Knicks overpower Spurs thanks to RJ Barrett’s dominance

knicks, rj barrett

Coming off an embarrassing performance against the Boston Celtics, the New York Knicks returned to the win column against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday evening.

Scoring just 75 points against Boston, the Knicks had something to prove, showcasing a 111 point performance in the win, holding San Antonio to just 96. The starting team was dominant for New York, aside from Julius Randle, who finished the game with just two points but did contribute 12 rebounds.

Ever since Randle’s outburst after the team’s buzzer-beater win against Boston last Thursday, he has struggled offensively, recording 13 and then two on Monday evening. While his rebounding is as good as ever, Randle has given RJ Barrett the reigns, who converted 12 of 20 shots from the field, including 3 of 4 from deep and 31 total points.

Barrett has been on fire as of late, recording 30 points or more in two of his last four contests and finishing with double-digit points in seven consecutive games. In the month of January, RJ is averaging 20.8 points, 3.5 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and is shooting 43.5% from three-point range and 41.4% from the field. His extravagant shooting end confidence following his buzzer-beater shot against Boston was on full display as he utilized a myriad of moves against the Spurs.

Ranging from driving to the basket with his left hand, he also used his right hand around the rim, a smooth floater game, and shooting from deep, connecting on 75% of the 3-PT shots.

As a team, the Knicks shot 40.6% from range and 48.8% from the field, posting 40 defensive rebounds compared to San Antonio’s 30. They also recorded 23 assists compared to 19.

Altogether, it was an efficient performance from the starters, with Immanuel Quickley providing 12 off the bench and Quintin Grimes contributing seven. Barrett had the most electrifying moment of the game with a windmill dunk on a fast break, and you could feel his energy reverberating throughout MSG.

Jets hint at bright future with hard-fought finale against Buffalo

jets, zach wilson

The Jets faced the AFC East champions on Sunday with a surprising result. The final score was expected. Robert Salah’s team played hard for the majority of the game, hinting at a bright future.

The Good

Starting with the positive, the defense held Josh Allen and the Bills offense in check for extended periods of time. At one point in the 3rd quarter, Allen was 2 out of his last 10 attempts. Allen ended the day 24 of 45 for 239 yards and 2 touchdowns. Stefon Diggs had a big day with 9 catches for 81 yards and a score.

The Jets’ defensive backfield was the youngest in the league at the start of the season. The cornerback unit had only started 9 games before this season. All of those young players were on the field for a lot of time for the entire season.

The Jets managed no sacks in the game, 5 quarterback hits, and only 4 tackles-for-loss. The Jets defense will want to upgrade the front 7, especially the linebacker unit. Most observers would say the defensive line is a strength that you can build the defense around.

The Bad

The negative side was the offense. Zach Wilson’s play inspired no confidence whatsoever. Wilson was sacked 8 times for 79 yards, and more than a few were his fault. Wilson drifted deep and outside the pocket consistently all game long. Keelan Cole was his leading receiver, and Jamison Crowder left with injury.

The rushing game was another low point for the Jets. Facing a top Bills defense, they only managed 48 yards on the ground. Michael Carter and Tevin Coleman had good plays here and there, but they were working uphill all day.

The Weird

Bills punter Matt Haack largely had an awful day. He had not been called on the prior 23 drives of the Bills offense. With 5:40 to go in the 2nd quarter, Haack shanked a punt for 28 yards. Offsetting fouls allowed the Bills to punt again, and Haack shanked another punt for 21 yards. He punted again 2 minutes later, with a 22-yard result. When Haack then punted a ball for a touchback, an audible cheer happened every successful punt thereafter. He did later manage to bobble the snap, got away from the rush, and pooch punt it for 8 yards.

Another interesting special teams tidbit from the Bills was that returners Micah Hyde and others would let the punt bounce before fielding the ball. They would act as if the returning team wanted to stay away, let it hop, grab it and run upfield. Hyde did this on 3 returns for 29 yards. The weather may have been a factor, and it was unique to see.

Outlook

The Jets have 2 top-10 draft picks and the 4th most salary-cap space. Joe Douglas and the front office are poised to have another impactful off-season. Many players got their chance to put a lot on film this season. The Jets can look forward to the next seven months of team building.

