in New York.

After enduring losing for so long, Randle finally enjoyed winning. He now understands how to succeed in the biggest yet toughest market in the NBA.

“New York basketball is all about a lot of heart, hustle, guys who come out hard every night. No matter how talented you are, the fans, the city, they don’t care. They want to see you work hard and give your best every night,” Randle said.

”That’s what our team is all about. That’s who we were about last year, and that’s what we’re going to continue to be about – hard-nosed, and coming in defend every night and just keep improving. That’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

Randle gets it.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

UFC pivots and books Frankie Edgar – Chito Vera

Frankie Edgar

The UFC has switched up their plans for a bantamweight contest that will go down in November. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported this afternoon that the promotion was booking at contest between Frankie Edgar (24-9-1) and Chito Vera (19-7-1).

The matchup will take place at UFC 268 on November 6th. Now, originally the promotion was planning on Edgar taking on Sean O’Malley on this card. However, The Suga Show turned down the date due to some conflicts in his schedule.

The UFC wanted to keep Edgar on the card with the card being planned for Madison Square Garden. Edgar, a New Jersey native, was also wanting to stay on the NYC card in November.

As a result, the UFC scrapped their plans for O’Malley and shifted to the one man who’s defeated him, Chito Vera. Vera is coming off of a bounce back win back in June when he defeated Davey Grant by decision.

That win came on the heels of Vera’s loss to former UFC champion Jose Aldo back in December. Now, Vera is getting right back in there with another legend and another former UFC champion.

Last UFC Stand for Edgar?

Frankie Edgar still has a lot of fight left in him. The former lightweight champion is now competing in his third weight class in the UFC as he’s trying to once again capture gold that has evaded him since 2012.

As mentioned, Edgar became a star when he became the UFC lightweight champion. That said, Edgar was always undersized for a lightweight. Eventually, Edgar moved to 145 pounds and tried to become a champion at featherweight.

Edgar had three cracks at the UFC featherweight title and came up short in each contest. For the final move of his career, Edgar decided to drop down to 135 pounds and compete as a bantamweight.

In reality, this is the best weight class for Edgar and who knows what his career would’ve been like if he would have been at 135 the entire time. He made his bantamweight debut last year and picked up a win over Pedro Munhoz.

Edgar lost in a UFC title eliminator earlier this year to Cory Sandhagen by first round knockout in 28 seconds. That said, Edgar is still ready to try again and he’s ready to take on Chito Vera.

UFC Vegas 35 Preview: Ricky Turcios – Brady Hiestand

Tomorrow night at UFC Vegas 35, we will see a new Ultimate Fighter crowned in the bantamweight division. The finale tomorrow night features two members of Team Volkanovski as Ricky Turcios (10-2) takes on Brady Hiestand (5-1).

This is a tremendous matchup at UFC Vegas 35 and the story of two very different fighters. On one hand you have Hiestand. Hiestand is what you think of when you think of guys from The Ultimate Fighter.

He’s a very talented prospect with a good wrestling skills and is somewhat well-rounded. However, there are parts of his game that still need developing, but that hasn’t stood in the way of the 22 year old getting this far.

On the other hand you have Ricky Turcios. The UFC has had their eyes on Turcios for some time now. He appeared on the very first episode of Dana White’s Contender Series where he lost to Boston Salmon.

It took going through The Ultimate Fighter, but Turcios has worked his way back onto the UFC scene. Turcios definitely has the experience edge heading into tomorrow night.

UFC Vegas 35 Prediction

I think that we are going to know a lot about this contest at UFC Vegas 35 in the opening minute or two. For Hiestand, he’s going to have to get this fight to the ground. I don’t believe he has developed the striking to beat a guy like Turcios from the outside.

Turcios has good striking and he also does a really good job with distance control. To go along with that, Turcios also has good skills on the mat and is very slick off his back.

For Hiestand to become the UFC’s next Ultimate Fighter, he has to be able to get Turcios to the ground and control him. I think that Hiestand has the strength to do it if it gets there, but I’m not sure it will.

In the end, I just believe the experience and the sharper skills of Turcios will play out tomorrow night. The UFC’s next Ultimate Fighter winner is going to be the bantamweight from Houston: Ricky Turcios.

