When will the Mets get Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer back?

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

With their victory on Sunday evening against the Los Angeles Angels, the New York Mets completed a stretch of 22 games in 23 days in which they went 14-8. Monday provided a much-needed off day for a team that played 16 of those games in the Mountain and Pacific Time Zones.

Despite winning 14 of those 22 games, the Mets starting pitching has not been up to snuff of late.

Chris Bassitt will take the mound tonight for the Amazins as they open a three-game set with the slumping Milwaukee Brewers.

Bassitt, however, is looking to work out of his own slump. Over his last 7 starts, Bassitt has pitched to a 7.60 ERA, including getting roughed up for six runs in 3.1 innings in his last outing against the San Diego Padres.

Overall, Mets starting pitchers have pitched to an ERA over 5 in the month of June. While the Mets have done well to withstand the season-long absence of Jacob deGrom, losing Max Scherzer has made it all the more difficult.

But could the Mets be on the verge of getting both of their aces back before the end of this month?

Max Scherzer Could Begin Rehab Assignment This Week

Scherzer was seen throwing from his delivery in the Citi Field outfield Tuesday afternoon, according to SNY’s Danny Abriano.

Scherzer was removed from his May 21st start vs the St. Louis Cardinals after suffering an apparent injury. MRI’s revealed an oblique strain for the 37-year-old right-hander with an initial diagnosis of a 6-8 week recovery process. Scherzer now appears ready to begin a rehab assignment in the coming days which would put him on pace to return within the shorter end of that timeline.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner has started 8 games this season with a 2.54 ERA over 49.2 innings.

Jacob deGrom Still In Limbo

For all the good news surrounding Scherzer’s recovery, the news on Jacob deGrom is ambiguous at best.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Pat Ragazzo, Jacob deGrom had begun his mound progression on June 4. deGrom has since thrown multiple bullpen sessions with an eye toward facing live batters soon. However, according to Ragazzo, deGrom has still not been cleared to face live batters, which is the next step in his rehab process.

In a contradictory statement, SNY reports that deGrom could potentially be nearing a rehab assignment after throwing multiple bullpen sessions with live batting practice “expected soon.”

These may simply be two different spins and ways of wording the same report, but it’s clear the Mets are being very cautious with how they approach deGrom coming off his scapula injury, which has held him out for nearly a full calendar year.

With the toughest part of the Mets schedule behind them, they may be able to ride things out a bit longer without deGrom and Scherzer. But given the recent struggles of their rotation incumbents, fans will be hoping they both return sooner than later.

Yankees get positive injury news on starting pitcher and star closer

New York Yankees, Domingo German

The New York Yankees have the best record in baseball, and they have done it while nursing several key injuries in their pitching corps. Fortunately, however, they just received some good news regarding two of those hurlers: starter Domingo Germán and closer Aroldis Chapman.

“Injury update on Domingo Germán from Aaron Boone: Germán will throw three innings live tomorrow. The plan is to send him on a rehab assignment after that,” Max Goodman of SI.com tweeted.

The Yankees’ starters have performed admirably: their 2.84 ERA leads the American League and trails only the Dodgers in MLB. But they need to have Germán, who is recovering from a shoulder issue, around for depth in case something happens to one of the five members of the rotation.

His career has been plagued by inconsistency and some off-the-field incidents, but when healthy, German can be an adequate starter for the Yankees. He has a 4.54 ERA in his four-season MLB tenure so far.

More good news for the Yankees

The Yankees are also missing some relievers: Chad Green is lost for the season with Tommy John surgery, but Jonathan Loáisiga and Aroldis Chapman, for example, are expected back in 2022.

There are some good news to report on Chapman’s front, as the left-handed closer was spotted throwing from Yankee Stadium’s mound.

For the season, Chapman has nine saves, a 3.86 ERA and a horrible 1.64 WHIP. He has been plagued by control and command issues, just like last year, and is currently out with an Achilles injury.

The flamethrowing lefty lost his closer role to right-hander Clay Holmes, who has been masterful while filling in for him, and it’s unclear what Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone will do once both are healthy.

Chapman is hoping to avoid a rehab assignment, but the club hasn’t made that determination yet. In any case, he should be able to return in a matter of days.

Eli Manning details dream New York Giants 2-minute lineup

giants, eli manning, odell beckham jr.

Eli Manning was the face of the New York Giants for nearly two decades. The two-time Super Bowl Champion and MVP hung up the cleats in 2019 after a Hall of Fame-caliber career. Manning went out with a standing ovation as fans said “thank you” and ushered in a new era of Giants football with Daniel Jones. Eli has since created a new, successful career for himself in sports media. The former Giants quarterback recently appeared on Cam Newton’s video podcast Funky Friday and reflected on his playing days.

