A Month of Fundays

A New York Yankees, Giants, Knicks, Rangers and other stuff blog.


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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Giants "On The Verge" of Signing OL Adam Snyder

The 49ers cut 32 year old OT/OG over money, and the it looks like the Giants are in the process of signing him.   He would probably start at RG while Schwartz is out, and give us excellent depth when Schwartz gets back.  This would be a very good move by the Giants and I am glad they seem to be making it.   He's not a shot player, and can still contribute.  I think he played for the Cards before the Niners.    Good idea.

Giants Add TE Jerome Cunningham to the Practice Squad

The Giants have added Tight End/HBack Jerome Cunningham to the PSquad.  He was class of `13 out of Southern Conn.   He's really more HBack size and would be smaller than any of our other guys unless he's grown.    Anyway, I believe that makes 9.    I think they're be bringing in veterans next week, when salaries don't have to be guaranteed.

Yankees With More Curious Call Ups

First off, the DFA'd Zoilo Almonte for the first time and Matt Daley for about the 11th.  Then they called up Rich Hill and Chris Young, so they'll get 40 spots.   They also called up JR Murphy,  Bryan Mitchell, Chase Whitley, Preston Claiborne, Antoan Richardson and Chaz Roe.

They are really uninterested  in adding any legitimate talent to the 40 till the offseason.   I feel terrible to Kyle Roller who has earned a promotion and won't get one.  Pathetic roster management.

Yankees System Review Pt 1: The Frustration

The Yankee minor leagues are all over this year.   And, in general, it was a bounce back year for the system, but there were still some frustrations as there seemingly always are.

1.  They wouldn't promote position players, regardless of how well they were playing.   This was probably the most frustrating issue, considering we had AAA players like Rob Refsnyder and Kyle Roller scalding the ball while our MLB roster was struggling all year and had a negative run differential.

2. The continuing lack of walks up and down the chain. They give lip service to it, but you just don't see improvement anywhere.   The guys who walk are the ones who came in walking and the guys who didn't don't start.   This must be addressed before we have to trade more O'Brien's.

3. The college heavy draft.   They can say whatever they want about this year's draftable players, but had they not spent three first rounders on Ellbsury, McCann and Beltran, you can bet your bottom dollar it would have been a more balanced draft.  And they would have had a much larger draft allotment to spread around.

4.  The development of starting pitchers.   We have relievers coming out ears, but our starting program isn't nearly as robust.  Of course, that could be deceiving, as Shane Greene was looking like a candidate for a bullpen conversion before becoming a dominant MLB starter.  Bryan Mitchell could be next.  So maybe there's more there than we think, and it will keep providing bandages till we get to Severino and Clarkin.

5.  The lack of superstar position prospects.   The other ugly outgrowth of blowing first rounders on over 30 hitters.   Of course Aaron Judge could change that, and so could Greg Bird.  And maybe 1 or 2 from their massive class of IFA's will be as good as Cano.

We'll look at positives tomorrow, but those were the big issues from this year, and they all still need to be solved.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Yankees GCL1 Loses Championship Final

So Yankees1 lost their best out of three championship series today.  That's too bad for the kids, who advanced to to finals after beating Yankees2 in a one game semifinal.    I think they might have done a little better if they had only one team, but, in general it was a pretty good season for both.

We all know that Jorge Mateo, who looked like a break out star, missed most of the season, but guys like Cuevas and Palma had good season as did some of the other Yankee youngsters.   Both teams were hurt by the dearth of prep picks the Yanks had this year.  But over the next few years both teams will be buoyed by the huge 2014 IFA haul that started in July.

I think the biggest let down from an organizational point of view was the failure of any of the young hard throwers, whether it was DeCarr or any of the latin kids, to really step up and dominate the league like Severino did last year, and some of the other guys have done over the years.   We'll have to see what they throwing, but, the no one put up a monster stat line.   So we'll have to see if there's a break in the chain or not.

Ty Hensley did come back and earn a promotion which is great news for the system, but none of the other 20 and unders in the GCL really set the world on fire, and that bears watching.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Giants Roster Review: WR's

Let's get WR's out of the way, since they're probably the most confusing right now.    The Soup Harris injury, as well, as, I guess, the IR'ing of Manningham and Holliday, as well as the injury to Odell Beckham Jr.,  and the slow development pace of Jernigan and Randle has left things a jumble.

Right now we have Cruz, Beckham, Randle, Jernigan, Parker and Washington on the 53, plist Julian Talley on the Practice Squad.   I frankly think Parker is just insurance in case Beckham can't go against the Lions and think he'll be cut as soon as Beckham can play.