Prediction: Ricky Turcios by Unanimous Decision

Yankees get excellent news on injured ace: Can he make it back in 2021?

New York Yankees’ pitcher Luis Severino, currently out with right shoulder tightness, received some good news from one of the best sports doctors in the country.

Severino saw Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Thursday, as he sought a second opinion on hi rght shoulder after the Yankees’ doctor told him, by seeing an MRI, that he had no structural damage.

Fortunately, ElAttrache had similar findings. Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone said that no structural damage was found in his right shoulder and that the pitcher would soon restart a throwing program.

As for how built-up Severino could get before the playoffs, Boone didn’t want to provide any timelines to the media. Experience has taught him to be cautious with long-term injury rehabs, especially with Severino.

“I don’t even want to speculate on it,” Boone said to NJ Advance Media. “We’ll see how it goes, when he’s able to get back on a mound as far as throwing a bullpen (session). If then at that point everything is going well, we’ll try to map something out. But I think it’s a little premature to say what’s going to build him to where he’s healthy and strong and hopefully an option.”

Injuries have derailed the career of this great Yankees’ pitcher

Severino has missed the entire 2021 season while rehabbing from multiple injuries. He went under the knife in the spring of 2020 and couldn’t play last year. When he was nearing a return in June, he suffered setbacks with his groin and now his shoulder.

The last time Severino contributed to the Yankees was back in 2019, but he could only throw 12 innings of a 1.50 ERA.

There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding Severino. First of all, the Yankees have not assured a playoff spot and will have to earn in in the following weeks. Second, he still hasn’t thrown since the shoulder injury. And third, the team still doesn’t know when he will be ready and which role he can play, which can impact the date of his return.

Can Severino contribute to the 2021 Yankees?

Yankees: Top veteran starter to return from long injury next week

The New York Yankees have been without one of their best pitchers, right-hander Corey Kluber, since late May because of a shoulder strain that took away three months of his season. His time, however, is coming: the veteran 35-year-old hurler will made his return to the Bombers’ active roster on Monday.

Kluber, who left a 3.04 ERA and a great impression on the Yankees after a horrible start, will provide the Bombers with another option for the rotation, as the roster is getting healthy at the right time.

Per information provided to the media by Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone on Thursday night, Kluber will be activated from the injured list and is being listed as the Yanks’ probable starter for Monday’s series opener against the Los Angeles Angels.

“He feels really good and I think he’s ready for this next step,” Boone said, per MLB.com. “He’s ready to take on Major League competition and go to that next level.”

The Yankees can use Kluber’s talents

Kluber was signed late in the offseason to a one-year, $11 million contract, as the Yankees beat several other interested teams for his signature. He started the season with a few clunkers, as he didn’t have his command, but turned things around and was peaking at the moment of injuring his shoulder in late May. He even threw a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers on May 19.

But in his next start, he was diagnosed with a right subscapular strain and spent months without throwing a baseball.

Kluber has been on turn for a couple of weeks now, making two rehab starts at Double-A Somerset. He is already stretched out to 60 pitches.

“He’s been bouncing back from his outings well as he’s been building up here,” Boone said. “He’s not all the way built up like his full starter load, but we feel like he’s built up enough to hopefully go out and give us a few really strong innings.”

UFC Vegas 35 Preview: Kevin Lee – Daniel Rodriguez

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC Vegas 35, we will see a fun matchup in the welterweight division. Former top lightweight contender Kevin Lee (18-6) is moving up to 170 pounds to take on Daniel Rodriguez (15-2).

Originally, Lee was supposed to take on Sean Brady tomorrow night. However, after Brady pulled out with an injury, Rodriguez stepped in. This will be Lee’s second trip up to the UFC‘s welterweight division.

Lee’s career has been interesting thus far. He started his UFC career 9-2 and that led him to an interim title fight against Tony Ferguson. Lee was having a ton of success in that fight before gassing out and getting submitted. Starting with that fight, Lee is just 2-4 in his last six UFC appearances.

Daniel Rodriguez is going to be the biggest guy that Kevin Lee has ever fought. The welterweight who trains with Donald Cerrone has been nearly perfect so far in the octagon. Since making his UFC debut, Rodriguez has gone 5-1 with three finishes.

