New York Rangers: Adam Huska to make first career start vs. Colorado

Like Igor Shesterkin before him, Adam Huska will make his first start for the Rangers against the Colorado Avalanche.

It’s deja blue all over again.

New York Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant announced that goaltender Adam Huska will make his first career NHL start on Wednesday night when his Blueshirts battle the Colorado Avalanche (7 p.m. ET, MSG 2/NHL Network). Huska will face Colorado nearly two full calendar years to the day that regular Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin made first appeared, with his first start also coming against visitors from Denver at Madison Square Garden in January 2020.

In video released by SNY, Gallant mentioned that the Rangers’ condensed schedule put Huska in net. The Rangers (17-4-3) will play seven games over the next 14 days, starting with Wednesday’s visit from the Avalanche. It’s the latter half of a back-to-back after a 6-2 victory in Chicago on Tuesday.

Huska was called up from AHL Hartford earlier this week as the Rangers continue to work through Shesterkin’s non-contact lower-body injury sustained last Friday against San Jose. Alexandar Georgiev has taken over as the Rangers’ starter with Shesterkin out, earning wins in each of the past two contests.

“The kid’s getting his first chance,” Gallant said. “We’re looking forward to it. He’s excited, we’re excited.”

Huska, 24, joined the Rangers as a seventh-round pick (184th overall) in the 2015 draft. The Slovakia native has shared Hartford’s goaltending duties with NHL veteran Keith Kinkaid and has earned a 2.20 goals against average to go with a .924 save percentage and 2-3-1 record. He also appeared in two preseason games earlier this fall, stopping 18 of 22 shots.

The AHL hasn’t been Huska’s first exposure to Hartford hockey as he previously served as the University of Connecticut’s goaltender for three seasons.

Huska’s official NHL debut will be a trial by fire: though they’ve struggled to string wins together after a torrid November, Colorado (13-7-2) boasts one of the most explosive offenses in the NHL. The Avalanche have scored 92 goals this season, tied with Washington for the NHL’s second-best tally entering Wednesday night. Cale Makar leads the team with 11 goals, which also top all NHL defensemen, while Nazem Kadri and Mikko Rantanen have 10 each.

Entering the final stanza of a five-game eastern swing, Colorado is coming off a 7-5 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night. The Avalanche put up 50 shots on net and saw all but four skaters earn at least one point.

Huska will wear No. 32, last worn by fellow backup goaltender Antti Raanta (2016-17).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets: Track the cuts as the countdown to 53 begins

New York Jets

ESM has you covered as the New York Jets begin the countdown to a 53-man roster in time for their Week 1 tilt against Buffalo.

Cuts have begun for the New York Jets, as the team begins to officially form a 53-man roster upon the conclusion of training camp. ESM has you updated on whose green dreams end, if only temporarily for some, as the 4 p.m. Saturday deadline for a gameday approaches

(Cuts are confirmed by the Jets unless otherwise noted)
(*-added to the practice squad)

RB Pete Guerriero

The Monmouth alum was on and off the Jets’ training roster, most recently brought back in on Tuesday. He ran for 1,995 yards last season in Long Branch, leading all backs in Football Championship Subdivision after starting his football journey at Lyndhurst High School.

LB James Burgess

One of the earliest cuts may turn out to be one of the more surprising ones. The veteran Burgess rose to the occasion when injuries struck the linebacking corps, and he earned a team-best 80 tackles as well as his first career interception and safety. (Adam Schefter)

C Jonotthan Harrison

A Friday night Instagram post from Harrison all but confirms his New York departure. Thus likely ends a three-year tenure with the Jets after coming over from Indianapolis in 2017, a stretch that saw him partake in 40 games, starting 19 of them.

*CB Lamar Jackson

The “no, not THAT Lamar Jackson” jokes have been put on hold, at least temporarily. He previously joined the team as an undrafted free agent out of Nebraska. (Brian Costello)

CB Nate Hairston

Hairston was one of several former Indianapolis Colts on the New York roster, coming over in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick prior to the 2019 draft. In New York’s he’s perhaps best known for earning his first career interception against Miami last season. (Rich Cimini)

OL James Murray

A two-time All-Patriot League nominee at Holy Cross, Murray signed a reserve/future contract with the Jets last fall, shortly after he was taken by the St. Louis BattleHawks in the eighth round of the XFL Draft’s offensive line portion. (Brian Costello)