Randle and Jernigan have both flashed, but both, and Randle especially, have been involved in some really bad plays.   Jernigan with the ball in his hands can be explosive, but the problem has been getting the ball into his hands.   Eli doesn't look for him much, and it seems like he throws him a lot of grounders when they try to get it to him in the short passing game.

Randle is more problematic.   On any play where he and Eli have to be on the same page, he just doesn't seem to be.  His mistakes have lead to drive killing incompletions and, worse still, interceptions.  He's been a liability.  It's strange because he looked like a real Giant-type receiver who could run the whole tree,  when he was in the draft.   Of course, some times it does take some time, but he hasn't had bad injuries, and so this year should see big growth, or it will be time to cut losses.

Cruz is Cruz, and Eli will get him his catches in any O. There's some speculation that he'll explode in the new one, but we haven't seen enough of it to know just how much he will.   But he still needs help.

Corey Washington could be that help, but it could take awhile before the coaches are willing to use him that way.    Still, the Giants have gotten really lucky with Washington.  As I said during draft season, the Giants really needed a power receiver.    Washington is just that kind of guy with the additional ability to run a sub 7 3-cone.     Sure he needs work on route running, but remember Herman Moore only used to run 3 routes, so maybe he won't have to learn the whole tree.

And if he ever gets healthy Odell Beckham Jr. is the most talented WR on the team.   He's just incredible football talent, who can play the X,  and has the potential to score any time he touches it, whether on offense or one specials.    And even though he's only practiced a few times, no less a Giant than Victor Cruz says the O is better when he's in it.   Special player.   So let's get him healthy.

Once we do, we can either dump Parker and promote Talley who seems more solid, or find someone else.     But until Beckham is healthy, and a third guy steps up to got with Beckham and Cruz, it'll be tricky.   And if Randle busts, we'll have to pick another one next year.

Having said all of that, this is bad luck and not bad management by the Giants.  Losing Harris, Manningham and Holliday, and the injury to Beckham has not been their fault.   And finding Washington could turn out to be a home run.

Giants Name 7 Players to the Practice Squad

The Giants have had a curious cutdown period, but in the midst of it, they brought back some high potential players for their practice squad.   Most important, I think, was bringing back the tall corners Bennett Jackson, and Chandler Ferren.  It's been shown that the bigger corners, Terrell Thomas notwithstanding, can take some extra time to develop fully.  This is especially true for Jackson, who was a wide receiver when he started at ND.

They were also able to bring back DE Jordan Stanton, who flashed in the preseason games.   LB Dan Fox was another guy I like who is back.   And WR Julian Talley is back.

They also brought back Michael Cox, showing me a lack of effort in their search for RB help.

They also brought in Nick Becton a `13 UDFA from VaTech who had been with the Chargers.    They have three spaces remaining.

Yanks Acquire Chaz Roe

Yanks have acquired Chaz Roe from the minors.    He's been around but is only 27.   God knows what they gave up for him and why they think more pitching will help them hit.

Yanks Lose

Bautista is the new Ortiz and they won't throw at him.  Unacceptable. Weak sauce.   Bad effort.   Gardy can't do it alone.

Giants Lose Quarles on Waivers to Pats, Make No Claims of Their Own

The Giants might be vacationing this holiday weekend, as apparently no one is at the wheel.   They just lost Kelcy Quarles on waivers to the Pats as they tried to sneak him through to the practice squad.  And yes, though we always beat the Pats when it matters, Belichick has been able to pluck too freely from our talent base whenever we've tried to be clever.   Keeping Marcus Kuhn and waving Kelcy Quarles is not how you run a good program.

Also, phenomenally, the Giants made no waiver claims for this round of cuts.  In other words, they didn't see anything better than the crap they kept, like Kuhn, Brewer, Brown and others.   I guess they're be looking at veterans this week,

In the meantime, they've been signing guys they cut to their PSquad, including Fox, Fenner, Stanton, Talley and, thankfully, Bennnett Jackson.

They should have been more proactive this weekend, starting with saving Quarles and jettisoning Kuhn.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

This Week on the Blog

Okay, should see some interesting stuff this week from our teams.  

Yankees:  Tomorrow they can expand their roster by calling up people on the 40.   Let's see if they're willing to make a commitment to any prospects who haven't been up yet.   They need to start winning again if they want a chance.  And tomorrow is also the last day they can make a waiver trade that would allow the acquired player to play in the postseason this year.

Giants; The Giants have a lot of roster tinkering and practicing to do.  They also have to name their first 10 man practice squad.

Rangers:  The prospects will be getting ready for Traverse city in mid-September, and I still think the Rangers will be making a trade, and also think they'll get John Moore re-signed any day now.

Knicks:  Who knows?   In Phil we trust.

So the Yanks and Giants will both be adding talent.   The Rangers might be, and the Knicks, who knows?