UFC Vegas 35 Prediction

For both men, the game plan for UFC Vegas 35 is clear. For Kevin Lee, he needs to get the fight to the ground. He cannot afford to stand and trade with Rodriguez who is much bigger and much more polished as a striker.

While Kevin Lee can hold his own on his feet, he’s not a great defensive striker. If he lets Rodriguez get going downhill with big shots, he could be put to sleep tomorrow night.

Rodriguez has good defensive wrestling and he’s going to need it tomorrow night. If Lee cannot take him down, he’s going to be in big trouble. Rodriguez has incredible power and we’ve seen Lee get wobbled in multiple fights.

When he’s at his absolute best, I think Lee is one of the better fighters in the UFC. However, the inactivity and the fact that he really doesn’t have a perfect weight class really hinders him. I don’t like this fight tomorrow night for him. While his wrestling certainly can get it done, I think he’s going to run into some big shots that put him away.

Prediction: Daniel Rodriguez by TKO – Round 2

Knicks make Julius Randle’s contract extension official, here are the details

knicks, julius randle

The New York Knicks and All-Star power forward Julius Randle finalized a contract extension this off-season, paying him $117 million over the next four years with an average salary under $30 million per season. For a player of his caliber and production, this contract opens the door for a potential max contract free agent in the future.

The Knicks played free agency perfectly, retaining most of their players preparing to hit the market on three-year contracts with no guarantees in the third season. That will allow them to clear salary space to target a big name without having any dead money to worry about.

Randle’s contract works perfectly into that strategy. He’s currently heading into the final year of a three-year, $62.1 million deal he signed in 2019. He will earn a base salary of $19.8 million this upcoming season and will elevate to $23.76 million during the 2022–23 season.

The contract has a few details, including $106.4 million guaranteed, $10.6 million in potential bonuses, 15% trade kicker, and a player option in the final year of the contract, which is worth $29.46 million.

The Knicks gave Randle the power in the final year to keep his salary hit below $30 million, which is extremely efficient for a player who averaged 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and averaged 37.6 minutes per game last season. He also shot 45.6% from the field and a career-high 41% from three-point range. He concluded the season with a 51.6% effective field goal percentage.

It is quite clear that the coaching staff is depending on him to continue dominating, and adding pieces like Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker around him should take pressure off. The development of Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett will also play a significant part in the team’s elevation.

“Julius Randle embodies everything you want your star player and leader to be about, and we couldn’t be happier about the long-term commitment we made to each other,” said Knicks President Leon Rose. “His hard work and dedication to his craft are second to none and what he did last season won’t be forgotten by New Yorkers any time soon. We can’t wait to see what’s next for him.”

Randle has already started working on his shot creation this off-season, working with trainer Tyler Relph to master his mid-range shot off the dribble.

Last season, Randle shot 50.3% on his pull-up jumpers and 41.5% on his mid-range jumpers. Hopefully, he can continue to increase those percentages, which will not only make him a more efficient scorer but open up the floor for his teammates on kick-outs to the corners.

New York Yankee Profiles: Tyler Wade shows his true worth in Yankee’s push to the postseason

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

Every year the New York Yankees feel that this will be his breakout year, but Tyler Wade has disappointed.  In 2019 he started big on opening day. He probably would have started the season at the alternate sight, but replacing DJ LeMahieu started the season at second base against the Washington Nationals. He had a career day.

He led off the third inning by working the count full against Max Scherzer and taking a cutter out of the zone for a walk. From there, Wade was inside Scherzer’s head. He made three pickoff attempts while facing Aaron Hicks, and then he left a fastball in the middle of the zone for Judge to pull down the line. Wade was able to score from first to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead.

Unfortunately for Wade, he struggled through most of the season. In 88 at-bats, he had only 15 hits for a season batting average of .170, just ahead of the struggling Gary Sanchez. If the New York Yankees can re-sign DJ LeMahieu, the Yankees will not have a lot of need for Wade. The team has kept him mostly for his speed and replacement as a utility player off the bench.

2020 was not a good year for Wade as it wasn’t for many players in the coronavirus season. But if you were told that the following season Wade would have the second-highest batting average on the team for those playing at least 80 games, you would have been told in your wildest dreams. Well, that dream has come true. If there is one player on the team that doesn’t get the credit he deserves it is Tyler Wade.

