What Yankees pitching coach thinks of top prospect Justus Sheffield so far

Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild watches video of the team’s premium minor-league arms whenever he gets a chance.

Sometimes he’ll pull out his iPad and squeeze in an inning on a flight. Sometimes he’ll watch when he wakes up in the morning.

Obviously, Rothschild hasn’t seen Justus Sheffield widely regarded as the team’s best pitching prospect throw in person since spring training. But he’s kept up with the 21-year-old lefty’s progress at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The younger Shanahan is building quite the résumé of his own. Before his impressive work with Garoppolo last season, he guided Matt Ryan to the 2016 MVP award, orchestrated Robert Griffin III ‘s electrifying 2012 Rookie of the Year campaign, and turned Matt Schaub into a Pro Bowl MVP.

Kyle is the best offensive coordinator. He’s the best play designer, former NFL quarterback and current NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms opined during the Falcons ‘ 2016 Super Bowl run. He’s the most creative offensive schemer in the game right now, and that’s saying a lot.

It’s saying a lot because Shanahan faces stiff competition from the likes of McVay, Saints coach Sean Payton, Eagles leader Doug Pederson, Chiefs wizard Andy Reid and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

As NFL offenses continue to grow more sophisticated with each passing year, the NFC West is fortunate to claim two of the league’s most innovative tacticians.

Watson’s knee injury was serious, full stop. However, since Watson has experienced a torn ACL and recovery previously while in college, and he returned even better than before, in this case there is reason for measured optimism. Seven months after the surgery, Watson is already going full speed without a knee brace in minicamp. Considering that a good chunk of returning from injury is psychological, Watson’s history should help him have the confidence he’ll need to come back at full speed.

Now the ultimate question: What would regression to the mean look like for Watson? For those who believe luck impacted his numbers last season, let’s suppose that he regresses quite a bit in touchdown rate and number of receiver drops. Let’s say that, overall, his production across the board drops a full 20 percent as a sophomore compared to those five games as a rookie. Even in that scenario, Watson would still average more fantasy points per game than any quarterback did last season.

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