Archive for the ‘hockey’ Category

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: April 18, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

When it’s baseball season the first thing I do when I get home from work is turn on the MLB Network and catch up on what happened the night before.

Going into last night all of the talk was about Shohei Otani pitching against the Boston Red Sox. Now humorously there where some stupid people out there who where ready to give Otani the AL CY Young along with the MVP and the Rookie of the Year. The frightening thing about this is the people who are saying he should be given those awards already are a lot of the people who vote for them at the end of the season. Now I was part of the group that wanted to wait and see.

Through 8 games Otani’s hitting has been solid. He’s hitting .367 with 3 home runs and 11 RBI’s There’s nothing wrong with those numbers and Otani himself has asked for more at bats and with the way he’s been hitting he should get them.

Now on the pitching side he had an average first start against the Oakland A’s, but did pick up a win. Otani’s second start was also against the A’s and he was fantastic. He went 7 innings gave up just 1 hit while walking 1 and striking out 12. This outing sent people into a tizzy and they started shooting off their mouths before thinking about what they where saying. Well Otani’s third start was scheduled for Sunday, but the game was postponed; so he made that third start last night. Now this time he wasn’t facing the sub .500 A’s. This outing was against the 13-2 Boston Red Sox.

Otani stepped up I competition and lasted just 2 innings. He threw 66 pitches gave up 3 runs on 4 hits while walking 2nd striking out just 1. Magically during an incredibly poor outing Otani developed a blister on his pitching hand and had to be removed from the game.  Otani also got tagged with his first loss.

Now I don’t believe that he’s as bad of a pitcher as he was last night, but I also don’t believe that he’s as good of a pitcher as he was in his second outing against the A’s. Of course I wasn’t stupid enough to go on television and say that Mike Trout was now the second best player on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I also wasn’t handing him the Cy Young after just two starts.

I’ll be interested to see if an outing like this shuts these morons up or if they’ll just jump on the blister excuse and ride that. Now I don’t expect any of them to recant or admit they where stupid by saying some of the things they said, but it would be a nice change of pace if they did.

Is it time for the New York Yankees to move Giancarlo Stanton down in their batting order? Stanton has been hitting 3rd for the Yankees in between Aaron Judge and either Didi Gregorius or Gary Sanchez.

Stanton has played in all 16 games for the Yankees this season and has 66 at bats. Stanton does have 3 home runs and 10 RBI’s through the first 16 games, but he’s hitting just .197 and has struck out 29 times.

The Yankees have the kind of line up where they could comfortably move Stanton down the 5th spot on the and take some of the pressure off of him. Of course with the contract he has there will always be a certain amount of pressure on him. A move down in the order might also help with the fans as they’ve taken to booing Stanton any time he doesn’t come through with a hit.

If the Yankees could find someone else to plug into the two hole Judge could easily slid into the three spot. Judge is off to a good start hitting .339 with 4 home runs and 11 RBI’s. Judge does seem very comfortable hitting second; so maybe the Yankees would be better off leaving him there and moving Gregorius into the three spot. Gregorius is also off to a good start hitting .333 with a team leading 5 home runs and 16 RBI’s. Sanchez is actually off to a worse start than Stanton, but without the strikeouts. In 14 games Sanchez is hitting just .190, but does have 3 home runs and 13 RBI’s. Of course there is a chance that plugging Sanchez in the third spot between Judge and Gregorius it might get him hitting.

This may be the first difficult call that rookie manager Aaron Boone might have to make with the everyday line up. Let me know if you think the Yankees should move Stanton down in the line up.

Last night the Las Vegas Golden Knights became the first expansion team in NHL history to sweep a playoff series.

Brayden McNabb scored the only goal in the game and Marc Andre-Fleury made it stand up making 31 saves as the Golden Knights won Game 4 1-0 over the Los Angeles Kings. This was Fleury’s second shutout in the series.

The Kings by no means where blown out in this series as every game was decided by one goal. Game 1 was a 1-0 game. Game 2 was a 2-1 overtime game. Game 3 was the highest scoring game in the series as it ended 3-2 and then of course Game 4 last night was another 1-0 game.

With last nights win Fleury passed Dominik Hasek for 11th place on the NHL’s all-time list with his 66th career playoff win. He tied Terry Sawchuk for ninth place with his 12th career playoff shutout.

The Golden Knights will face the winner of the Anaheim Ducks/San Jose Sharks series. San Jose is ahead in that series 3 games to none and have a chance to sweep the Ducks out of the playoff tonight.

San Jose is actually the only other team left that can sweep their 1st round series. Will see if they can get it done tonight at home in Game 4.

Are you surprised that the Golden Knights swept their opening round series? How do you think they’ll do in the next round? Let me know in the comments.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live at BlogTallkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is also available any time you want to listen to it at TuneIn.com.

Don’t forget that I’m on Twitter @Burketime.

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Now I understand that it’s exciting for fans if your favorite team gets off to a hot start or if one of your favorite players comes out of the gate playing very well. Now I’ll always give fans a break when they get a little carried away about their favorite team or player, but when the people who are suppose to be experts on these things start doing they need to be call out.

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Shohei Otani had a very good outing as a pitcher against the Oakland A’s on Sunday, but people got a little carried away by it. Otani pitched 7 innings threw 91 pitching and gave up just 1 hit. He also struck out 12 while walking just 1 and improved his record to 2-0. Both of Otani’s starts have come against the A’s. Now after this start people got a little bit crazy. They’ve already have pretty much handed him the AL Rookie of the Year award, but I also heard someone say he should be the AL Cy Young award winner. Now surprisingly that’s not all. I also heard that he should be the AL MVP and one person went so far as to say that Mike Trout is now the second best player on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Now all of this is happening after just 2 starts and 19 at bats. Am I the only one who thinks it might be a little too early to start handing him all of the awards. Don’t forget that these are the same people that wanted Otani to start the season in the minor leagues after the spring training he had.

The Angels plan is for Otani to pitch every Sunday. If he’s healthy and makes ever start he’ll end up with 27 starts. That will put him three to five starts behind guys he’ll be competing with for the Cy Young. Will voters take that into consideration when they’re casting their votes. Would he need to win 18 games to be a serious Cy Young contender?

You can look at the MVP race the same way. If Otani is going to be the Angels DH three times a week; will he get enough at bats to be a serious contender for the MVP? He’ll be in a race with guys who are hitting six or seven days at week and getting 600 plus at bats. Can you really look at him as an MVP when he’ll have a limited number of at bats compared to his competition.