One of the most fun moments of Eli Manning’s recent interview with Cam Newton came when Newton asked Manning about two-minute drills. Superman Cam tasked Eli with the challenge of building his dream lineup for a two-minute drill, down four points, needing a touchdown. Manning could pick his own personnel and draft any of the skill position players he teamed up with during his playing career.

Eli Manning’s dream two-minute lineup:

Eli Manning chose to run 11-personnel in this hypothetical scenario (one tight end, one running back, and three receivers). Eli had an embarrassment of riches to choose from, playing with some world-class receivers during his Giants career. His lineup looked as follows:

  • WR1: Plaxico Burress
  • WR2: Odell Beckham Jr.
  • SLWR: Victor Cruz
  • TE: Kevin Boss
  • RB: Tiki Barber

Giants fans likely drool at the sight of this hypothetical lineup. Manning hand-picked his favorite playmakers from his career in this segment. On this list are some no-brainers, but fans might be surprised by the selections at tight end and running back.

Kevin Boss was a solid player for the Giants, but Jeremy Shockey is a name that could have slotted into the tight end position. Tiki Barber was also a tremendous talent, but Eli Manning was around for Saquon Barkley’s historic 2018 rookie season. Eli could not go wrong with either of those two rushers.

The selection Eli seemed most confident in was slot receiver, Victor Cruz:

“Victor Cruz. We put a lot on his plate. He’s the one who just kind of took… When we gave a guy maybe 2-3 options he took it and would say, ‘hey, I can handle all six of them.'” – Eli Manning via Funky Friday

Eli Manning had a historic career with the New York Giants. Plaxico Burress and Kevin Boss were both members of the Super Bowl XLII champion Giants, so it makes sense that Eli would want them in a two-minute drill. They are proven winners. Victor Cruz was a member of the Super Bowl XLVI team and caught the game’s opening touchdown. Tikie Barber and Odell Beckham Jr. did not win rings with Eli, but they were arguably the two most-talented players he ever shared the rock with. New York Giants fans will be quick to build this lineup in Madden and see how many rings Eli and company can acquire.

UFC working on booking Jose Aldo – Merab Dvalishvili

The UFC is currently working on booking a massive fight in the bantamweight division. Ariel Helwani reported this afternoon that the promotion was inching towards booking a matchup between former featherweight king Jose Aldo (31-7) and Merab Dvalishvili (14-4).

Per Helwani, the fight is not finalized yet, but it’s currently being targeted for UFC 278 on August 20th. For the sake of this article, we are going to make the assumption that the promotion gets through the final hurdles and the fight gets booked.

Before getting into what this means for either fight, this also likely means that TJ Dillashaw will in fact be fighting Aljamain Sterling next. There was talk regarding Aldo getting the title shot, but Aldo fighting Dvalishvili all but secures it for Dillashaw.

Back to the fighters, this is a massive opportunity for Merab Dvalishvili. Dvalishvili is currently riding a seven-fight winning streak. The last time we saw him was at UFC 266 when he stopped Marlon Moraes.

It was a dicey fight for Dvalishvili as he was nearly finished in the first round. However, he showed great resolve and toughness as he survived the first round. Then, he completely dominated the second round to get the finish. Aldo is the toughest opponent of his career and it will tell us a lot about Dvalishvili.

One more UFC title run for Aldo?

After an incredibly successful run in the UFC’s featherweight division, Jose Aldo dropped down to 135 back in 2019. In his first fight with Marlon Moraes, he lost by split decision, however, the majority of people believe he won the fight.

Henry Cejudo was the champion at the time and he was so convinced Aldo won that he wanted to give Aldo a title shot. Despite Cejudo retiring, the UFC held true to their word and Aldo got a shot at the vacant title against Petr Yan.

Aldo looked good in spots, but was outmatched by Yan who stopped him in the fifth round. Since then, Aldo has gone on an impressive winning streak that has included wins over Chito Vera, Pedro Munhoz, and most recently, Rob Font.

After the Font win, Aldo made it clear he wanted a title shot. However, the UFC was always leaning towards Dillashaw for that shot. That being said, if Aldo wins against Dvalishvili in August, there is no denying him. He will fight the winner of Aljamain Sterling – TJ Dillashaw.

