Connect with us


‘Sophomore swagger’ helped Gunnar Henderson dominate Double-A. The majors could be next. – Denver Post

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



'Sophomore Swagger' Helped Gunnar Henderson Dominate Double-A. The Majors Could Be Next. – Denver Post
google news

When the Orioles brought their top prospect to the majors, it wasn’t the first time they promoted Gunnar Henderson in a playoff push.

Last year, Henderson joined Double-A Bowie for the final week of the year to wrap up his first full season in professional baseball. He had his struggles, hitting in half of his plate appearances between the regular season and the playoffs, but homering in one playoff game. The latter hinted at what was to come. Henderson learned from the experience and dominated his 2022 Double-A comeback, beginning a rise that reached Baltimore to help the Orioles’ surprise playoff bid.

“Even though it was a year ago, you look at him physically and you see he looks like a man now,” said Orioles co-hitter coach Ryan Fuller, who was the batting coach of Bowie last season. “He looks like he belongs in the major leagues, where last year you said, ‘OK, maybe he needs another year in Triple-A. But seeing his development in less than a year is so impressive, and the confidence he has coming here, you kind of forget he’s only been here a few weeks right now.

Henderson’s turnaround at Double-A shows the benefits this time in the majors, even if Baltimore’s playoff chances dwindle, will have for him in 2023, when he’ll have a month of big league experience under his belt. .

At 20, Henderson hit .312 with an OPS of 1.025 back with Bowie this spring to earn promotion to Triple-A Norfolk. He attributed the success to his confidence in his ability to handle the level after already seeing him the previous year. Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Elias said he believes this type of experience can benefit a player.

“I’m a big proponent of tasting a bit of a level, getting your nose kicked, and then coming home for the winter and working out the things you would need to do to get back to that level, and then going back and repeating it and having a bit of what I would call, like, a sophomore swagger for you,” Elias said. “I think that’s an example, and he basically proved he shouldn’t be in Double-A with his play there this year.”

At a new branch, Henderson posted a .288 batting average with a .894 OPS with Norfolk. There he turned 21, hit for the cycle, played in the MLB All-Star Futures Game and became the game’s No. 1 prospect before a promotion to Baltimore, where he had his second batting career. . He’s hitting .293/.356/.439 in the majors and had a game-winning hit in one of the Orioles’ two wins this week.

” This experience [at Bowie] helped me a lot, being able to get into a push in the playoffs, especially the pro ball,” Henderson said. “It was my first experience in this area, and being able to do this and come here and get a sense of the mindset you need to be in and how to help the team to winning in any situation, I feel like that was a really big help.

Fuller noted how Henderson’s left-handed swing had become more fluid. They first worked together at the Orioles’ alternate training site after the pandemic canceled the 2020 minor league season, which was supposed to be Henderson’s first full campaign in pro ball after being the No. 2 pick. Baltimore round in 2019. At the alternate venue — also in Bowie — Henderson was a teenager pitted against the organization’s top pitching prospects and guns shuttling between camp and majors. Challenged as the youngest player there, he settled in and showed his potential.

Fuller described Henderson’s hand movement early in his career as “insistent”, but he was able to clean that up to produce a swing that stabilizes and stays in the strike zone, allowing Henderson to drive balls the other way even if he is late and shoots effectively if he is ahead.

“I’m just impressed, number one, how athletic he is,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “For that size, having that speed, that arm strength, the way his feet work, like, it’s all really impressive, and the speed of the bat was different from what I’ve seen in the past, the strength and the speed of the bat, the way he can really cover and just put really good swings out there. It feels like when he’s up there he has a chance to do some damage.

Adley Rutschman, who preceded Henderson not only in the 2019 draft but also as the Orioles’ and baseball’s top prospect, quickly impressed Hyde with his hitting quality, and Hyde said Henderson did the same. His looks at Henderson have come sparingly, largely at mini-camps and the occasional spring training game, but watching him daily for the past two weeks, Hyde has seen a similar approach, the same as Henderson showed in the minors.

“Honestly, you never know how that translates to the big leagues,” Hyde said. “Sometimes the moment can get a little too big for young players. They try to do a bit too much, and he’s very, very consistent, honestly. He puts good swings on strikes. He takes tight positions.