*QB Mike White

White, a former Dallas Cowboys draft pick, notably threw a touchdown pass to Braxton Berrios during the team’s scrimmage at MetLife Stadium. His departure makes David Fales the presumptive nominee for Week 1’s backup quarterback if Joe Flacco isn’t ready. (Manish Mehta)

CB Zane Lewis

Signed by the Jets on Monday, Lewis was previously picked up by the Arizona Cardinals after going undrafted out of Air Force. He finished fourth in the Mountain West Conference last season with 15 pass defenses. (Manish Mehta)

*WR Lawrence Cager

An influx of released veteran receivers (including Hakeem Butler and Mohamed Sanu) perhaps led to the release of Cager. The Georgia alum was impressing before an injury sidelined him. (Manish Mehta)

CB Javelin Guidry

The speedy Guidry signed with the Jets as an undrafted rookie out of Utah. His last game action saw him earn six tackles an interception in the Utes’ Alamo Bowl tilt against Texas. (Rich Cimini)

OL Jared Hilberts

Hilbers was added as the most compensated UDFA of the bunch. After a quiet camp, the Washington product now finds himself without a home, although he could be a practice squad add. (Brian Costello)

*TE Ross Travis

Travis joined the team prior to last season’s finale. He previously worked with Kansas City and Indianapolis, earning 14 receptions over five seasons. (Manish Mehta)

WR Jehu Chesson

Chesson recently earned time with the starting unit after injuries struck the receiving corps. Formerly a fourth-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs, Chesson joined the Jets on a futures contract in January. (Adam Schefter)

RB Josh Adams

Adams followed general manager Joe Douglas over from Philadelphia, where he earned 511 rushing yards as a rookie during the Eagles’ Super Bowl trek. The Jets signed him to the practice squad last season and he was promoted to the active roster in November, but never found a spot in the New York rotation.

*QB David Fales

Joe Flacco is on the active roster, leading to the release of Fales, who has also served as a reserve quarterback in Adam Gase systems in Miami and Chicago.

WR George Campbell

Campbell was added as an undrafted free agent out of West Virginia after transferring from Florida State. He had only 19 receptions with the Mountaineers, but seven went for touchdowns.

WR Josh Malone

Malone spent a majority of the 2019 season on the Jets’ practice squad before a December promotion. He partook in two games but earned no receptions.

*WR Donte Moncrief

The release of Moncrief perhaps shows that the Jets are confident in the respective statuses of Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims. The former third-round pick was signed to the team on Monday.

*WR D.J. Montgomery

The former Austin Peay Governor was another recent addition who was let go. Montgomery earned some attention last preseason, starring for the Cleveland Browns.

TE Daniel Brown

Brown had re-signed with the Jets back in February. Last season, he earned seven receptions while subbing for Chris Herndon, including his first touchdown catch since 2016 in a win over Washington.

*TE/DL Bronson Kaufusi

Kaufusi was on and off the Jets’ practice squad over the last two seasons. This summer, he was attempting to make a transition from the defensive line to tight end.

G Josh Andrews

Another Douglas transplant from Philadelphia, Andrews likewise brought over a Super Bowl ring from the City of Brotherly Love. He spent parts of last season with Indianapolis, joining off the Eagles’ practice squad.

*OL/DL Corbin Kaufusi

There will be Kaufusi representation on the Jets’ roster for the time being, with Bronson’s brother likewise released. He began a transition from the defensive line…and basketball…last season.

C Brad Lundblade

An Oklahoma State alum, Lundblade previously spent time on the practice squads of Seattle and Cincinnati, and later appeared on Carolina’s active roster last season.

CB Bryce Hall

Hall was not outright released, but was instead placed on the non-football injury list. The Jets chose Hall, an All-American from Virginia, with their fifth-round pick in April.

DB Shyheim Carter

Formerly of Alabama, Carter previously spent time (along with Hall) on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list during this training camp period.

S Matthias Farley

Farley partook in 13 games with the Jets last season, mostly working on special teams after signing with the team when Indianapolis dropped him after last season’s round of late summer cuts.

*S Bennett Jackson

The Hazlet, NJ native and Raritan High School alum, Jackson had two separate stints with the Jets last season, partaking in his first regular-season NFL action since 2015.

This list will be updated pending further developments (LAST UPDATE: 9/6/20, 8:05 p.m. EST)

This 26 Man Roster is the Best the New York Yankees Can Field In 2020

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks

The New York Yankees roster for 2020 will look a little different. For starters, it’ll be a 26 man team from April to September 1, with only 2-3 more players joining the team in September. Much is being speculated about the Yankees trading Andujar AND Voit to the Pirates for Bell (idiocy), but THIS is the 26 man roster the Yankees should field.