Yankees News, 1/10: Everything you need to know in one place

New York Yankees fans tired of lack of real news

With the most significant story, who will replace Gleyber Torres at short? Yankees fans have had absolutely no news at all, and we’re tired of! After more than two months since the 2021 World Series, fans know no more about a replacement than they did months ago. Meanwhile, there have been no meaningful discussions on how to get a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. During the Manfred instituted lockout, teams couldn’t ever talk to players.

The lack of an agreement has caused no confirmed news as to what a new season will look like for the Yankees or any MLB team for that matter. It is more critical for Yankee fans as general manager Brian Cashman made no significant moves before the lockout. Many teams made major improvements to their teams during that time, removing 20 of baseball’s top players scooped up. This has produced hundreds of articles written about what the Yankees might do or might not do. Unfortunately, that is not real news, as issues are hashed out and rehashed. Yankee fans are tired of it and want factual information that will affect the 2022 team.

The Torres debacle: Will there be an upgrade?

One of those issues is what the Yankees will do to replace Gleyber Torres at short. Torres was permanently moved to second base as the season wound down. Although many of the big-name replacements have been hired by other teams, there are still options. Still, we don’t even know if the Yankees will pounce on a remaining big-name (Correa/Story/Simmons) or take the stopgap road while waiting for Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza to advance.

There has recently been talk about acquiring Matt Chapman, a third baseman, as a replacement. Some say he would be an adequate replacement, while others say he should take third base and move Gio Urshela to short. The big question with this move and many others is would it be a real upgrade. Unfortunately, the fans are no closer to knowing the answer to that question than months ago. The Yankees could surprise us and make a long-term deal with the best shortstop out there, Carlos Correa, but with other needs that does not seem likely.

Andrew McCutchen’s name is mentioned

In his short time with the Yankees, McCutchen was a fan favorite. Now three years later, he is being mentioned as a backup for the Yankees’ oft-injured Aaron Hicks. McCutchen, in his mid-thirties, is still a productive player. Last season hi slash line was .222/.334/.444, 27 HR, 78 RBIs. Those home run numbers are undoubtedly attractive to the Yankees. He is also a walking artist, walking as often as striking out.

But don’t hold your breath waiting for a reunion. His age is already showing decline in his numbers. The upside of his personality may not be enough to overcome the Yankees’ other needs, which are far more important.

Yankees hire a woman to lead Tampa team

The Yankees have made history hiring the first women manager. Rachel Balkovec broke the barrier by becoming the first full-time female hitting coach within an MLB organization. The 34-year-old Balkovec will be named manager for the Yankees’ Low-A affiliate in Tampa this season, a source confirmed Sunday, as first reported by The Athletic. Balkovec will become the first woman to manage an affiliated minor league team. 

Balkover is not new to coaching. She has spent the last two seasons as a hitting coach for the Yankees’ rookie-level Florida Complex League. She has also been a first base coach in the All-Star Futures game in Denver. This new challenge she is grateful for and will not take lightly. 

“I view my path as an advantage,” she told The Associated Press in 2019. “I had to do probably much more than maybe a male counterpart, but I like that because I’m so much more prepared for the challenges that I might encounter.”

Will Granderson return as a coach?

The short answer is no. He was approached first by the New York Mets that he also played for. He was not interested in coaching at this time, as he told general manager Bill Eppler. He would probably tell the Yankees the same thing.

Granderson spent four years at Yankee Stadium before becoming New York Met for three years. Many rumors have been that Granderson might return to the Yankees in coaching gig, but Jon Heyman reports that Granderson is not interested in the position. Granderson for years has been an MLB ambassador around the world. He has kept busy in his retirement for being an active player. He is the Players Alliance president. He also works with TBS and his many charities. 

Cameron Maybin may join the YES Network staff

Yankee favorite Cameron Maybin may be joining the YES Network team of broadcasters. Both play-by-play announcer Michael Kay and color commentator David Cone will be taking on new responsibilities with ESPN while holding down their gigs with the YES Network; both have said they will still be a major force on YES even though you may see more of Ryan Ruocco. Ex-Yankee manager Buck Showalter will also not be with the network this season as he has taken on the job of managing the New York Mets.

 Cameron Maybin, who announced his retirement from the game last week, has been mentioned as a new addition to the YES Network’s team. Maybin’s reaction to the rumor was any indication, he’d be ready to sign on the dotted line shortly.