“For them who go through this [playoff atmosphere] this year, it’s going to be huge for them in the future. It will be fun to watch them grow.

Fuller can understand that this is his first year as a major league batting coach and he feels he’s learned a lot throughout the season. He thinks Henderson will have a lot to gain this month.

“Every day you learn how things are done, you gain confidence,” Fuller said. “When you look at Nathan Eovaldi, Rich Hill, all those pitchers that you watch on TV when you were young, and now you’re competing against them – to know that you’re competing against them and you belong here, I think May it fuel confidence day in and day out. Even if you don’t succeed through them, it’s a learning and teaching tool for next year when you face them again. We’re really excited about Gunnar’s development .

What’s coming?

Last July, the Washington Nationals traveled to Camden Yards and were swept away by an Orioles team that eventually reached 110 losses, sparking a rebuild that had led to the trades of franchise cornerstones Max Scherzer, Trea Turner and Juan Soto. With the Orioles’ playoff hopes, the National League’s worst team can somewhat reciprocate. The teams’ two-game series that begins Tuesday represents one of Baltimore’s two remaining series against a team outside of the American League East and playoffs.

Even if the Orioles aren’t able to capitalize on their opportunity against the Nationals, they can make up for it over the weekend during their three-game visit to Toronto, where they will face a Blue Jays team they are trailing. by 5 1 /2 games for a joker place.

What was good?

Rutschman’s impact on both sides of the ball continues to be undeniable. At home plate, he cut .292/.370/542, the only regular Orioles to post an OPS above .762 for the week. Behind the plate, his absence was noticed, as often. In losing six of its last eight games, Baltimore went 0-for-3 when Rutschman didn’t start at receiver.

On the year, the Orioles are 42-26 with Rutschman as the starting catcher, which equates to a 100-game winning streak in a 162-game season. When not squatting for the first pitch of the game, Baltimore is 31-41 overall and 15-17 when considering only the games he has played on the roster.

What was not?

For the first time in a long time, there are plenty of options to choose from here, with an anemic attack, short starts after the rotation’s best streak of the year, Félix Bautista’s arm fatigue and a searing loss to 17-4 against Boston among them. But it all culminates in a homestand that represented an opportunity to make a push in the wildcard race, but instead widened the gap between the Orioles and the AL’s additional three playoff berths.

After winning the first two games against worst-case AL Oakland, Baltimore lost four ground games in the wildcard standings, largely losing three of four games to Toronto.

“Until they say we can’t do it, it doesn’t matter if we win, then yeah,” outfielder Cedric Mullins said of his belief the team can make the playoffs.

The Orioles can technically catch the Blue Jays with their six head-to-head matchups, but every loss to them or otherwise worsens their already weak odds.

At the farm

Top pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez made two starts this week for Bowie as he continued to develop in his return from a Grade 2 pulled rectus muscle. He threw 40 pitches in two innings Tuesday, up from nine since his first start with High-A Aberdeen, and rose to 56 while striking out seven in 2 2/3 innings on Sunday. On a five-day run, Rodriguez’s next start is set for Friday, although it’s unclear whether he’ll pitch for Bowie again or finally join Norfolk.

He’s on track to make three more starts before the Triple-A season ends, and at his current rate, that could be enough to stretch for at least 90 pitches. The Orioles could then decide to give him another start in the major league regular season, either to help the playoff push or to give him a taste of continuing next year.


denverpost sports

google news


Vikings bring back linebacker Ryan Connelly on practice squad

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



Vikings Bring Back Linebacker Ryan Connelly On Practice Squad
google news

It was an eventful week for Ryan Connelly.

The Vikings on Thursday signed the linebacker to the practice squad. That came after Connelly, an Eden Prairie native, was activated off the physical unable to perform list Tuesday and then waived Wednesday. He rejoined the Vikings immediately after clearing waivers.

Connelly, in his fourth NFL season, first joined the Vikings in 2020 after being waived by the New York Giants. He got into 14 games in 2020 and 12 in 2021 for Minnesota before suffering a torn ACL last December.

google news
Continue Reading


Youth is served: Heat’s Nikola Jovic still awaiting his . . . high school final exam

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



Youth Is Served: Heat’s Nikola Jovic Still Awaiting His . . . High School Final Exam
google news

Nikola Jovic had the Miami Heat locker room abuzz after Thursday night’s 109-80 exhibition victory over the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center, and for more than the first-round pick out of Serbia closing with 10 rebounds and five assists.

Instead, it was the reaction to what coach Erik Spoelstra had revealed moments earlier about the skilled 6-foot-10 19-year-old.

“He’s extremely unique,” Spoelstra said, before turning his attention to Friday night’s exhibition against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. “And he’s so young. To put it in perspective, he’s still waiting to do his final exam to graduate from high school, and doing that over Zoom.”

Wait? What?

That essentially was the reaction from teammates, once Spoelstra’s revelation circulated.

Backup center Dewayne Dedmon was taken aback, with the 33-year-old big man incredulous about a teammate young enough to have yet to complete high school.

Jovic: “I was supposed to finish it this summer.”

Dedmon: “Supposed to?”

Jovic: “I’m finishing.”

Dedmon: “So you not even graduated high school?”

Jovic: “I’m finishing it right now.”

Dedmon: “And you in the NBA?”

Jovic: “Yeah.”

Dedmon: “You know you can’t go from high school to the pros?”

Jovic: “You can do it from Europe.”

Dedmon: “Apparently.”

With that, head shaking, Dedmon headed for the team bus, leaving his Serbian teammate to explain.

“They were doing it when I was doing the draft workouts,” he said of his high-school finals while he was working in Miami ahead of the June draft, “so I didn’t have time, especially because of the time difference.”

There will, Jovic said, be a diploma.

“It’s not that hard,” he said of his lone remaining test. “I need to take it. I don’t have time to take it right now.”

But he has reason to make sure it is completed sooner rather than later.

“My mom,” he said, “she wants me to finish school.”

While the NBA draft rule is written with high school in mind, it actually requires a player to be at least 19 in his draft year. Jovic was born June 9, 2003.

“As soon as I get some time, I’ll do it,” he said, having been in Miami since August preparing for his inaugural NBA season after playing professionally in Europe, “as soon as I get in contact with my teachers and stuff. Like I said, the time difference.”

And there will be more.

“I”m really glad I’m finishing it now,” he said. “I’m looking forward to doing something else after this, some college or something.”

All of which made his comments about his first NBA road game all the more fascinating.

“In high school, I used to go home and watch some of those guys on TV or on YouTube,” he said, “and to play against them is different.”

As in this year in high school.

To Spoelstra, it is a whole new world with the lithe 205-pound No. 27 pick.

“We’ve had a lot of different developmental projects over the years,” he said. “He’s a little bit of a unique one. We haven’t had a European so young. But his skill set is unique. Because of his size, he’s really just starting his weight lifting program with us for the last six weeks. So we won’t even see the benefit of that until next summer.

“But his ability to handle, to shoot, to put the ball on the floor, he’s a really good passer. That’s probably, at this point, his best skill. And he’s developing all the rest of it.”


google news
Continue Reading


N.D. man pleads guilty to murder charges in deliberate Minnesota crash that killed 2 teens

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



N.d. Man Pleads Guilty To Murder Charges In Deliberate Minnesota Crash That Killed 2 Teens
google news

A Grand Forks, N.D., man pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree murder for the deaths of two teenagers in a head-on crash that occurred last year in northeastern Minnesota.

Valentin Mendoza IV, 21, pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in the third degree — perpetrating eminently dangerous act and evincing depraved mind. He used the Norgaard plea, which is used when the defendant has no recollection of the event.

Mendoza maintained not-guilty pleas for the four other charges: two counts of second-degree murder — with intent (not premediated), and two counts of criminal vehicular homicide — operating a motor vehicle in a grossly negligent manner.

If the plea agreement is accepted by the court, Mendoza will be sentenced to 180 months for one charge and 150 months for the other. He will serve the sentences consecutively, for a total of 330 months, or 27.5 years.

According to an affidavit in the case, around 3:08 p.m. June 17, 2021, the East Grand Forks Police Department was dispatched to a two-vehicle head-on collision. The crash occurred on Highway 220, about a mile north of Polk County Road 19 in Polk County, Minn.

Mendoza was located in a red 2004 Ford Ranger pickup with severe damage on the front driver’s side; the vehicle was tipped over onto the passenger’s side. Police noted the speedometer was locked at 75 miles per hour and the posted speed limit for that location is 45 miles per hour. Mendoza was transported to Altru Hospital in Grand Forks.

The other vehicle was a white 2007 GMC Envoy, which also had severe damage to the front driver’s side. The speedometer was locked at 65 miles per hour. Two male juveniles were identified; both were unresponsive and severely injured, according to the affidavit. The two boys were removed from the vehicle and transported to Altru Hospital in Grand Forks.

At the hospital, the Minnesota State Police spoke to Mendoza’s mother, who said Mendoza was bipolar and had a history of making “suicidal comments.” According to the affidavit, Mendoza’s mother received a call from his girlfriend that day, stating Mendoza sent her a Snapchat video at 3:05 p.m. In the video, Mendoza was driving and said he was going to take his own life.

After analyzing the scene of the collision, Minnesota state trooper Adam Rochlin determined the Envoy had been traveling southbound on Highway 220 and the pickup was traveling northbound at the time of the crash. The roadway was noted as straight and flat, marked with a yellow center line, dry and clear of defects or damage.

“There were no tire or brake marks near the point of impact of the collision,” the affidavit says. The pickup crossed the center line and struck the Envoy head-on.

On June 23, 2021, one of the juveniles died from his injuries after being removed from life support. On June 29, 2021, the other juvenile died from his injuries.

Mendoza’s sentencing is scheduled to take place at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 14.

google news
Continue Reading


Amy Klobuchar confirms she’ll see fourth Senate term in 2024

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



Amy Klobuchar Confirms She’ll See Fourth Senate Term In 2024
google news

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota’s senior senator, says she plans to seek a fourth term in two years.

A Klobuchar spokeswoman confirmed the Democrat’s intentions in a statement to the Star Tribune, the Minneapolis-based newspaper reported on Thursday.

“As the Senator has made clear, she loves her job serving the people of Minnesota and is planning on running for re-election,” spokeswoman Jane Meyer said in a statement, which followed a recent Politico article noting the large number of Democratic-held Senate seats on the ballot in 2024.

Klobuchar ran an unsuccessful campaign for president in 2020. With President Joe Biden planning to seek re-election in 2024, Klobuchar will back him, Meyer confirmed to the Minneapolis newspaper.

The 62-year-old senator was first elected to the Senate in 2006. A graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School, she previously served as the Hennepin County attorney.

google news
Continue Reading


‘I’m coming back. Give me some time’: Ben Simmons, Nets preach patience after ugly loss to Heat

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



‘I’m Coming Back. Give Me Some Time’: Ben Simmons, Nets Preach Patience After Ugly Loss To Heat
google news

As fans slowly filed out of the Barclays Center after the Nets’ second consecutive preseason blowout loss to an Eastern Conference playoff opponent — this time a 109-80 defeat to the Miami Heat after Monday’s 19-point thumping from the shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers — the in-arena DJ played an all-too familiar tune.

“Don’t worry. Be happy.”

It’s easy to worry after Thursday’s poor performance, a game two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant said he “didn’t like anything” about except the team leaving with no injured players. Poor defense and offensive miscues aside, Ben Simmons’ unwillingness to attack the basket underscored the Nets’ inability to take care of the basketball or generate quality offense against one of the NBA’s premier defenses.

Especially in a game both Kyrie Irving (paternity leave) and Joe Harris (sore ankle) watched from the sidelines.

Simmons, however, said there are some things he isn’t yet comfortable doing — like “getting to the rim, getting hit and hitting” other players — because he’s only a few months removed from offseason back surgery. He is confident, and so are his teammates and his head coach, about a  return to a more aggressive version of himself as he shakes off the rust associated with 480 days away from NBA basketball and works to get into a better place after getting a microdiscectomy to alleviate the pain stemming from the herniated disk he suffered after the trade to Brooklyn.

“It’s been a year,” Simmons said after posting four points, four assists and 10 rebounds to go with six turnovers on the night. “I’m coming back. Give me some time.”

Still, there were some plays that raised eyebrows more than others.

Simmons, for example, had a 10-inch height advantage on Heat guard Kyle Lowry and had the mismatch with a one-on-one on the high post. Instead of looking to power to the rim against the smaller opponent, he threw the ball back out to Durant on the perimeter.

When Durant immediately gave the ball back to Simmons — a sign for Simmons to take advantage of the mismatch and get to the rim — Simmons took one dribble towards the paint and shoveled a pass to Royce O’Neale on the opposite wing.

O’Neale, a capable marksman, missed the lightly contested three.

Then there were the back-to-back turnovers with just over two minutes to go in the first quarter.

Reserve lead guard Edmond Sumner threw an entry pass to Simmons, who posted up Heat All-Star Jimmy Butler on the baseline. Sumner then cut along the baseline behind Simmons to the rim, and Simmons floated a pass over his head under the basket.

The pass was tipped away and intercepted, leading to a Miami fast break.

On the very next possession, Simmons advanced the ball up the floor against second-year two-way signing Marcus Garrett. Markieff Morris screened Garrett at the three-point line and Simmons pushed within two feet of the foul line.

And then he flung a pass to O’Neale in the left wing. This time, Garrett was in position and made a play to get possession of the ball.

Some of Simmons’ passes were predictable because Simmons didn’t — and doesn’t — look to score often. Durant said the team “definitely” wants Simmons “to be more aggressive and look to score, especially if he’s got a small wing in the post,” and when he “has an advantage going downhill in transition.”

But he also knows how long of a layoff it’s been for Simmons and that Thursday only marked his second game back.

“I think he’s just finding his rhythm again. He hasn’t played in a long time, and to throw you back up in there with the game going fast?” Durant said. “You can play pickup all you want, but once you put someone in the game, all that stuff goes out the window.

“So, he’s getting his legs, (a) quick move here and he’s figuring it out. It’s only going to get better from here.”

Simmons admitted there needs to be more of a balance for when he looks to set his teammates up for shots versus when he looks to score on his own.

“Looking at the box score, I took three shots, which is definitely not enough,” he said. “Obviously offensively, I want to get to the post more, get some more touches down low, be more aggressive, get to the rim, get to the free throw line, which I didn’t do tonight.”

Nets head coach Steve Nash said he expects Simmons to grow in his aggression putting pressure on the rim. He also, rightfully, noted Irving and Harris’ absences put more pressure on Simmons to create by taking two floor spacers off the court.

“He’s gonna get more attempts. Right now obviously it’s a little clunky for us,” Nash said. “Ben will be fine. He’ll improve, he’s gonna get better every night, and he’s gonna be an engine for us and a big part of what we do. So I’m not really worried about him, but it is a process.

“He hasn’t played for a long time and he’s also assimilating to a new group. That takes time, it’s not gonna be perfect, and it probably won’t be any time soon. But if we can keep improving every day that’s all we ask for.”

Two preseason games isn’t full cause to be worried, but the Nets — other than glimpses of unrealized potential — haven’t given fans much to be happy about, either.

Durant finished with 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor but showed some frustration when he accidentally threw the ball away attempting to get the ball to O’Neale, kicking off a Heat fast break and putting them on the line.

Nash warned things would look ugly early as the Nets adjust to both new rotations and new schemes, and ugly described their loss to the Heat on Thursday. It’s only preseason, but the same can be said for the two other Eastern Conference contenders who have blown the cap off the Barclays Center.


google news
Continue Reading


JKSSB Final Selection List-cum-Allocation of Cadres & Departments for remaining Class-IV Posts

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna



Jkssb Selection List
google news

JKSSB Final Selection List-cum-Allocation of Cadres & Departments for remaining Class-IV Posts

JKSSB Final Selection List-cum-Allocation of Cadres & Departments for remaining Class-IV Posts under the provisions of the Jammu & Kashmir Appointment to Class-IV (Special Recruitment) Rules, 2020, advertised vide Notification No. 01 of 2020 dated 26.06.2020.


Download Here

The post JKSSB Final Selection List-cum-Allocation of Cadres & Departments for remaining Class-IV Posts appeared first on JK Breaking News.

google news
Continue Reading