Right now it’s a great baseball story, but the people who get paid to talk about baseball for a living have to learn to get themselves under control and stop handing out end of the season awards after 10 games.

Otani is going to be fun to watch, but now that he’s gotten some at bats under his belt in the regular season teams will start to adjust to him. How are these people going to react if he’s to go into a slump. How quickly will they jump off of the Otani bandwagon?

The NHL playoffs get started tonight with three game. There are two games dropping the puck at 6:00 p.m. in my time zone. One game has the Minnesota Wild at the Winnipeg Jets while the other game has the Philadelphia Flyers at the Pittsburgh Penguins. The late game tonight has the Los Angeles Kings at the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

The other five first round series get started on Thursday night. Again there are two games that will start at 6:00 p.m. in my area. The New Jersey Devils visit the Tampa Bay Lighting while the Toronto Maple Leafs are at the Boston Bruins. 30 minutes after that the next game starts. That game has the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Washington Capitals. The 8:30 p.m. game in my area has the Colorado Avalanche at the Nashville Predators. The night wraps up with the San Jose Sharks at the Anaheim Ducks.

I am playing the bracket challenge on NHL.com. I have the Predators facing the Capitals in the Stanley Cup Finals with the Capitals winning the Cup in six games.

Today is the last day of the NBA regular season and there are 12 games on the schedule and believe it or not there is still some drama in the Western Conference.

The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Denver Nuggets are tied for the 8th and final Western Conference playoff spot. The Timberwolves hold the tiebreaker, but that’s not going to matter. These two teams face each other tonight in Minnesota. So quite simply the winner gets in and the loser goes home.

The Nuggets are coming in as the hotter team as they’ve won six in a row and are 8-2 over their last 10 games. Minnesota has won their last two games, but they are just 6-4 in their last 10 games.

Who do you have grabbing that last Western Conference playoff spot the Nuggets or the Timberwolves?

Heading into the playoffs how big of a winning streak do you want to be on? There is always talk that a team can peak to early and that may be the question right now with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Philadelphia won it’s 15th game in a row last night and they are currently a game ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Philadelphia will try to make it 16 in a row tonight as they host the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks aren’t playing for anything tonight as they are locked into the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference. Now if the 76ers do win this game and claim the #3 spot this will be the first round playoff match up.

Now if the 76ers winning streak ends tonight and the Cavaliers get a win over the New York Knicks it will be Cleveland that is the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference and they would face Milwaukee in the first round of the playoffs.

While the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference will face the Bucks whoever ends up as the 4th seed will face the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs.

The question ight be here would it be better for the 76ers to drop this final game heading into the playoffs just to possible remind them of what it’s like to lose. Or do you think it’s better for them to keep rolling and head into the playoffs on a 16 game winning streak?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalklRadio.com, but don’t forget that you can listen to the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com.

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: February 14, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, football, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now I’m sure I’ve mentioned multiple times that the Sports Time Radio podcast emanates from the Chicago suburbs. The four of us that you hear on the podcast all live in the Chicagoland area and have a rooting interest in the Chicago teams. Sadly right now it seems as though we have just baseball season to look forward to.

For about 10 seasons the Chicago Blackhawks where a serious threat to win the Stanley Cup and they did actually win it three times in six seasons. Now the Blackhawks have fallen. Last season they did get into the playoffs, but they where quickly eliminated in the 1st round. This season it’s even worse for the Blackhawks as they are currently in last place in the Central division. Through 57 games this season the Blackhawks are 24-25-8 and have 56 points. Last night the Blackhawks lost their 7th straight game 5-2 to the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

Now there are some obvious reason for the Blackhawks slipping to where they are. They’ve had salary cap issues since winning their first Stanley Cup. Injuries are always a factor as they lots Marion Hossa probably forever and Corey Crawford has played just 28 games in goal for them this season. There is also the fact that the rest of the NHL has just caught up to the Blackhawks. Chicago was really one of the first teams in the NHL to embrace the speed side of the game and it paid off in multiple Stanley Cup’s.

How do the Blackhawks fix this, is what everyone wants to know. First off a healthy Crawford makes them a lot better, but they also need their young guys to perform like they’re expected to.

Nick Schmaltz is 20 years old and has 15 goals and 24 assists while Alex DeBrincat who is just 19 years old has 21 goals and 16 assists this season. Ryan Hartman is just 22 years old and is putting up solid number with 7 goals and 15 assists, but they’re really the only two younger Blackhawks who have been good this season. Connor Murphy looks to be coming along as a defenseman and is just 23 years old; so there are some guys who look like they can contribute in the future.

Of course the Blackhawks also need their top guys to stay as top guys. Patrick Kane is still that guy. Kane is tied for the team lead in goals with 21 and leads the team in assists with 32. Jonathan Toews is having another solid season as he has 15 goals and 21 assists. It’s difficult to believe that Duncan Keith doesn’t have a goal through 57 games and is a -13. Keith is a former Norris Trophy winner and his struggles on defense and the teams struggles on defense as a whole may be the biggest issues the Blackhawks will need to correct this coming off season.

Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp where both brought back to help this team out and it hasn’t paid off this season. Saad has 13 goals and 11 assists while Sharp has 6 goals and 8 assists. While it’s nice to see the guys who where here when the team started winning Stanley Cup’s, it would be nice if they added something.

Now any team that has Kane and Toews on it can turn things around quickly; so don’t be surprised if the Blackhawks are back in the playoffs next season.

Of course the other big time winter sport is basketball and in Chicago we have the tanking Chicago Bulls.

It’s humorous that the Bulls would prefer to lose games and they’ve some how managed to win 20 games so far this season. There are seven teams in the NBA with worse records than the Bulls and to rebuild and rebuild quickly you need to be drafting inside the Top 5 and in some cases inside the Top 3 to improve quickly.

As you look at the current Bulls roster it’s unclear if any of these players with the exception of Lauri Markkanen will still be with the team when they get back into the playoffs. There are high hopes for Zach LaVine, but he’s coming back from injury and has to prove that he’s more than just a highlight dunker. The Bulls where very interested in Kris Dunn in the 2016 draft, but the Minnesota Timberwolves took him with the 5th pick. Chicago acquired Dunn with LaVine and the draft pick that turned out to be Markkanen for Jimmy Butler and a draft pick that Minnesota used on Justin Patton. Dunn was solid for the Bulls until he got injured. It looks as though Dunn will return tonight against the Toronto Raptors, but it’s unclear how many minutes he’ll actually get. Do you see LaVine or Dunn being on a Bulls playoff team?