Position Players and Bench

Next year will be a 13/13 player split between the pen and the rest of the team. Now, there’s one of two ways the Yankees could go. They can either bring Brett Gardner back (which I think is the prudent move), or let him walk. So, here’s the roster without Brett Gardner:

Catcher: Sanchez. First: Voit. Second: DJ (I assume that they’ll still move Torres to short). Short: Gleyber. Third: Urshela. Left: Stanton. Center: Tauchman. Right: Judge. Bench: Higashioka, Ford, Andujar, Wade, Frazier.

If they do the smart thing and bring Gardner back: Gardner slides into center field, and Tauchman replaces Frazier.


13 pitchers on the team, 5 will be reserved for the starting rotation. I won’t comment about that till pitchers and catchers report. So here’s the best bullpen option for the New York Yankees.

Chapman, Britton, and Ottavino are all under contract. The fact that during the course of the season they were all good/All Star caliber makes it easy enough to justify bringing them all back for next season. So now, there are 4 spots left.

Chad Green and Tommy Kahnle proved to be more than adequate pitchers. They should fill 2 of the 4 spots. Jordan Montgomery should be your long innings man for the season (or Happ if Monty beats him for a spot in the rotation), and the last spot should be reserved for Devi Garcia. Bring him up, and see what he can do. Right there, you got two starter caliber pitchers who can fill in for hurt members of the rotation (which we know will happen).

And there you have it. The perfect 26 man roster for the NY Yankees.

The New York Yankees release 25-man ALDS roster

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks

The New York Yankees announced their 25-man roster for the ALDS against the Minnesota Twins Friday.

They have decided to go with 12 pitchers with the rotation being James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and Luis Severino.

CC Sabathia was left off the roster for the ALDS due to a shoulder problem he’s had. Sabathia was given a cortisone shot last week in which the shoulder didn’t respond well, explaining his absence from the roster.

“It’s tough, obviously, being here and not being able to participate in playoffs,” said Sabathia. “I didn’t want to put the team in jeopardy. I want the best opportunity for this team to win a championship. I feel like we have a good opportunity. I didn’t want to be selfish and go out there hurt and put the team in a bad spot.”

Edwin Encarnacion, who’s been on the injured list, is on the roster expecting to play in game one of the series. “(He’s) good,” said manager Aaron Boone during Thursday’s press conference. “He’s out there hitting… Smoked a couple (of) balls out there, hit a homer. Yesterday really cut loose with some.”

Gio Urshela also had an injury scared that sparked some questions on his spot on the roster. However, Boone is anticipating that his third basemen is ready to go. “Yeah, Gio’s good. I’m not concerned. He had a full workout yesterday and he’s good to go.”

Players left off the roster include Mike Ford, who slashed .259/.350/.559 this season and Clint Frazier, who batted .267 with 12 home runs in 69 games played.

Since Clint Frazier is not on the roster, the only left-handed bats they will have in the lineup is Didi Gregorius and Brett Gardner.

Key players during the season Mike Tauchman (calf) and Aaron Hicks (elbow) will most likely miss the remainder of the season due to their injuries.

New York Yankees: Highlighting the biggest position battles entering Spring Training

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks

With Spring Training beginning and position players reporting just days from now, a lot of questions remain for the New York Yankees on how the 25 man roster may play out, and on who may start where. Today we dive into the four biggest position battles the Yankees face this spring.

Left field and the extra outfielder:

It remains very obvious that Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks will start in right field and center field, assuming Brian Cashman doesn’t sign Bryce Harper. After Brett Gardner had a rather poor season and Clint Frazier is healthy again, we have ourselves a rookie vs. veteran for a starting outfield position.

Clint Frazier reported on twitter a few weeks ago that he is “cleared to participate in spring training”. Red Thunder has overall had success in his time called-up from AAA, and had a walk-off home run in 2017. Frazier often served as the Yankees “26th man” on doubleheader days last year, without using a minor league option. Frazier bat .265 last season in the majors in 34 at-bats.

Brett Gardner bat just .236 last season, well below his .261 career average. By the end of last season, it seemed that he couldn’t really hit a thing, and with the acquisition of Andrew McCutchen, he saw his playing time go way down in September. In Game 1 of the ALDS, Aaron Hicks went down with a pulled hamstring, forcing Gardner to start games two and three. He ended up going 0-for-8.