Yankees facing a speed-bump with Aaron Judge before diving into his monster contract extension

aaron judge, yankees

The New York Yankees and star slugger Aaron Judge are headed toward a tumultuous off-season after the 2022 campaign comes to an end. General manager Brian Cashman failed to extend a reasonable offer to Judge, who was looking for a monster contract after his final season of arbitration.

Judge turned down a seven-year deal worth $30.5 million per season, a ludicrous number that only a fool would reject. However, sometimes the fool can turn out on top, as Judge bet on himself and is seemingly going to cash out big time because of the risk.

Aaron Judge is having a stellar season:

Judge is composing an MVP-caliber season, hitting .318 with a 39% on-base rate and .686 slugging percentage. His 24 homers lead the MLB by a significant margin. He’s also posting a 24.9% strikeout rate, 5% below his career average, and an 11.3% walk rate, indicating patience at the plate.

While a contract extension waits in the wings, the Yankees are still battling Judge’s representatives on his arbitration case. Cashman offered $17 million to settle the case after Judge asked for $21 million. It is likely they settle somewhere in the middle before diving into the extension.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal stated that the Yankees are still trying to settle on Judge’s 2022 arbitration number, let alone execute an extension:

A long-term agreement in the coming days would appear to be a longshot — the Yankees would be negotiating with Judge at the peak of his value. The best move for the Yankees likely would be to reach a settlement with Judge before his hearing, then continue working on the bigger deal.

Judge is set for a monstrous salary increase year after the 2022 campaign. Considering he rejected $30.5 million per season, there’s a good chance he reaches upward of $35 million.

A contract of that magnitude would still fall short of Mike Trout’s 12-year, $426.5 million deal. It is more likely that Judge will land a deal in the 8-year range worth $288 million, allowing the Yankees to get out when he turns 38 years old.

There’s always a chance the Yankees decide to let him walk, reinvesting the money in many players instead of just a single star. However, if the Bombers end up winning the World Series this season, Cashman will be hard-pressed to retain the team’s best player.

After nearly pulling off a massive upset at UFC 275, what’s next for Taila Santos?

Taila Santos

This past Saturday night in the co-main event of UFC 275, the women’s flyweight title was on the line. Valentina Shevchenko (23-3) was looking to make her seventh successful title defense against the game Taila Santos (19-2).

Santos earned her UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series. In her professional career, he only loss was in her promotional debut by split decision. Despite the impressive record, virtually nobody (including myself) gave her a shot on Saturday night.

In the first round, Shevchenko was having her way with the standup. The speed and accuracy advantage for Shevchenko was evident, but Santos was hanging in there. Later in the first round, Shevchenko went for a takedown but slipped and Santos ended up on top.

Not only was she on top, but she got the UFC champ’s back. Despite having the back, she didn’t do a ton of damage which came back to haunt her. In the second and third rounds, Santos enjoyed success in the grappling, but in the third round, something happened that changed the course of the fight.

When the two fighters came together, they accidentally clashed heads. This broke the orbital bone of Taila Santos and she really couldn’t see the last couple of rounds. In rounds four and five, she was completely picked apart by Valentina Shevchenko on the feet.

After the final bell, many were wondering how the fight would be scored. The final two rounds at UFC 275 were definitely Shevchenko’s, but the first three were up in the air. You can easily make the argument that Santos won, but two of the judges didn’t see it that way.

What’s next after UFC 275?

Taila Santos suffered the second loss of her career at UFC 275 and once again it was by split decision. Now, in all transparency, I did score the fight for Valentina Shevchenko. While Santos made it really close, she just didn’t do enough damage in some of her spots where she had control.

In the first round, if she would’ve thrown some big shots, she could’ve sealed that round. Instead, she just held onto the back and let Shevchenko land shots on her. While some might think it’s crazy, I scored rounds 1,4, and 5 for the champion.

Nevertheless, you can’t help but be impressed with Taila Santos. The question now becomes, what’s next after UFC 275?. Well, the first thing is going to be surgery to repair her broken orbital bone. That will likely keep her out of action until the end of the year.

Some have suggested an immediate rematch given how close the fight was, but that’s not going to happen. If Miesha Tate defeats Lauren Murphy at UFC 276, she’s 100% getting the next title shot. Maybe if Murphy wins and then Katlyn Chookagian defeats Manon Fiorot, Santos gets the shot.

She would be the most compelling challenger. For arguments sake, lets’s say the UFC doesn’t give her the title shot. I think a great next opponent would be the winner of Fiorot and Chookagian. That could be your title eliminator. Let’s say Fiorot defeats Chookagian and Santos, she would be a fresh challenger with big wins.