Jake Hirst young but successful at Hudson Valley

Often minor league news is just that, minor. But quietly, Jake Hirst has been making a name for himself, coaching the likes of Oswald Peraza, Anthony Volpe, Austin Wells, and many more Yankee prospects. Hirst, who is very young, came to the Yankees with plenty of experience. For Assumption High School in Assumption High School in 2017, he was hitting and outfield coach at the sophomore level. After that, he was the sports and performance coach for the Summit Training Center in Iowa. At Augustana College, he worked daily with hitters and outfielders. Program fall, winter, and spring hitting progression.

The Yankees hired him to be a hitting coach in 2018 with Low-A Tampa. After no minor league season in 2020, he was promoted to the High-A Hudson Valley Renegades. He learned much from Dillon Lawson, the new major League New York Yankee hitting coach during his time there.

“I learned a lot from just watching Dillon in the cage, his cage presence is really just impressive… the way he is able to quickly build relationships with players is second to none. He knows when to push, he knows when to back off. He really gets to know each hitter that steps in the cage, a lot of that comes from just how well he prepares. He just doesn’t leave a lot to chance, and he prepares better than just about anyone I know.”

With Dillon Lawson’s promotion to the Stadium, Joe Migliaccio, who most recently served as the Double-A Somerset hitting coach, was recently announced to take over Lawson’s previous role as the organizational hitting coordinator. Going into the 2022 season, Hirst will continue learning and taking on the challenge of being a Yankee minor league hitting coach. He will continue his path to the major league level with significant potential.

Miesha Tate makes her flyweight debut at UFC 273 against Lauren Murphy

Former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate (19-8) is officially dropping down a weight class. MMA Fighting was the first to report this afternoon that the promotion has booked Tate’s flyweight debut and she will be taking on former flyweight title challenger “Lucky” Lauren Murphy (15-5).

The fight will take place on April 9th at UFC 273. For Lauren Murphy, this is a massive fight coming off of her title loss late in the year. Back in September at UFC 266, Lauren Murphy got the flyweight title fight that she had worked so hard for. Murphy got her shot against Valentina Shevchenko.

This title shot came on the heels of a five-fight winning streak. Murphy had a lot of belief in herself leading up to the fight but fell short just like everyone else has in the flyweight division. She was stopped in the fourth round by the UFC champion and was sent back the drawing board.

However, Murphy isn’t falling far with this next booking. In fact, this is a perfect bounce back opportunity. If Murphy can spoil the UFC flyweight debut of Miesha Tate, she will be right back in the title picture.

Former UFC champion makes flyweight debut

After years away from fighting, Miesha Tate made her return to the UFC last year. She won her return bout and then was booked in a main event against Ketlen Vieira. Ultimately, Tate fell short in that main event. Had Tate won, she was looking at being on the short-list of UFC title contenders at 135 pounds.

In addition to losing that fight against Vieira, something else happened which altered Tate’s path. Julianna Pena, who is a very close friend, shocked the world and became the bantamweight champion. After this happened at UFC 269, Tate mentioned that she might move down to 125 pounds. 

Just weeks later, we get this announcement. Given how Valentina Shevchenko has run through the flyweight division, Tate could be fast-tracked towards the title. If she’s able to defeat Lauren Murphy in April, she’s going to get a shot at the UFC flyweight title.

If somehow Tate can pull it off, she would become just the second woman in history to win a belt in two weight classes in the UFC. However, that’s a long ways away and she’s got to get through the tough and durable Lauren Murphy first.

UFC books heavyweight clash between Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Marcin Tybura

The UFC has finalized a fun showdown in the heavyweight division. MMA reporter Marcel Dorff was the first to report yesterday that the promotion had finalized a matchup between contenders Jairzinho Rozenstruik (12-3) and Marcin Tybura (22-7).

The matchup will take place at a UFC Fight Night on February 26th. For Tybura, he’s going to be looking to bounce back after a loss in his last fight. The last time we saw Tybura was when he took on Alexander Volkov on Fight Island at UFC 267. That night, Tybura didn’t look great and lost a decision.

That loss snapped a five-fight winning streak that vaulted Tybura towards the top ten in the heavyweight division. During that winning streak, Tybura strung together a few very impressive victories. Of course, the top two being his stoppage victories over Greg Hardy and Walt Harris.

Tybura didn’t fall far after the loss to Volkov. Instead of heading towards the back of the rankings, Tybura is getting another solid contender when he takes on Bigi Boy.