While it seems as though tanking is the way to go in the NBA. Remember that the Philadelphia 76ers started their rebuild in 2013 and they still haven’t found their way back into the playoffs and still aren’t close to contending for an NBA title. How far away from the playoffs are the Bulls? and how long will it take them to be an NBA title contender?

Luckily for us here in the Chicagoland area it’s almost baseball season. With the addition of Yu Darvish the Chicago Cubs should be considered a World Series contender.

The Cubs should have a very good starting rotation with Darvish being added to the likes of Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood. The biggest pitching question the Cubs have is will their closer hold up. Brandon Morrow is taking the role for the very first time. Morrow was injury prone as a starter, but seems to have found a home in the bullpen. Morrow made 45 appearances last season covering 43 2/3rd innings, but as a closer he’ll be asked to pitch more than he did last season which was his first full season in the bullpen. The Cubs also signed Steve Cishek this off season. Cishek was the closer for the Seattle Mariners in 2016 until he had some struggles and was replaced by Edwin Diaz. Cishek has posted two 30 plus save seasons in his career and could be a good back up if Morrow struggles.

With an everyday line up that should be one of the best in baseball and now a starting rotation that should compare to anyone’s, the only question the Cubs may have is will that bullpen hold up.

Baseball wise Chicago also has the White Sox. Now the White Sox started their rebuild last season and where some promising signs heading into this season.

A young rotation featuring a healthy Carlos Rodon, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez should be interesting to watch. It’s possible that Rodon won’t be ready for opening day and there’s no reason for the White Sox to rush him. After struggling with the Washington Nationals Giolito was good in his 7 starts for the White Sox last season. Giolito posted a 2.38 E.R.A. while going 3-3 and pitching 45 1/3rd innings. Lopez made 8 starts and went 3-3 as well, but had a higher E.R.A. at 4.72 over 47 2/3rd innings.

The White Sox have held onto Jose Abreu so far and look like he’s the veteran they’re going to build around; so they’ll get at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI’s out of him. Will get to see a full season of Yoan Moncada. Avisail Garcia hit .330 last season; so maybe he’s going to get close to the player a lot of people though he was going to be. Don’t forget that Matt Davidson also hit 26 home runs in 118 games last season.

While the White Sox will probably be a sub .500 team again in 2018 there should be some interesting young players to keep an eye on.

The Sports Time Radio podcast is available for you to listen to live in BlogTalkRadio.com, but you can also listen to the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com.

Don’t forget to look me up on Twitter @Burketime.

 

How was your week

Posted: February 10, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

-s of right now Jaromir Jagr is no longer a member of the NHL. The 45 year old Jagr was assigned to Kladno of the Czech league after clearing waivers. Though he remains technically part of the Calgary Flames organization, it seems unlikely that he will make a return to the NHL this season.

If this is the end of Jagr’s NHL career, he’ll finish among the very best that have ever played the game. He ranks third all-time in goals, fifth in assists, second in points and third in games played. He collected a Hart Trophy as league MVP in 1999, and was a five-time league scoring champion. In 208 career playoff games, Jagr recorded 201 points and lifted the Stanley Cup twice with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first two seasons of his career. Though he was a threat on the powerplay, an incredible 538 of his 766 goals came at even-strength.

Playing for his ninth team in Calgary, he recorded just seven points in 22 games and never fit into their structure after missing all of training camp. Though there remains a possibility that he could return for the playoffs, it is more likely that he’ll retire to the Czech league where he actually owns Kladno. Whether he attempts a comeback in the summer after his current contract expires is unclear, but if he’s played his last game he’ll be remembered as one of the best and most interesting players to ever suit up in the NHL.

With the NBA trade deadline passing this week there is still an opportunity for playoff contending teams to make moves. Now obviously there won’t be any more trades made, but teams can still buy out players and they can move to the team of their chose.

Greg Monroe was just signed by the Boston Celtics on Thursday after being bought out by the Phoenix Suns.

The Atlanta Hawks bought out Marco Belinelli while the Chicago Bulls bought out Tony Allen. If it’s not official yet look for the Memphis Grizzlies to buy out Brandon Wright. Now after being traded there are report that both Joe Johnson and Derrick Rose will be bought out by their new teams.

There will probably be more names added to this list as there are some buy out rumors out there. Here are some of the names that could be bought out.

Corey Brewer by the Los Angeles Lakers, Josh McRoberts by the Dallas Mavericks, Another Hawks buy out could be Ersan Ilyasova and there’s a possibility that Vince Carter could be bought out by the Sacramento Kings. All of these players are on one year deals with their current teams, but there are a couple of other players with extra years on their contracts that could also be bought out. Shabazz Muhammad of the Minnesota Timberwolves is a buy out candidate and is signed through next season. The interesting buy out could be Joakim Noah by the New York Knicks. Noah is signed through the 2019-20 season; so there’s some work there to do if he’s going to be bought out.

Now none of these players are going to sign with a new team and lead them to the NBA title, but they could be an intricate piece of a championship team. Was there a name on the above list that you’d like to see your favorite team sign?

Why does it seem that if you’re a 1st round draft pick of the Philadelphia 76ers you have to miss your first season.

It looks like you can add Markelle Fultz to that list that includes Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

On Friday while talking to reporters Philadelphia’s President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo used the word possible when talking about Fultz missing the entire season. Colangelo’s comments don’t necessarily mean that Fultz is likely to sit out the next two months. Still, the latest update doesn’t exactly sound promising.

Reports are that Fultz has had to completely rebuild the muscle memory in his shooting mechanics during his absence. Colangelo did say that Fultz’s current shooting range was “within the paint” before he stopped speaking to reporters.

Fultz is just 19 years old and appeared in just four games this season before being shut down by the 76ers due to a scapular muscle imbalance and soreness in his right shoulder. Fultz averaged 19 minutes a game and was scoring 6 points per game.