Giants Roster Analysis Pt.1: Placeholders

A quick glance over the current 53 shows some players who shouldn't really be there and are most likely just placeholders till an outside player can be added, or, in the case of Preston Parker and, perhaps Jerrel Jernigan, until Beckham is finally full go.

Charles Brown and James Brewer are two such players on the OL.  The Giants will be grabbing between 1 and three fresh bodies over the next few days to fix their OL depth, and Brown and Brewer will probably be out the door when that happens.

Marcus Kuhn is in the same situation on the DL.  Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane and did not do anything impressive in the preseason.  Plus, he's already 28 so he is what he's gonna be.

Herzlich especially and Paysinger possibly look upgradeable among the LB's.

And, I don't know if it's in the cards, but dumping Hillis and picking up Lache Seastrunk on waivers could perfect our new Earth, Wind and Fire.

Oh yeah, and all the tight ends.

Should be an interesting next few days.

Giants Get Down To 53 With More Moves Probable

As the deadline approached today, the Giants activated Jon Beason from the PUP list.    They also cut RB Michael Cox, WR Julian Talley, CB Chandler Fenner, DE Jordan Stanton, S Thomas Gordon, RB Kendall Gaskins, LB Terrell Manning, and  OL Mark Asper.  They waived/injured Rogers Gaines, who had actually been one of the young OL's who looked good.

And that's the 53 for now, but it will probably change some in the next 24 hours, and even more before the first game on September 8th.   I might take a look at what they kept a little later, unless things change fast.

Yanks Waste Pineda and Lose

The Yanks got 1 hit today.   This happens to teams that don't grind.  Pineda threw about 2 bad pitches all day, and one of the was to Bautista, and that was your ballgame.    Horrendous.  This team hits like Girardi used to.

Giants Begin Making Final Cuts

So far they have move Manningham and Holliday to short term IR (or will be injury settling them); Hosley and Herman have begun their suspensions; and they have cut CB Bennett Jackson, DE Israel Idonije, DT Kelcy Quarles, LB Dan Fox, QB Curtis Painter, OL Jamal Johnson-Webb, OL Adam Gress, FB John Connor,  and TE Kellen Davis, and they still have to make more cuts.

I'm a little shocked that they cut Bennett Jackson.  He was a a promising big corner, and we can only cross our fingers that that he makes it through waivers.  It would also be good to get Quarles and Fox through,

On the positive side, Corey Washington tweeted that he has made the team.   I'll have more comments about these and other cuts as they come.  I won't be surprised if they re-sign Idonije if he is available after game 1.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Yanks Win

The Yanks just won 6-3 and Girardi only used 4 pitchers to get it done.   Outman made his debut and gave up a hit in the 8th, so Joe brought in DRob for a 4 out save.   I might have to get an updated picture of Ellsbury because he had a homer and a triple tonight.  Of course, he became the latest Yankee to be thrown out at home on the "contact play" but that's part of a larger theme.   Chase Headley also homered.    Good win.   They have 2 more days to do something crazy.

Tanaka Shut Down, Again

Masahiro Tanaka has been shut down again over what they are calling general arm soreness.   Though it doesn't sound serious, any such delay also delays the Yankees pitching plans for obviously this season, which is sort of neither here nor there, but next.   Doesn't sound like they're giving him an MRI, but knowing them, they'll restart his entire protocol.   It's tricky.  I wonder if McCarthy would take a one year extension?    Muddlesome.

Yanks Outman Activated/Rich Hill DFA'd

The Yanks activated their new loogy, Josh Outman and DFA'd Rich Hill today.   So it's still an open question as to why they released Corben Joseph yesterday.  They weren't making the move over Outman, because that move was Hill.  So what's going on?

Btw, the minor league seasons are all ending, and, perhaps, over the weekend I'll have some comments on what was a bounce back year for the farm.

A Couple of Reasons Why The Giants Won't be Bad

People are rightfully concerned that the pre-season did nothing to give us confidence in the new offense.    However; I think that even in that disappointment there is cause for solid optimism, and that's because the running game is back.    Now, we only got small doses of Jennings and Williams, but holy fricking crap.   They're not Thunder and Lightning or Earth, Wind and Fire, but they're either Thunder and Thunder or Earth and Earth.   These are two big boys who can run the rock.   And over four quarters, that's loosen up some mouth guards on the other side.

Jennings looks like an all around guy, and I was a little disappointed that they didn't throw the ball to Williams in and of the endless preseason games.  But he's been working on it.  

We still need third back, and right now it looks like Hillis, which would sort of be a shame.   You want your third back to be faster than the first two, and now slow, which Hillis is at this point.   That said, we'll still be fine on the running game.  Can't wait to see 60 minutes of Jennings and Williams.

Meanwhile, and this is a big ingredient.   We can stop the run again, and that ability will only solidify when Beason returns and elevates the D as he does.