If Chookagian wins both, you couldn’t deny her of her rematch. If Santos wins, the storyline is already there after UFC 275. That’s the direction that I think makes the most sense for the promotion.

Report: Knicks eye Malcolm Brogdon as fallback option

Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon has emerged as a fallback option for the New York Knicks to solve their point guard woes.

Brogdon has become expendable as the Pacers are keen on rebuilding around Tyrese Haliburton, their prized acquisition from the Domantas Sabonis trade.

Dallas Mavericks’ breakout star Jalen Brunson remains on top of the Knicks’ wish list but creating a pathway to land their future assistant coach, Rick Brunson‘s son, is a bit complicated without cap space.

“The Knicks looking to hire Rick Brunson, per Ian Begley of SNY, isn’t a coincidence. His son, Dallas Mavericks free-agent Jalen Brunson, may be next. While New York won’t have the cap room, multiple sources believe Dallas may blink at Brunson’s asking price, compelled to sign and trade him to the Knicks,” Bleacher Report’s salary cap guru Eric Pincus wrote.

However, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was adamant that they have the upper hand with an extra year (fifth year) they can offer Brunson, which other teams, including the Knicks, cannot offer. The Knicks’ summer plan could pivot quickly to another direction next week if they can successfully trade up for Purdue’s Jaden Ivey, viewed as the best point guard of this class.

But if they missed out on both Brunson and Ivey, Brogdon is their next target, according to Pincus’ colleague at Bleacher Report, Jake Fischer.

“The Knicks have also been linked to Brogdon in recent days by league personnel. New York is known to have interest in trading up from the No. 11 pick, with a perceived target of Purdue combo guard Jaden Ivey. But if New York doesn’t jump up the lottery order—league executives don’t forecast such a deal—and determines it is out of the running for free agent-to-be Jalen Brunson, Brogdon has been mentioned as one of several potential backup options for the Knicks to plug their hole at starting point guard,” Fischer wrote.

The Pacers are looking to flip Brogdon, who recently signed a two-year extension that locked him up until 2025, for a player that will align with Haliburton’s timeline or draft compensation. The Knicks have a deep chest of draft capital to use to improve their roster, which failed to return to the playoffs.

Brogdon, 29, has been a solid two-way point guard when healthy. But his extensive injury history had limited him to just 146 games over the last three seasons.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Reflecting on Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s career after UFC 275

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

This past Saturday on the main card of UFC 275, we saw a pivotal title eliminator in the strawweight division. Former strawweight champions Zhang Weili (22-3) and Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-5) were battling for a shot at Carla Esparza and the strawweight title.

However, this matchup was so much more than a typical title eliminator. It was a rematch from the 2020 Fight of the Year. At UFC 248, Weili and Jedrzejczyk fought to a split decision with Weili retaining her strawweight title at the time.

It was a back-and-forth classic with both fighters having major moments. The fight on Saturday night started out just the same. It looked more like a continuation other than a brand new fight. Both ladies landed big shots in the opening frame.

However, one difference this time around was the grappling of Zhang Weili. Weili was able to land takedowns and land big shots on Jedrzejczyk. Nevertheless, Jedrzejczyk fought through it and was ready to go for round 2 at UFC 275.

These two were standing toe-to-toe in the second round. Jedrzejczyk was able to keep the fight on the feet and she was just missing with huge power shots. Then, out of no where, Weili landed a massive spinning backfist that knocked out Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

The UFC legacy of Jedrzejczyk

After Bruce Buffer announced Zhang Weili the winner, Jedrzejczyk was seen taking off her gloves. She said in her post-fight interview that she worked so hard for this, but she came up short and she was ready to move on in her life. Jedrzejczyk laid down her UFC gloves and announced her retirement.

She was very emotional, but firm in her decision to call it a career. At 35 years old, Jedrzejczyk has done it all in this sport and it would be a decent trip back up the latter if she wanted to once again become champion.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk was the second UFC strawweight champion. After Carla Esparza initially won the title, Jedrzejczyk took it away in her first title defense. From there, the “Boogey Woman” successfully defended the title five times.

No other strawweight champion has more than one successful title defense in UFC history. Jedrzejczyk is in a class of her own in terms of her legacy as champion. When you think of the strawweight division, you think of Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

She lost the title to Rose Namajunas at UFC 217 and then lost the immediate rematch at UFC 223. After defeating Tecia Torres, Jedrzejczyk moved up to fight Valentina Shevchenko for the vacant flyweight title. She came up short and moved back down to 115.

After defeating Michelle Waterson, she closed her career with the two bouts against Zhang Weili. While one could point to the fact that she finished her career 2-5 in her last seven, it’s important to remember the three opponents she fought.