As we’ve talked about over and over and even over again there are a ton of unsigned free agents still in baseball and now those players will have a place to work out when spring training starts next week. Any unsigned MLB free agents will have the opportunity to train in Florida at a camp staged by the players union beginning Wednesday at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Now there are some limitations on these players with one of the bigger ones being that they can’t use their own coaches and trainers, but the camp will be run by former Houston Astros manager Bo Porter.

Believe it or not this isn’t the first time that this has happened. After an 8-month work stoppage that cancelled the 1994 World Series there was a free agent “showcase” camp held in Florida in 1995.

You can point fingers at either side on why players haven’t been signed and there was a bit of a heated exchange between MLB Commissioner and Tony Clark the Executive Director of the MLBPA this week about the unsigned players.

Players and their agents might have to find a way to accept that baseball is changing and there might not be as many big money contracts out there. If you go back to the last four World Series winners they where teams that were built through that teams farm system and just added the right free agent at the right time. Now if a team doesn’t feel that they’re at a place where they can win a World Series it’s more likely that they’ll build up their farm system instead of trying to reboot with bi money free agents. Contending teams will still add the big time free agents they think they need to win it all, but the teams that are just on the outside looking I might be past those days of spending big money to not win.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: September 27, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, football, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

To say that Week 3 in the NFL was not good to us and your picks would be an understatement. I guess you can say that myself, Schaumburg Stu and Mr. Fantasy tied for the win in Week 3. Sadly we where all 7-9 while Dan the Man finished at 6-10. Overall Schaumburg Stu is leading at 29-18. Dan the Man and I are one game behind at 28-19 while Mr. Fantasy is at the bottom of the pile at 27-20.

If you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast you’ve heard us joke about us jinxing a team when the four of us agree that they’ll win. We last Sunday we agreed on 11 games. Seven of those 11 teams that we all agreed would win lost. Now through a couple of weeks it can be tough to tell what a teams identity is, but some of the teams that lost where clearly upsets. I’d say if you’re a fan of a certain team the worst thing that could happen to them is for the four of us to agree that they’re going to win a game.

Well Week 4 will get rolling Thursday night with the Green Bay Packers hosting the Chicago Bears. Hopefully will have a better week of picks than we did last week.

I always flip around to the different sports networks to see what their talking about. Now yesterday when I was bouncing around from channel to channel there where a couple of them that had breaking news on their crawler and I was waiting for it. When I final got to see what these couple of networks where trying to pass off as breaking news made me chuckle. Their big huge breaking news was that Dwayne Wade was planning to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers after he clears waivers. How is that breaking news? Now I understand that one of the networks playing this off as breaking news paid way too much money to televise the NBA and they have to play any basketball story up as bigger than it is to justify their own stupidity, but anyone else calling it breaking news just hasn’t been paying attention.

On Sunday Wade agreed to a buyout with the Chicago Bulls after playing just one season with them. Wade played in 60 games last season averaging 18.3 points per game while playing an average of 29.9 minutes per game. Wade shoot 43.4% from the field, but just 31% from behind the 3-point line.

Once Wade was bought out it was pretty clear where he would end up signing and even though there where some other teams mentioned I think everyone knew that Wade would end up in Cleveland with LeBron James. While playing together for the Miami Heat Wade and James won back to back NBA titles in 2012 and 2013. Wade also won an NBA title with Miami in 2006. Wade was the series M.V.P. in 2006.

Wade will be entering his 15 seasons and he didn’t play in back to back games last season. Now there are reports that guard Isaiah Thomas is going to be out until January with a hip injury; so it looks as though the Cavaliers starting back court will be Wade and former M.V.P. Derrick Rose. On their training camp roster the Cavaliers have Jose Calderon, Kay Fedler, J.R. Smith , Iman Shumpert and John Holland to go along with Rose and Wade at the guard position. Even when Thomas returns from injury does this look like a good enough back court to win an NBA title or get into the NBA finals?

When Wade clears waivers and signs with the cavaliers it will be for their veteran’s minimum of $2.3 million dollars. Wade could’ve signed for more money with another team, but it’s clear that he wanted to team back up with James again.

With the NHL season lurking just around the corner it’s time for fantasy players to make sure they’re ready for their upcoming fantasy drafts. There are some quality players that are going to start the season on injured reserve, but should be worth taking a chance in and stashing on your bench until they return.

Ryan Kesler of the Anaheim Ducks had hip surgery and looks to be out until the New Year. Kesler played in all 82 games regular season games for the Ducks in 2016-17. He totaled 58 points on 22 goals and 38 assists. Kesler also played in 17 playoffs games last season scoring 8 points on 1 goal and 7 assists. Keep an eye on Kesler’s status as he could be a good add towards the end of your season.

Travis Zajac of the New Jersey Devils has been an under rated fantasy player and that will really be true this season as it appears he’ll be out four to six more weeks after having pectoral surgery in August. Zajac played in 80 games for New Jersey last season. He totaling 45 points on 14 goals and 31 assists. Depending on your leagues depth Zajac will be a good centerman to bring on when he’s healthy.

Ryan Ellis of the Nashville Predators is recovering from off season knee surgery and it’s being reported that he’s still about three months away from returning. Ellis played in 71 games last season totaling 38 points on 16 goals and 22 assists while be a +17. In 22 playoff games Ellis scored 13 points, 5 goals and 8 assists while being a +4. The Predators look to be a team on the rise; so you’ll have to analyze the situation very carefully to see if there will be minutes for Ellis when he returns from injury.

Anther defenseman on the mend is Andrej Sekera of the Edmonton Oilers. Sekera torn his ACL in the post season and it looks like he’ll miss a minimum of half the season. Sekera played in 80 games last season. He ended up scoring 35 points on 8 goals and 27 assists while posting a +14. Sekera played in 11 post season games. He scored 1 goal and assisted on 2 others for a total of 3 points, but was a -1 for the playoffs. Sekera did have his second best scoring season in 2016-17 and has put up 30 points or more in both of his seasons with Edmonton half a season is a long time to wait. Maybe the timing will be right and Sekera will return just as you’re looking for a guy, but I don’t think it’s worth holding a roster spot for him.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but the podcast is also available any time you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: June 24, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We had back to back drafts to end the week as the NBA held their draft on Thursday night followed by the NHL draft on Friday night. In both cases it was a Chicago team that made some moves no one was expecting either during or right before the draft took place.