So running and stopping the run are two big things.   And the Giants will have those going for them.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Giants Win Their Finale

The Giants just won 16-13 to complete their 5-0 preseason.  Some jobs were probably won and lost over the course of the game and we probably will have to go outside the organization for a TE.   I think we've seen the last of Painter, though Nasib didn't get much going, either.  Though it did feel like they were forcing balls to certain guys like Preston and Talley to the detriment of the QB's.  Rueben Randle was awful again while the ones were in.  And he made Eli look bad.  Then Eli did look bad, but he shouldn't have been in.   Brady didn't play.   We'll get the final cuts Saturday then see what's cooking.  

Yanks Acquire LHP Outman for Cash

Yanks have acquired Josh Outman from the Indians for cash considerations.  So now we know the space on the 40 that was opened up earlier today isn't going to a kid.    Whatever.

Yanks Can't Hit, Thus They Lose

The horse's head is dead, and, today Shawn Kelley pitched like a horse's ass.   That said, if the Yanks didn't stink on offense, maybe they could score more than two runs.   And today, like last night, they scored all of their runs in the third.  Kuroda was good and didn't deserve to lose when giving up only 2 runs.   Betances pitched a scoreless 8th, and Kelley was in for the 9th.  I don't know Girardi goes from his A+ reliever in the 8th to a B-/C+ in the 9th.   I don't know why he does a lot of things, frankly, but I'm tired of all of them.

UPDATE:  They released Corban Joseph today, so that opens a spot on the 40.

Giants Tonight: Pt. 1

Tonight the Giants will finally end their preseason schedule with their traditional game against the Patriots.   You know how this one goes, Brady probably won't play at all, and Eli will play 1 or two series.  I think we're going to get a big dose of Jimmy G. from the Pats, and the Giants will probably answer with another big dose of Nassib.    We can afford no more injuries, but it would be a good time for some guys to turn both for the guys themselves and for the team.   Looks like Beckham is out again.   Yeesh.  Hillis is back and he'll probably get a lot of work.   It would be nice if two of the TE's distinguished themselves and if some of the young front 7 defenders not named DaMonster could make some plays.    But the key is no more injuries.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Yanks Greene is Great Again

The Yankees rookie starter Shane Greene was back to being great tonight.   In a game they sort of had to win, Greene held them to 2 runs off 5 hits and a walk, and K'd 8 of them over 7 innings.     The offense was, once again strange as they scored 8 runs in the third, without the benefit of a homer-- but by getting 9 straight hits off of Price!   Then they didn't score again.   Warren gave up a run in the 8th, then they used Betances for the 9th with a 5 run lead.    Ponderous.   Weird sequencing and a bit of squeezing  by the ump cost Betances a run with two outs, and lead to him facing Cabrera with one on.  He K'd Cabrera on 4 pitches, getting him with 98 out of the zone away.     Shouldn't have given up a run, though.   Big win.

Yanks: Next Cuban On The Block?

So the next Cuban up is not Yoan Moncada or Yasmani Tomas.  It's short LHP Misael Siverio.   He's said to throw 92 with a couple of breaking pitches and a splitter.   He's 24 so he won't be IFA punishable.   He threw in June and will throw again Friday.  The Yanks were there in June.   The Yanks have had some dynamite little lefties over the years, and if this cat can get out righties and lefties and shows swing an miss even with his average velo, let's pick him up and break the embargo.

Rangers To Give Ryan Malone a Tryout?

Word's around that the Rangers are interested in bringing legally challenged Ryan Malone in for a tryout.   There are sort of three interesting issues around their slow pursuit of Malone.

First, is that the Rangers have a horrible habit of doubling down on their young player signings by signing a corresponding old player.  Last week they secured RW Kevin Hayes, this week we hear they are interested in 34 year old Ryan Malone.  They can't keep blocking prospects with vets, it's bad for morale and it's bad for the salary cap.  

Second,  the Rangers have been pretty darn good at exploiting market inefficiencies.  For example, signing MZA,  getting all of those undrafted kids.  It's possible that they see Malone as an inefficiency.  He's available because he was a compliance buyout, and that happened because he drove under the influence with a pocketful of cocaine, and ended up clipping a curb.     As far as I know that's the extent of his trouble, going backwards and forwards.    If you know about more, let me know.   But, he was pretty recently a good big man, and also a teammate of Marty St. Louis, so the Rangers might have some insight there.   So, on that level it's kind of intriguing.

Third, the Rangers are tight against the contract limit, so they can't really take flyers, or in this case, Penguins, on old players with out damn good reasons.  I would expect that's why it's a tryout.

And I still think they need to make a trade to alleviate some contract space and maybe, just maybe get more future picks.