EMPIRE STATE NEWS & NOTES

nysportsMETS

LHP Steven Matz had a second straight iffy outing of the spring yesterday against the Yankees allowing 5 earned runs and two walks in four innings. He seemed, at least outwardly, to be generally unconcerned, feeling he got the work in that he needed. No panic here, folks. He’s already made the team. And there’s no better 4th starter in the division, maybe the NL…RHPs Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey have looked straight dominant so far and Jacob DeGrom just had a stellar outing after surviving minor back stiffness he suffered from an overly soft mattress earlier in camp…OF Michael Conforto has shown flashes, hitting a grand slam in the ninth inning the other day and seems to be rounding into shape nicely for the beginning of the season…OF Juan Lagares has been arguably the best player in camp this spring, slamming the ball to all fields and playing CF like his old self. Manager Terry Collins has a lot of options in the lineup this season and trying to find room for Lagares will be a challenge. They have already started experimenting with him in LF…Newly acquired OF Alejandro De Aza has been impressive also, hitting over .400 with an exceptional on base percentage. There had been talk about dealing him earlier,, but that has died down…Also newly acquired starting SS Asdrubal Cabrera, who suffered a Patella tendon strain in his left knee, expressed optimism for returning by Opening Day.

JETS

Starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is still a FA as of this date and it doesn’t appear as if he and the Jets are any closer to a resolution. The Broncos are showing the same lack of interest so far as well. This after the Rams and the Browns pulled out of the Fitz sweepstakes weeks ago. But these kinds of things can get resolved quicker than you can bat an eyelash so stay tuned Jets fans…RB Matt Forte was a fantastic signing by GM Mike Maccagnan. At 30 he still has plenty left in the tank, in my opinion. The versatility he gives OC Chan Gailey with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield can make this a top-12 offense with the right QB running it. And his impact in the clubhouse is also a big plus, from what I hear coming out of the Chicago Bears organization…By the way, HC Todd Bowles went on record as saying he’d consider QB Geno Smith as the starter, if it comes to that…The Jets front office is also getting close to having to make a decision on LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson. The starting LT has an $8.625 million base salary, plus  $1.75 million in bonuses, plus a $3.7 million pro-ration charge on an old signing bonus. It adds up to $14.1 million, the highest cap charge for an offensive lineman in the NFL. At 32, he ain’t what he used to be and it’s a veritable grand slam that they won’t pay him that, if at all. So, after restructuring G James Carpenter’s contract to open up cap space in order to sign a couple of FA DTs last week, logic tells me they should be getting to Brick soon. If he refuses , he may have played his last snap for the Green and White. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they went with a LT at #20 in next month’s draft, should the right one drop to them.

KNICKS

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About Luis Fernandez

I am a NYC native & have followed New York sports for the last 45 years. Attended Fordham Preparatory H.S., Manhattan College, & C.W. Post. Former co-host of "Truth Be Told" & "Real Talk Sports" podcasts. Began "The Empire State Of Sports" in 2014.
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