The NBA draft went pretty much as expected to start. The Philadelphia 76ers selected Markelle Fultz to get the evening started. The Los Angeles Lakers did end up taking Lonzo Ball and the circus that comes along with him at #2. Then will the Boston Celtics where on the clock there was some trade news. Now there had been rumors that the Celtics where considering moving the 3rd pick and I’m sure everyone just thought that had made that move. Well as it turned out the Celtics took Jayson Tatum with the 3rd pick and the trade was between the Chicago Bulls and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Timberwolves sent the #7 pick in the draft along with guards Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine to the Bulls in return for the 16th pick and Jimmy Butler. Now there has been a lot of talk about the Bulls trading Butler, but after Butler himself had told the Cleveland Cavaliers he wasn’t interested in playing for them it looked like he’d stay with Chicago.

Butler was the 30th pick in the 2011 draft and will be playing for his former coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota. Butler had the best season of his career in 2016-17. He averaged career highs in points (23.9), rebounds (6.2), assists (5.5) and steals (1.9) while also shooting 36.7% from behind the 3-point line. Butler is signed for two more seasons and has a player option for a third in 2019-20.  With the addition of Butler the Timberwolves look like they have a starting five that could compete for a playoff spot in a tough Western Conference.

With the 16th pick the Timberwolves got in the deal they selected Justin Patton a 7″0 foot Center from Creighton. Patton was a redshirt his first year at Creighton; so he only has 35 games of college basketball under his belt. He averaged 12.9 points per game and grabbed 6.2 rebounds per game in that one season. He did have 13 straight double-doubles at one point during the season and was named the Big East Freshman of the Year as well as making the All Big East 2nd team.

As part of the return for Butler the Bulls got LaVine who was the 13th pick in the 2014 draft and was having his best offensive season last year until it was cut short when he torn the ACL in his left knee in February. LaVine has mostly been known for his dunks. He’s a two time dunk contest winner and has even posted some of his dunks on YouTube. Last season in 47 games LaVine posted his best points per game average in his career at 18.9. LaVine also posted his highest minutes per game average at 37.2 per game and shot his best percentage from the floor at 45.9%. LaVine has played both point guard and shooting guard in his career.

The Bulls also received point guard Kris Dunn in the deal. Dunn was someone the Bulls where interested in selecting in the 2016 draft, but the Timberwolves used the #5 pick on him. Dunn played just a little over 17 minutes a game as a rookie, but Tom Thibodeau has never really given rookies lots of minutes, Dunn did appear in 78 games; averaging 3.8 points per game while handing out 2.4 assists per game.

With the 7th pick that Chicago got in the deal they selected Lauri Markkanen. Markkanen is 20 years old from Vantaa Finland, but played last season at the University of Arizona. Markkanen is 7″0 feet tall and shoots the 3 like the new NBA style dictates. He made 42.3% of his 3-point attempts last season. He averaged 15.6 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game in his one season at Arizona, but he was a first team all Pac-12 selection, as well as first team all Pac-12 Freshman team and first team all Pac-12 team.

Just looking at the trade it appears as though the Timberwolves got the better of it at the start. Butler is a multiple time All-Star and a very good two way NBA player. Of course if LaVine recovers from his injury and Dunn is the type of player who deserved to be draft at #5 things could even out down the line.

Before the NHL draft Friday night the Chicago Blackhawks made a couple of trades that probably surprised their fans a little.

The first deal saw the Blackhawks send defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes for two defenseman Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin.

Now Hjalmarsson isn’t a high scoring defenseman; he had 5 goals and 13 assists in 73 games last season. What he does do is some of the things that teams need that don’t show up on the stat sheet. Hjalmarsson averaged 21.30 minutes of ice time last season and was 6th in the NHL in blocked shots with 181.

Heading to Chicago in the deal is Connor Murphy who scored 2 goals and had 15 assists in 77 games last season for Arizona. The Blackhawks also get Laurent Dauphin who scored 2 goals and had 1 assist in 24 games last season.

The Blackhawks weren’t done dealing though as they sent Artemi Panarin, Tyler Motte and a 2017 6th round pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Brandon Saad, Anton Forsberg and a 2018 5th round pick.

Panarin had been with the Blackhawks two seasons after spending nine seasons in the KHL. Panarin won the Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year) scoring 30 goals and 47 assists his first season in the NHL. Last season Panarin scored 31 goals and had 43 assists; that what made it a bit of a surprise that the Blackhawks dealt him.

Tyler Motte played in 33 games last season scoring 4 goals and picking up 3 assists. Motte was the 121st selection of the 2013 draft.

Saad spent the first three seasons of his NHL career with the Blackhawks before they traded him to Columbus. Saad scored 53 points each of his season with the Blue Jackets. Last season Saad had 24 goals and 29 assists. Saad also made his first All-Star team while with Columbus.

The Blackhawks seem to be looking for a back up goaltender since Scott Darling was traded at the start of the off season. Will Anton Forsebrg be that guy? Forsberg played just 1 game for the Blue Jackets last season as he spent the season playing for the Cleveland Monsters in the AHL. Forsberg played 51 games and posted a 27-17-6 record with a Goals Against Average of 2.28. Forsberg has just 10 games of NHL experience.

What do you think of these trades the Chicago teams made before or during their drafts? Please let me know in the comments section.

Don’t forget that you can listen to Sports Time Radio live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but you can also find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 21, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The NBA draft is Thursday night and there’s been a lot of trade talk and even a couple of deals as we get close to draft night.

The dealing started officially on Monday when the trade between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers was finalized. Boston sent the #1 overall pick in the draft to Philadelphia for the #3 pick and a conditional 1st round pick in 2018 or 2019.

Then yesterday we had a couple of trades. The first one reported was the Los Angeles Lakers sending D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the #27 pick in Thursday’s draft. Then a little later in the day the Atlanta Hawks sent Dwight Howard and the 31st pick in the draft to the Charlotte Hornets for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli and the 41st pick in the draft.