UFC’s Bigi Boy Returns

It has been a very interesting two-year stretch for Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Entering 2020, Bigi Boy was unbeaten and he was calling for a shot against then top contender Francis Ngannou. Bigi Boy got that shot but was knocked out just seconds into the first round.

After that loss, he bounced back with a TKO win over former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos. After that win, he had a main event against Ciryl Gane in a fight that turned out to be incredibly underwhelming. Rozenstruik showed no aggressiveness and lost a lopsided decision.

The UFC then booked him against Augusto Sakai and he scored a first round knockout. That win was followed by a decision loss to Curtis Blaydes. The waters have been very choppy for Bigi Boy and he’s looking to start a run towards the upside in 2022.

Marcin Tybura is a good first opponent for Rozenstruik. If he picks up a solid win, it could spell good things for him throughout the rest of 2022.

Toppin for Turner? What a Knicks-Pacers deal could look like

myles turner, knicks

With one month to go before the February 10 trade deadline, the New York Knicks have been linked to Indiana Pacers’ Myles Turner and Detroit Pistons’ Jerami Grant, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Between the two, Turner is the more intriguing option.

In theory, Turner is the prototypical modern big man that the Knicks need to open up the defense for Julius Randle and RJ Barrett.

The ugly loss in Boston over the weekend exposed the Knicks’ weakness of not having a floor-spacing big man next to Randle. While Mitchell Robinson had a perfect night at the field, shooting 5 of 5 for 11 points and eight rebounds, he doesn’t possess a deep offensive bag which Turner has at this point of their careers.

The Knicks fell apart starting in the latter part of the second quarter. The Celtics’ swarming defense with the shot-blocking monster Robert Williams as their last line took away the Knicks’ driving lanes to generate shots at the rim and kick-out passes.

“They’re long and athletic,” New York coach Tom Thibodeau said of the Celtics. “In the first half, we drove the ball and made the right rim reads. It was better, and we got easy shots. But if you hold on to [the ball] and you try to shoot over the sides, and you’re putting up tough shots, you’re not going to win that way.”

The Celtics employed four players with at least 6’11 wingspan to disrupt the Knicks’ offense — Robert Williams – 7’6, Al Horford – 7’1, Jaylen Brown – 7’0, and Jayson Tatum – 6’11.

A center like Turner, a 36-percent three-point shooter and has the third-most three-pointers (61) among centers this season, could have helped pull Williams away from the paint. On defense, Turner is on pace to lead the league in shot blocks (2.9 per game this season) for the third time in his career.

Theoretically, Turner would fit seamlessly next to Randle, forming a formidable inside-outside tandem in the Knicks’ frontline. On top of this, they already have an existing bond working out together under trainer Tyler Relph as the trio are all from Dallas.

So, it’s not surprising the Knicks are interested in Turner. But what’s the price of prying Turner away from Indiana?

In December, ESPN’s Zach Lowe discussed the best recent comparison for a potential Turner trade on his podcast with NBA front office insider Bobby Marks.

“The comp I’m trying to make is Nikola Vucevic,” Lowe said referencing last season’s Orlando-Chicago trade deadline deal. “The Magic got Wendell Carter Jr., who has been maybe better than Vucevic this season, two first-round picks, one of which you were sure would be a decent lottery pick (Franz Wagner) and no long-term money. That’s the comp.”

Based on Lowe’s parameters, Nat Newell of Indy Starproposed a Turner trade to the Knicks in exchange for Obi Toppin, Nerlens Noel, and a future first-round pick.

“Toppin has had a solid second season — 8.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 53% in 15.9 minutes per game — but this trade likely comes down to the protections on the pick. The Knicks have struggled this season (12-15) so an unprotected pick could easily put you in the lottery but will the Knicks offer that? Toppin hasn’t shown 3-point range (26.7% in his career), making him less of a fit next to Sabonis. The Knicks have extra picks from Charlotte (lottery protected) and Dallas (top 10 protected) that could be included or the Pacers could demand Immanuel Quickley (9.6 ppg, 2.5 apg, 32.8% on 3s),” Newell wrote.

Of the four teams, only the Knicks have the deepest chest of draft assets to entice the Pacers to break up their core and rebuild.