You also have Jacoby Ellsbury. He would be more of an option to be the “extra outfielder”, but with him playing poorly over the years and him already having injury issues this season, he is already behind and prone to get hurt again and struggle.

First Base:

The Yankees have a two-man race for the first base position, and from what we saw last season, Yankees fans assume that it will be Luke Voit starting at first base over Greg Bird.

In all of 2018 (Cardinals and Yankees), Luke Voit bat .322 with 15 home runs in 143 at-bats. His incredible strength and power helped fill the slack of the injured Aaron Judge when he joined, but the success didn’t stop once Judge returned. Having Voit in the lineup gives the Yankees three players who can hit the ball all the way into downtown Manhattan.

Greg Bird has been, well……. playing rather poor in his MLB career. He is batting a career .214 in 576 at-bats, and bat just .199 last season. Voit had double the stats of Bird last season in about half as many at-bats. If Bird has a poor spring, could this finally be the end for Bird with the Yankees? Sending him down may be a bad option, the Yankees actually have two great first basemen at the AAA level in Mike Ford and Ryan McBroom, Ford being invited to the major league camp. It’s always possible that the super-underdog could steal the show.

DJ Lemahieu does remain a viable option, but he will focus more on the middle infield. Aaron Boone did say in his first press conference something along the lines of Andujar learning first base a bit, but it isn’t a focus for him or the team. Any way in which the Yankees choose to go; there will be depth.

The middle-infield cluster

The Yankees have four middle infielders for just two starting spots. Those players are Troy Tulowitzki, DJ Lemahieu, Gleybar Torres, and Tyler Wade.

The Yankees kinda shocked the baseball world and signed Troy Tulowitzki for a one year deal, to help fill-in for the injured Didi Gregorius, who appears to be making great progress in his recovery. But Tulo himself has had injury problems, and his stats have been on a decline over the last four years. His fielding, however, remains one of the best in the league. Could he maybe start at shortstop this season? Anything is possible.

Then there is last years starting second base sensation, Gleybar Torres. Remember, he came up as a shortstop and moved to second base due to Didi Gregorius. So with that, he may be the Yankees opening day shortstop with Lemahieu or possibly Wade at second.

Lemahieu remains the most likely option for the opening day second base spot, as that’s where he played with the Rockies for the most part. The only concern in the play of Lemahieu is his struggles away from Coors Field, where he hit so well it. But many Yankees players who can deal with the New York pressure hit well at Yankees Stadium with the short porches making the stadium extremely hitter-friendly.

Tyler Wade will likely not be a starter for the Yankees but should find his way onto the team and the field. He has a pretty solid glove, is a great base-runner, and his versatility can take him out of the infield and into the outfield when need be. His hitting has struggled big time in the majors, but he should be a solid non-offensive option.

A middle relief spot or two is still available

The Yankees have a lot of power guys that are known to help in the final innings but still lack a few middle relief options. Your power relievers are Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Zack Britton, and Adam Ottavino. Chad Green and Jonathan holder are high leverage, middle relief guys. You have one or two spots available for low leverage situations, let’s see what they have:

In 2017, the Yankees acquired Tommy Kahnle in a trade with the White Sox. He was great in 2017, but an early-season injury in 2018 derailed his season. Once he returned, he never got his high 90s velocity back and spent most of the season in AAA. This season would be a perfect time for a comeback season.

Danny Farquhar missed most of the 2018 season with the White Sox with a brain aneurysm. The Yankees signed him to a minor league deal this Winter with an invite to camp. His career ERA is 3.93, and is pitching with a chip on his shoulder this season. He could be a valuable asset for the Yankees bullpen, too.

Chance Adams pitched just one game last season: an emergency start against the Red Sox, and struggled as presumed. He had ups and downs last season at AAA, but I don’t think he is MLB ready yet. He would be used however as a long reliever if he made the club.

Stephen Tarpley started last season in AA, but made it up all the way come September. Once he got adjusted, he was actually really good, especially against lefties. He would be a great lefty specialist option. If he pitched like he did last season, he should have a good shot at the MLB club.

My 25 man roster prediction:

SP: Severino, Tanaka, Paxton, Happ, CC

RP: Chapman, Betances, Britton, Ottavino, Green, Holder, Tarpley

C: Sanchez, Romine

INF: Voit, Torres, DJ, Wade, Tulo, Andujar

OF/DH: Judge, Stanton, Hicks, Gardner, Frazier

26th man: Ellsbury? Kahnle?