It will be interesting to see if we get anymore trades before the draft as there are a ton of rumors out there. There’s been a lot of talk about the Indiana Pacers trying to find a trading partner for Paul George. It would appear as though the best spot to deal George would be the Lakers since he’s said that he would like to sign there after his contract is up. George is signed through next season. Jimmy Butler’s name seems to have been in trade rumors since the trade deadline last season; so it’s no surprise at all that he’s still being talked about. Reports where that the Cleveland Cavaliers where very interested in acquiring Butler, but this morning he told the Cavaliers that he’d rather stay with the Chicago Bulls than play for Cleveland. I was a little bit surprised to find out that the Los Angeles Clippers have actually looked at the possibility of dealing All-Star center DeAndre Jordan. Now the Clippers are in an interesting spot since both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are free agents. Now imagine if Paul and Griffin where to sign elsewhere it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for the Clippers to hang onto Jordan; so in a way I guess it makes sense for them to look at the trade value of Jordan. Don’t forget that the New York Knicks still have Carmelo Anthony on the roster, but the name of Kristaps Porzingis has come out in trade rumors as well. There was rumors of a swap between the Knicks and the Phoenix Suns where the Suns would get Porzingis for Devin Booker. There is also talk that the Celtics would like to make a deal for Porzingis, but it appears as though the Knicks would rather find another trade partner. Will any of these players actually get traded? Or was it just pre-draft talk by teams to draw some interest. I guess will find out soon.

Baseball is an ever changing game and you can never really tell what you’re going to get out of team almost from game to game. Now there where a lot of people on the New York Yankees bandwagon and where talking about them being front runners to win the World Series. Then they went on a 7-game west coast road trip. They dropped 2 of 3 games to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and where then swept on a 4 game series by the Oakland A’s. It was a 1-6 road trip for the Yankees and they lost the last 6 in a row. They returned home to face the Angels last night and their luck hadn’t changed yet as they where beaten 8-3 by Los Angeles. Of course there’s no reason to stop supporting the Yankees as they are still 8 games over .500 at 38-30 and even after dropping 7 games in a row they are jus 1/2 a game out of 1st place in the A.L. East. They’ll have a chance to end the losing streak tonight against the Angels. Jordan Montgomery makes the start for the Yankees tonight. Montgomery is 4-4 in 12 starts with an E.R.A. of 3.78. The Angels will send Ricky Nolasco to try to extend the Yankees losing streak. Nolasco is 2-8 in 14 starts with an E.R.A. of 5.01. Will see if the media can hold their horses a little bit the next time the Yankees go on a run, but I think we all know they won’t.

In sad news for the Chicago Blackhawks and the NHL in general this morning as it was announced that winger Marion Hossa is expected to miss the entire 2017-18 season as he receives treatment for a skin disorder. Hossa released a statement earlier saying “Over the course of the last few years, under the supervision of the Blackhawks medical staff, I have been privately undergoing treatment for a progressive skin disorder and the side effects of the medications involved to treat the disorder,” Hossa said Wednesday morning. “Due to the severe side effects associated with those medications, playing hockey is not possible for me during the upcoming 2017-18 season. While I am disappointed that I will not be able to play, I have to consider the severity of my condition and how the treatments have impacted my life both on and off the ice.” There was a report Tuesday that Hossa’s career could be over because of a severe allergic reaction caused by his hockey equipment.
Hossa scored 26 goals last season, his 19th in the league. He is due to be paid $1 million for each of the four years remaining on the 12-year, $63.3 million deal he signed in 2009. His deal carries a cap hit of $5.275 million, however. If Hossa were to retire, the Blackhawks would be hit with a cap recapture penalty. If Hossa goes on long-term injured reserve; even for the remainder of his contract the Blackhawks, who consistently have cap issues, would get some salary cap relief.

Hossa will almost certainly be elected to the Hall of Fame. He has 525 goals, is a five-time All-Star and helped lead the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup titles. He’s known as one of the best two way forwards of his generation.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that you can listen to the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget that you can find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 31, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The Stanley Cup finals started on Monday as the Pittsburgh Penguins hosted the Nashville Predators in game 1. This was the first time in team history that Nashville has been to a Stanley Cup finals and you have to wonder if maybe there was some nerves early on. Pittsburgh jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the 1st period. Evgeni Malkin got the first goal for the Penguins. Connor Sheary scored Pittsburgh’s second goal while Nick Bonino added the third goal. Sidney Crosby assisted on two of the three goals.

With a 3-0 lead heading into the 2nd period it looked as though the Penguins would cruise to an easy victory. The Predators and the game really settled down in the 2nd period. Ryan Ellis scored the only goal of the period for Nashville to make it a 3-1 game. P.K. Subban and Mike Fischer assisted on the goal.

Nashville had been playing as good if not better than every other team in this years playoffs, but you have to wonder if they had out themselves in to big of a whole against a top offensive team like Pittsburgh.

The Predators made it a one goal game when Colton Sissons scored on the power play. Then Nashville evened things up at 3-3 when Fredrick Gaudreau scored. It was a tie game for a little over three minutes before Jake Guentzel score for the Penguins to make it 4-3. Nick Bonino scored his second goal of the game into an empty net to  seal a Game 1 5-3 win for the Penguins.

A game that started off looking like a blow out turn out to be a very close contest. The offensive minded Penguins managed just 12 shots on Pekka Rinne in the game. Even though they picked up the win you have to think that the Penguins will have to find a way to generate more scoring chances as the series moves forward. Now Nashville did get 26 shots on Matt Murray; so they have to be happy with the shot total they had. You look back at the game and you have to wonder if the Predators had just gotten off to a better start things may have been different.

Game 2 is tonight in Pittsburgh. I don’t think you can say this is any type of must win for Nashville. I’m sure they’d love to get a win on the road, but even if they go down 2 games they’re headed back home for Game 3 on Saturday night and then Game 4 on Monday night. To win the Stanley Cup Nashville will have to win a game in Pittsburgh; so maybe Game 2 could be that game. Will find out tonight.

Now the Washington Capitals where the best team during the NHL regular season, but where eliminated from the playoffs by the Penguins in the 2nd round. That of course has brought up some questions about a team that has won the President’s trophy in back to back seasons.

Would the Capitals make changes? Washington’s General Manager Brian MacLellan address what the team would be looking to do this off season on Tuesday. MacLellan explained that he’d look to “tweak and retool on the fly rather than overhauling the roster”.

There have been some rumors that the Capitals may look to trade Alexander Ovechkin or All-Star center Nicholas Backstrom. Neither of those deals look to be happening. The Capitals aren’t even looking to make a coaching change. Barry Trotz will be back behind the Washington bench at the start of next season. 2017-18 is the last year of Trotz’s contract; so maybe we’ll see a coaching change after that.