This writer has always felt that Tyler Wade could be a much better player if given more playing time. This season (2021), he has proved that out. He has played in 80 games so far and has excelled beyond what is his usual skills. Of course, wade’s problem has always been his hitting or lack thereof. But this year gave a chance he is hitting .278, the second-highest batting average on the team, only below Aaron Judge.

But Tyler Wade’s value is far more than that batting average; it’s in the stats that you don’t see. The Yankees have won 34 of their last 45 games. Some of those wins can be attributed to Wade either directly or indirectly. But, wade is so much better than his stats show. His speed, ability to steal bases, quick thinking, and excellent defense in multiple locations make him a complete player.

Like in so many games, Wade is invaluable. Last night not playing in the game; he was called in in the top of the ninth inning to pinch run for Giancarlo Stanton. He stole second and reached third on an errant throw. Aaron Judge singled, and Wade scored the winning run.

Let’s take a look at Wade’s journey to the Yankees.

The Yankees Tyler Dean Wade was born on November 24, 1994, in San Diego, California. He played baseball as a boy and was a Yankee and Derek Jeter fan from the age of ten. He played ball for Murrieta Valley High School in California, where he developed into a shortstop, who played several times at second base. Yankees scouts took notice of Wade and particularly liked his athleticism. They thought so much of him that they selected him in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB draft when he was just eighteen.

He had committed to play college baseball for San Diego State University but chose to forgo his commitment and sign with the Yankees. He made his pro debut in the rookie Gulf Coast League. At the end of the season, he batted .309 with 12 RBI’s, and the Yankees promoted him to the Staten Island Yankees. In the same year, he also played at the Charleston River Dogs and for the Trenton Thunder. He ended playing in 129 games for an average of .273 with 51 RBI’s.

He started 2015 with the Tampa A team but ended the season back with the Thunder. He played in 127 games between the two teams for an average of .262 with 31 RBI’s and three home runs. He was an invitee to 2016 spring training but spent the season with the Thunder. He began the 2017 season with Scranton Wilkes/Bare but was called up to the Stadium on June 27. He ended up taking the shuttle between the Rail Riders and the Yankees multiple times. He was finally called up for the rest of the season on the 4th of September. He batted .310 for the Rail Riders but .155 for the New York Yankees in just 30 games. During the 2018 season, he was back and forth between the teams again. He played in the Arizona fall league during the winter, where he worked on his outfield skills.

In 2019 he started his season with the Rail Riders but had been up and down again. While at Scranton, Wade has been honing his outfield skills while his natural position is shortstop. As it turns out, Wade is a pretty good utility player, even playing second base, although he isn’t the greatest hitter. He is still young at 26, and still developing. Wade was again called up when the roster expanded and made some exciting catches in left field.

Wade is the super-utility player that can take over if Gleyber Torres falters as the shortstop.  He can play at second and in the outfield with better than average fielding percentages. In addition, he can score from first or second on a hit or sac fly with his team-leading speed on the bases.  Yankee manager Aaron Boone recently sung the praises of Wade.

“Tyler can be that really valuable super-utility guy, rule change or not. He has an ability to defend the middle of the diamond, in the infield, and we have seen just how good an outfielder he can be when we have put him in that situation. For him, it’s about continuing to progress offensively and we think he can be a very valuable player for us, he is always (trying to improve) his offensive game, and looking to take advantage of his speed, laying down a bunt, and working on that line-drive swing. He’s got a pretty good understanding of the strike zone and hopefully, with more reps and opportunities, we can start to see that at this level.” That according to manager Aaron Boone.

Wade is not married, and there are no scandals attached to his name. In the offseason, he lives in southern California. He has an older brother Kyle. Tyler attributes his hard-working style to his military father. He became a New York Yankee fan at the age of ten when going on a family trip to Cooperstown; he got to see a Yankee game at the Old Stadium. In that game, he got to see Derek Jeter do his famous jump throw.

When he returned home, he practiced that throw in backyard Whiffle ball games. Wade carries a tattoo behind his left wrist the says, “Confidence is key” For female fans, he is a bit of a heartthrob with his good looks.

The video below shows Tyler Wade’s speed and agility.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.  Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam.