Ebs’ Hot Takes: Yankees Bullpen, Philadelphia 76ers, Chicago Cubs, Jacoby Ellsbury

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PNC FIELD, MOOSIC, PA – As I sit here watching Jacoby Ellsbury’s rehab assignment continue, I gave some serious thought on what I should write about today.

It’s the quietest part of the year for sports. There’s baseball, and that’s it. But, I think I have a few topics to discuss.

Here’s the latest batch of Ebs’ Hot Takes.

Enjoy!

The Philadelphia 76ers are playoff-bound. Now I think I said this sometime before the All-Star Break this past season, and then Joel Embiid got hurt. I still fully believe they would have made it if the young center stayed healthy.

But here’s the deal, the 76ers are basically getting two No. 1 picks this year, in Markelle Fultz and a healthy Ben Simmons. I am in no way saying that Philadelphia’s going to contend for the crown or a top-3 seed in the East, for that matter, but look at the teams that made the playoffs last year. Milwaukee, Indiana and Chicago all made the playoffs at .500 or just two games over.

Can the FEDS do that? Yes.

The New York Yankees need to make a move. Now before you start scrolling right down to the comments section to read me the riot act, I’m not talking about a trade for Lucas Duda, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer or anyone like that. The New York Yankees need bullpen help, and they’re not going to get it from Triple-A.

They don’t need to trade some of their top prospects to go out and get a David Robertson or a player of that caliber because they don’t need a closer. The move is simple. Francisco Rodriguez was recently designated for assignment. Pick him up off waivers or call the Detroit Tigers up and trade for him. It would cost almost nothing.

While K-Rod struggled this season, he was still striking out batters at a satisfactory rate. He wouldn’t be the closer or even the setup man. Rodriguez could definitely handle the seventh-inning job.

To be honest, though, they should have never let Ernesto Frieri opt out of his contract. He’d be with the Yankees right now.

It’s also extremely interesting that the Yankees are 2-10 since losing C.C. Sabathia. A lot of people like to kill Sabathia, but he’s been really good this season and is a clubhouse leader.

Photo by Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs are overrated. There, I said it.

Don’t get me wrong, last year’s World Series title was an awesome story. I met some of Joe Maddon’s family in the process, and even watched Game 7 with a lot of his childhood friends, but this team is different.

Aroldis Chapman is gone. Jake Arrieta’s not the same. Kyle Schwarber and Ben Zobrist have been extremely underwhelming. Heck, even Kris Bryant and Anthony Russo have been disappointments. The rotation is lackluster.

The Cubs are lucky that the rest of the NL Central is playing poorly. They’ll have a shot to win the division, and will likely do so, but the National League is owned by the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals right now.

Jacoby Ellsbury is ready. Things got worse for the Yankees on Sunday.

Not only did they lose again, but outfielder Aaron Hicks left early with an oblique injury. He said after the game that he’d be going on the DL and will likely miss 3-4 weeks.

Good thing Ellsbury looks ready to be activated. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Ellsbury could be an option come Monday.

While Ellsbury wouldn’t exactly say he was ready to re-join the big leagues after Sunday’s, he played like it. He was was 3 for 8 with two doubles, a run scored, a stolen base and 2 RBI in two games with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

“We’ll see. I’ll talk to them shortly, just to let them know everything went well and we’ll go from there,” Ellsbury said after game. “I’ll tell them I felt good today and I’ll let them decide.”

Come back tomorrow for Ben Whitney and please follow us on Twitter at @ByDJEberle, @MeetTheMatts & @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.

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DJ Eberle: The youngest of our team, DJ is also the largest. Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native used OT for Western New England University – until he graduated in May of 2014. Like Junoir Blaber, he’s a regular on Rugby Wrap Up – his dad played rugby with The Matts. His cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. As for baseball and basketball, it’s the Yanks and Atlanta Hawks. Follow him on Twitter: @ByDJEberle.

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