While Turner is not a clear-cut superstar, he is only 25 years old and represents an immediate upgrade at the center position. A Turner trade will not instantly catapult the Knicks to the upper echelon in the East. But it would help Randle and Barrett unlock their offense and boost the Knicks’ chances of becoming a perennial playoff contender, which is the new front office’s plan to entice superstars to come to New York.

If it doesn’t pan out, Turner, at the very least, could serve as another trade piece in a package for a coveted star.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Report: Giants targeting Joe Schoen as GM candidate, here’s a bit of background

Giants, Joe Schoen

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Giants will request to interview Buffalo Bills assistant GM, Joe Schoen.

Schoen was Brandon Bean’s first initial hire as the general manager in Buffalo, and he’s expected to be one of the top candidates during this off-season cycle.

When Brandon Bean brought Schoen over the Buffalo, he had already tallied some impressive experiences and may be ready for the next step:

Schoen comes over from Miami, where he served as the Dolphins’ director of player personnel from 2014-2017 after being promoted internally from assistant director of college scouting. Schoen spent his first five years with the Dolphins serving as one of the team’s national scouts, and cut his teeth in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers, where he interned in the team’s ticket office in 2000, served as a scouting assistant in 2001 and later as a Southeast and Southwest scout.

Buffalo has now won the AFC East for the second consecutive season, with Schoen being Bean’s right-hand man and top talent evaluator. Clearly, they have nailed their most recent draft and free agency acquisitions, putting them in a position to succeed in the long term.

Of course, the development of quarterback Josh Allen has been their most lucrative success, but good coaching and strategic moves to put talent around him have aided in his progress.
The Giants likely view Schoen as one of the top options if Buffalo approves an interview. There’s no guarantee he wants to make a move to East Rutherford, considering the state of the team and issues within. Nonetheless, it is hard to say no to a storied franchise like the Giants, but after this past season, plenty of baggage will follow any new hire, especially if they’re forced to keep Joe Judge in the process.

UFC books Kevin Holland – Alex Oliveira

Kevin Holland

The UFC has finalized the welterweight debut of a man who was one of the fighters of the year in 2020. MMA Fighting was the first to report this afternoon that Kevin Holland (21-7, 1 NC) will be making his welterweight debut against “Cowboy” Alex Oliveira (22-11-1, 2 NC).

The matchup will take place at UFC 272 on March 5th. This is a big fight for Oliveira who is looking to snap a three-fight losing streak. The last time we saw Cowboy was back in October when he was taking on Niko Price. That night, Oliveira walked away with a decision loss.

Overall, Oliveira is just 2-6 in his last eight fights in the UFC. One could say that is job might be on the line in this matchup against Kevin Holland. Over the course of his career with the promotion, Oliveira has been in there with some of the best.

We’ve seen him take on the likes of Carlos Condit, Gilbert Burns and Donald Cerrone. Oliveira has been with the UFC since 2015 and he’s proven to be a stiff test for most who take him on. While he doesn’t have the prettiest record, he’s always down to make things a fight.

UFC 170 debut for Loud Mouth

There was nobody in the UFC that entered 2021 with more momentum than Kevin Holland. Holland entered the year on a five-fight UFC win streak that earned him his first main event against Derek Brunson. Unfortunately for Holland, a big weakness in his game was revealed.

Brunson took Holland down at will and won a lopsided decision. Holland then stepped in on short-notice to take on Marvin Vettori in another main event. Unfortunately, Holland was dealt the same result after not being able to defend takedowns. After this second loss, Holland took some time away from the UFC.

He returned in October against Kyle Daukaus. In a weird fight, the fight was ruled a no contest after Holland was essentially knocked out by an accidental headbutt. However, the fight continued for a bit to see Holland lose by submission. Of course, the fight was ruled a no contest after seeing the headbutt played a big role.

After the No Contest, Holland said he would be dropping to the UFC’s welterweight division. This is probably the more natural weight class for Holland and I’m very intrigued to watch him compete at 170.

Reacting to the Giants reportedly retaining Joe Judge as head coach

new york giants, joe judge

There may not be a more embarrassing organization in the NFL currently than the New York Giants. After being blown out in their last six games consecutively, ownership seems to remain committed to Joe Judge as their head coach, despite calls from the fan base and media to move on.

In the two seasons, Judge has been the HC for Big Blue, he’s endured 15 losses of 10 points or more. He’s enjoyed two wins of 10 points or more in that time frame, detailing a storyline of misery and failure.