Without question, Jedrzejczyk is one of the greatest to do and given her lengthy run as champion, she’s the greatest strawweight in UFC history.

After heartbreaking title loss at UFC 275, what’s next for Glover Teixeira?

Anthony Smith, UFC

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC 275, we saw one of the greatest title fights in history. Light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira (33-8) was looking to defend his title for the first time as he took on Jiri Prochazka (29-3-1).

Heading into this matchup, many thought that Teixeira needed to get the fight to the ground and Prochazka needed to keep it standing. Well, throughout the first few rounds, we saw exactly why both fighters needed to do that.

Prochazka was doing incredibly well on the feet at UFC 275. He was hitting Teixeira often and clean with big shots. However, Teixeira just kept walking through it. Teixeira was able to get big takedowns and once he got the fight to the ground, he did major damage to Prochazka with big elbows.

The fight was incredibly entertaining and it all came down to the fifth round. To win the title, Prochazka needed a finish. Two judges had him down three rounds to one. However, the round started incredible for the champion.

Teixeira hurt Prochazka bad on the feet and was all over him. Then he made the puzzling decision to try and pull guard on a guillotine and Prochazka slipped right out. Then, with 30 seconds left, Prochazka locked up a choke during a scramble. An exhausted Teixeira was forced to tap and lost his UFC title in the final seconds.

What’s next after UFC 275?

Saturday’s main event was one of the best title fights I’ve ever seen, but that’s hardly a consolation for Glover Teixeira. Teixeira’s career looked like it was dead in the water just a few years ago. Then, he went on a miracle run to capture the UFC title that evaded him throughout his career.

Jiri Prochazka was looked at as the scariest challenger in the division. Through 98% of the fight, Glover Teixeira was winning. 2% of the fight remained, just 30 more seconds and Teixeira would have successfully defended his UFC title.

Such a heartbreaking loss for the former champion. Despite the loss and being 42, Teixeira made it clear that he will fight on. He wants a rematch with Prochazka and that might be on the table, but that might not be the direction the UFC goes in.

Right now, there are three options for Prochazka’s first title defense. A rematch with Teixeira is one. Jan Blachowicz is another option. The third option is the winner of Anthony Smith – Magomed Ankalaev.

For Teixeira, I think the UFC gives him one of the options above, but I’m not certain which one. I could see the immediate rematch happening. I could also see Jan Blachowicz happening. Anthony Smith – Magomed Ankalaev’s winner is also an option.

Here’s what my gut tells me. I think the UFC is going to book Prochazka – Blachowicz for a European PPV. It’s a huge fight for Europe and I think the promotion will capitalize while they have the chance.

That will lead to Teixeira fighting the winner of Smith – Ankalaev in a title eliminator. Perhaps as the co-main event on the Prochazka – Blachowicz card with the winners facing off in early 2023.

Max Scherzer rejoins Mets in New York and could be nearing a rehab assignment

mets, max scherzer

New York Mets’ ace Max Scherzer may be able to beat Jacob deGrom to Queens after all. The veteran right-hander just rejoined the Mets in New York after rehabbing in Florida for the last few weeks.

As SNY noted, Scherzer’s wife Erika posted a picture on Instagram on Monday with the pitcher and their three children on a plane en route to the Big Apple.

Scherzer suffered a high-grade internal oblique strain and was placed on the 15-day injured list on May 21, retroactive to May 19. He has been throwing bullpen sessions, and as Mets’ manager Buck Showalter told the media a few days ago, he is close to throwing live batting practice.

“He’s doing great,” Showalter said. “I’m not going to get into ‘ahead, behind schedule’ but he’s where he needs to be. He’s in the competitive mix in the future. Obviously that goes without saying, but the thing with Max is you’ve just got to try to slow him down sometimes. But he’s feeling good.”

The Mets’ star may be able to return in a couple of weeks

Scherzer is closing in on the four-week mark on his recovery. He was initially given a six-to-eight week timetable, so he may be able to return closer to the six-week mark.

He was having an excellent season for the Mets when he got hurt, with a 2.54 ERA in 49.2 innings. He is 5-1 with 59 strikeouts and a 0.95 WHIP.

Fellow Mets’ ace deGrom could also be nearing a rehab assignment, and he has also thrown multiple bullpen sessions, too. He is recovering from a stress reaction on his right scapula, and has a similar timeline than that of Scherzer.

If the Mets are able to have both pitchers healthy at the same time for the stretch run and the playoffs, they will be very, very hard to beat.