Now there are some big decisions that Washington will have to make this off season. Wingers T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams along with defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and Karl Alzner are unrestricted free agents. The Capitals also have four of their young players Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, Andre Burakovsky and Nate Schmidt as restricted free agents. The restricted free agents usually take priority and all four of those will be looking for raises. Since the NHL’s salary ca[ isn’t expected to move much from the $73 million dollar figure that it’s at Washington might be making some changes by default. The Capitals will have to figure out who stays and who goes as well as the possibility of losing a player to the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft.

Will the Capitals bring enough players back to win the President’s trophy for a third season in a row? Or better yet will they find some success in the playoffs for the first time with Alex Ovechkin.

Albert Pujols should make the baseball Hall of Fame the first year his name is on the ballot. Pujols was the best player in baseball when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals and while he hasn’t quite been the same player since signing with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Pujols is on the brink of hitting his 600th career home run. Pujols hit home run #599 in the Angels 9-3 win over the Atlanta Braves last night. You have to figure #600 won’t be far behind. Remember just three year ago to get to the 500 home run mark Pujols hit #499 and #500 in the same game in Washington. While that didn’t happen last night; he does just need one more home run to get to that 600 total. When Pujols hits that 600th home run he’ll be the 9th player in baseball history to reach that total. Now remember Pujols is signed through the year 2022 with the Angels; so there’s a chance if he stays healthy that he’ll actually get to the 700 home run plateau. If he did get tp that 700 number Pujols would be just one of four players to reach that number.

While Pujols might not be the player he use to be he still has a resume that should get him easily into Cooperstown. Pujols was Rookie of the Year in 2001. He’s won three M.V.P. awards 2005, 2008 and 2009. He’s also finished 2nd in the M.V.P. voting four times and 3rd once. Pujols is a 10-time All-Star, has won 2 Gold Gloves and 6 Silver Slugger awards. He’s also a .308 career hitter who won the N.L. batting title in 2003.

Do that look Hall of Fame worthy to you?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget that I’m on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: May 27, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

With the Major League Baseball season not even 50 games old can you really look at the National League East and wonder if there’s another team in the division that’s going to challenge the Washington Nationals for the division title. The Nationals are the only team over .500 in the N.L. East at 29-18 and have a 7 1/2 game lead over the 2nd place Atlanta Braves. Now if I had to guess I’d say that most people picked the Nationals to win the division before the season started, but did anyone think they’d make it look this easy.

Now there where people who liked the New York Mets to challenge the Nationals at the top of the division and even contend for a wild card spot. Well the Mets have had more injuries to their top players than any other team in baseball. They’re without starting pitchers Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard. Add pitchers Seth Lugo, Tommy Milone and closer Jeurys Familia to the injury list. Don’t forget that Yoenis Cespedes hasn’t played since April 27th. Brandon Nimmo is also part of the injury list and David Wright hasn’t played a game this season and may not play one in 2017. Not to mention the Matt Harvey drama a few weeks back where he ended up getting suspended for three games. The Mets are currently 20-26 and in 3rd place in the division, but it doesn’t look like their year.

Now the Braves are in 2nd place at 21-25, but I don’t think anyone sees them as a contender just yet. The plan all along for the Braves was to be ready to contend by the time their new ballpark opened. Atlanta isn’t quite there yet, but they added some veterans in the off season to help them out. Sean Rodriguez was signed as a free agent, but was injured in and automobile accident before the season started and may miss all of 2017. The Braves ended up making a trade for Brandon Phillips to play 2nd base. The Braves also have some young pitching prospects who aren’t quite ready for the majors. So instead for forcing these young pitchers into the majors they signed Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey as free agent s and the traded for Jaime Garcia to hold down the rotation until their young pitchers are ready. Now while the Braves maybe improved from last season I don’t think they’ll be challenging the Nationals for 1st place.

The Miami Marlins are currently in 4th place in the N.L. East with a record of 17-29, but are 11 1/2 games out of 1st place. I don’t think anyone believed that Miami would contend this season as they had to find a way to replace staff ace Jose Fernandez. The Marlins brought in veteran starters Dan Straily and Edison Volquez to help out. Straily has been solid in his 10 starts so far going 3-3 with an E.R.A. of 3.83. Volquez however has really struggled going 0-7 in his 9 starts with an E.R.A. of 4.85. Wei-Yin Chen who was brought in a couple of seasons ago as a free agent to help the rotation has battled injuries all season and has made just 5 starts. Chen is 2-1 with a 4.33 E.R.A over 27 innings in 2017. I don’t think the Marlins will be making a run at the Nationals.

Now there where some people who thought that the Philadelphia Phillies could be the surprise team of the N.L. East, but they’re off to a 16-30 start and our in last place 12 1/2 games out of 1st place. Now the Phillies are still in rebuild mode, but the fact that Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco are off to terrible starts. Herrera is hitting .227 while Franco is hitting .215.Jeremy Hellickson was brought back to help anchor a young staff and while he has a good record at 5-2 his E.R.A. is high at 4.28. Hellickson actually has the lowest E.R.A. of all the Phillies starters; so giving up runs is an issue for this young staff. While some people thought that Philadelphia could play .500 baseball this season, they’re going to have their work cut out for them to get back to that point and they won’t be pushing Washington at the top of the division.

Now the Houston Astros actually have a bigger division lead in the American League West at 9 games than the Nationals do, but it looks as though there are teams in the A.L. West that could get back into the division race and even though they might not end up challenging the Astros for 1st place they’ll at least have a winning record. After looking at the teams in the N.L. East do one of them look like they’ll get on a run and get themselves back into the pennant race?

The Stanley Cup finals starts on Monday as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Nashville Predators in Game 1. While Nashville was the 2nd wild card in the Western Conference and the last team to qualify for the playoffs they’ve been playing better than any other team in the playoffs. The Penguins scored 111 regular season points; second only to the Washington Capitals who the Penguins beat in the 2nd round of the playoffs. Now Nashville is looking to win the Stanley Cup for the first time in the teams history. The Penguins are looking to be the first team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998 to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.

These two teams split their two games against each other this season, with each one winning game. The Predators beat the Penguins 5-1 on October 22nd and the Penguins evened things up with a 4-2 victory on January 31st.