In fact, in the Giants’ season finale against Washington, Judge called for two QB sneaks inside his own 5-yard-line to offer his team a better punt position, after claiming he would never stop competing for 60 minutes just one year prior. It’s unfortunate to see him laying down in front of the home crowd as a result of a lack of confidence in his offense.

“To disrespect the game by going out there and not competing for 60 minutes and doing everything you can to help those players win, we will never do that as long as I’m the head coach of the Giants.”

The media is exposing Judge but ownership doesn’t care:

Fox Sport’s Jay Glazer stated after the Giants’ finale loss to Washington that people in the locker room wanted to see Judge gone:

“I’ve talked to people inside that locker room – they would like to see a move on from Joe Judge.”

When you have such a large base calling for the replacement of Judge and ownership is committed to deep-rooted ego and fear, you find yourself in a revolving door of disappointment. Interestingly, the front office is trying to avoid a “revolving door” of coaches, but one who’s just finished a season in one of the most embarrassing ways in team history doesn’t deserve the opportunity. Neither Pat Shurmur nor Ben McAdoo left the team in a state worse than this.

The reality is simple, Judge is set up to fail either way, and a new general manager doesn’t change anything. Unless the GM has the power to move on from Judge and hit the restart button, we are staring at the same situation all over again. With no cap space, regressing talent, coaching turnover, lack of trust within the building, and a hostile fan-base, ownership is avoiding the inevitable, firing Judge for the team’s demise.

At this point, I’m numb to the pain of losing. I’ve been optimistic, positive, given them the benefit of the doubt, but no longer. The Giants don’t deserve any sort of positivity until they PROVE things are changing. Judge has done nothing but speaks empty words and promises that have failed to come to fruition. Most on social media refer to him as a “used car salesman” or a seller of “snake oil.” They’re right, his actions don’t back up his words, and that’s all that matters.

The retirement of Dave Gettleman feels like a weight off my shoulders, but a lot must change before I feel hopeful once again. Oddly, I still find myself trusting Judge as a college scout and draft specialist. The past two drafts for the Giants have been solid — MUCH better than the previous two under Gettleman. Judge may be a solid drafter but he’s an awful head coach that plays far too conservative and weak.

For a coach that talks a big game; “punch you in the mouth for 60 minutes,” he makes decisions like he’s scared to lose and not excited to win. When the team had nothing to lose, he still laid down like a wimp, and if you’re a true and tried New Yorker, we don’t take that shit lightly.

At this point in time, objectivity is the only answer to the team’s moves and decisions until they regain our trust.

Yankees sign former top-5 prospect pitcher to minor-league deal

In the last couple of years, especially in 2021, the New York Yankees appear to have finally taken the next step when it comes to pitching development. They showed the “Gas Station” to the world, they started using more tech resources to optimize spin efficiency, spin axis, and other useful concepts, and the results speak for themselves.

Under pitching coach Matt Blake, the organization as a whole took a step forward and several arms broke out: Jonathan Loaisiga, Lucas Luetge, Nestor Cortes Jr., Clay Holmes, Joely Rodriguez, and several others are examples of the Yankees’ new pitching regime.

The Yankees now want to work their magic with a former top prospect. They signed left-hander Manny Bañuelos to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Bañuelos is now 30 years old, but people who have been following the Yankees for a while surely remember his prospect days.

The Yankees want to strike lightning in a bottle

The former Yankees’ farmhand has had a disappointing career so far, with MLB stints with the Atlanta Braves in 2015 and the Chicago White Sox in 2019. Between the two organizations, the southpaw has a 6.31 ERA in 77 innings, with 45 walks and 63 strikeouts.

In the early 2010s, however, he was one of the most promising left-handers in baseball. In 2011, he was the Yankees’ third-ranked prospect. He was the number one in 2012, according to MLB Pipeline, and fell to fifth in 2013. He was traded in 2015 for David Carpenter and Chasen Shreve.

The Yankees had drafted him in 2008 and he pitched in their minor league system until 2014. His most recent professional stint came in the Chinese Professional Baseball League, with Fubon, and then in the Mexican League in 2021. There, he pitched very well, with a 2.51 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 136/43 K/BB ratio over 111 innings.

He’ll represent useful depth for the Yankees, but perhaps Blake, director of pitching Sam Briend, and the club as a whole can revive his MLB career.