Now both teams are battling injuries coming into this series. Nashville is hoping that center Mike Fischer will be able to be ready for the start of the Cup finals. Fischer has been out since Game 4 of the Western Conference finals when he went took a knee to the head from Anaheim’s Josh Manson. The Predators will also be without forward Kevin Fiala who broke his femur in the 2nd round and is done for the playoffs. It appears as though the Penguins will have to play another series without their best defenseman Kris Letang. Letang has a neck injury and hasn’t played a playoff series for Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh defenseman Justin Schultz is playing through an upper-body injury and should be good to go for Game 1, but it’s uncertain if defenseman Chad Ruhwedel who is recovering from a concussion will be available.

Heading into the finals you have to think that the Predators hold the advantage in goal even against a strong Pittsburgh offense. Pekka Rinne has played all 16 games and is leading all goalies who have started more than five games this postseason with a .941 save percentage. The Penguins have used a combination of Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray in goal. Fleury stepped in for Murray after the latter was injured in warm ups before the first game of the playoffs and carried the Penguins at times; especially against the Capitals in the conference semifinals. Since regaining his starting job in Game 4 of the conference finals, Murray has been outstanding for the Penguins, posting a .946 save percentage in four starts.

On the Friday edition of Sports Time Radio Dan the Man picked the Predators to win this series. Now him and I have a bet; so I have the Penguins to win. The loser of the bet has to buy the winner a t-shirt with the players names listed on the back if there team wins. Dan went with the Penguins last season and as you know won that bet. Can Dan go back to back?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 24, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Matt Harvey of the New York Mets made his first start at home since his suspension last night. Harvey worked a clean 1st inning getting a strikeout, a pop to shortstop and a fly out to leftfield. Then Harvey’s Mets teammates went out and put up seven runs in the bottom of the 1st inning which hopefully helped him relax. Harvey pitched 5 innings giving up 2 runs on 3 hits while walking 4 and striking out 6. Harvey did pick up the win to even his 2017 record at 3-3. Harvey threw 103 pitches in this his 9th start of the season. The win was Harvey’s first since April 11th, but he hasn’t pitched more than 5 1/3rd innings in his last 5 starts.

Now this is Harvey’s 5th major league season. He’s made 91 career starts and has a record of 32-31 with an E.R.A. of 3.16. Now remember just a couple of seasons ago Harvey was going to lead the Mets pitching staff to regular playoff appearance. The Mets did make it to the World Series losing to the Kansas City Royals in 2015. Now the talk has turned to is it time for the Mets to try and trade Harvey.

Harvey is just 28 years old and you have to wonder what the market would be for a pitcher who has been injured and struggled like Harvey has the last two seasons. Harvey made just 17 starts in 2016 and was 4-10 with an E.R.A. of 4.86. Would a contender be interested in maybe adding a pitcher like Harvey to the back of their rotation? and would a change of scenery do him good? It’s still a little too early for teams to jump into the trade market; so the Mets should have some more starts to evaluate Harvey and decide if he could be a trade candidate. Of course with the injuries the Mets are dealing with in their starting rotation they might need to hang on to Harvey just for the innings.

Jacob DeGrom and Harvey have made 9 starts for the Mets while Zack Wheeler who missed two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery has made 8 starts. Robert Gsellman has made 7 starts, Noah Syndergaard has made 5 starts while Tommy Milone has made 3 starts. The Mets also got single starts from Adam Wilk and Rafael Montero. Steven Matz has not made a start this season for the Mets do to injury. Matz was schedule to make a rehab start yesterday and if all things went well could be activated from the disabled list to make a start this weekend. Syndergaard is on the 60-day disabled list and isn’t expected to return until after the All-Star break.

Could these injuries to the starting staff lessen the chance that the Mets would trade Harvey or do you think there’s a chance that Harvey is wearing a different uniform this season?

Now everyone likes to talk about prospects in baseball and it can be integral to your fantasy baseball success. So in case you didn’t hear the Boston Red Sox are calling up their top prospects 1st baseman Sam Travis. Travis is 23 years old, but was having a great start to his Triple-A season at Pawtucket. Travis is coming back from a knee injury that limited him to just 47 games in 2016. In 33 games at Pawtucket Travis is hitting. 286 with 4 home runs and 14 RBI’s Travis’ OPS is .805 and he has 9 doubles. Travis recently was rated as the Red Sox’s 4th best prospect and the #98 prospect in baseball by ESPN’s Keith Law.

It will be interesting to see how the Red Sox handle Travis’ playing time. Travis has been exclusively a first baseman throughout his minor league career, but the Red Sox have gotten good production out of their current 1st baseman Mitch Moreland. Moreland is leading the American League in doubles with 16 and has hit 5 home runs while driving in 23 runs. Moreland was signed to a 1 year $5 million dollar deal this past off season. Now the original plan for Moreland was for him to play 1st base against right handed pitching and then move Hanley Ramirez to 1st base against left handed pitching, but Ramirez has played only three innings at first base because of soreness in his right shoulder.

With Travis being called up you’d have to think that the Red Sox would want him to get regular at bats, but who loses the at bats Moreland or Ramirez? Moreland can play the corner outfield spots; so he might be able to get some at bats there, but Ramirez is limited to just 1st base or DH. If Ramirez’s shoulder is still an issue maybe he’s headed for the disabled list, but will have to wait and see how the Red Sox handle who gets the at bats.

The Ottawa Senators picked up a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals to force a Game 7 on Thursday night.

After a scoreless 1st period the Penguins got the first goal of the game at 4:51 of the 2nd period when Ian Cole and Scott Wilson assisted on Evgeni Malkin’s goal. At 13:15 of the 2nd period the Senators got even on a 5 on 3 power play as Bobby Ryan scored to tie the game at 1-1. Ryan was assisted by Erik Karlsson and Kyle Turris. The Senators went to the lead early in the 3rd period when Mike Hoffman scored at 1:34 of the period to give the Senators a 2-1 lead. Fredrik Claesson and Clarke MacArthur assisted on what turned out to be Hoffman’s game winning goal.

Craig Anderson had struggled in goal the last couple of games for the Senators including being pulled from the net after giving up 4 1st period goals in Game 5. Anderson looked like a completely different goaltender in Game 6 as he stopped 45 of the 46 Pittsburgh shots he faced. Matt Murray got the start in goal for the Penguins again and played well. Murray stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced.

Pittsburgh will host Game 7 tomorrow night as the Nashville Predators sit and wait for the winner of this series. The Predators eliminated the Anaheim Ducks in six games in the Western Conference finals. Nashville won Game 6 by a 6-3 score and took the series four games to two.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget I’m on Twitter @Burketime