Kyle Dubas’ 5 worst moves during his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs

Just like my previous article about Kyle Dubas’ five best moves during his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t write a follow-up article on his five worst moves during his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
As I’ve said plenty of times, Kyle Dubas wasn’t a perfect general manager, nobody is, but he did a lot of good things for this team while he was here, and yes, he even did some questionable things for this team that has hurt them at times.
When I was writing my five best moves from Dubas, I felt like that list could look different for other people, but as I was writing this piece, I thought to myself that my list probably looks similar to a lot of others because of how big these moves were at the time.
Honourable mention: Allowing Frederik Andersen to walk in free agency to sign a two-year, $9M contract ($4.5M AAV) with the Carolina Hurricanes
Although there was an argument about letting Frederik Andersen leave in free agency, it also sucked to see him leave and have a bounce-back season in 2021-22 with the Carolina Hurricanes. And, as we all know now, he has been great for them during the 2023 playoffs.
After being acquired by the Maple Leafs in the summer of 2016 and signing a five-ye …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Blue Jays suffer their third straight late-inning loss behind Connor Wong’s career night

Don’t know about you, but losing games late are not fun. The Blue Jays lost their third consecutive game – all three coming at the mercy of an opponent’s run(s) in the 8th inning or later – with a 7-6 defeat to the Boston Red Sox Tuesday night.

Connor Wong homered off of Erik Swanson in the bottom of the 8th to put the Sox ahead for good, the seventh run that the bullpen has allowed in the last three games. The Red Sox now have clinched at least a split of the four-game series.
Blue Jays Nation’s Player of the Game: Daulton Varsho
Varsho had one of his best games as a Blue Jay, going 2-for-4 with a three-run home run that broke a 3-3 tie in the fifth inning. Varsho’s other hit was a double in the fourth inning that served as Toronto’s first hit of the game. Tonight was Varsho’s first multi-hit game since April 12th against Detroit.
Things worth mentioning
The night of Connor Wong: Wong was one of the pieces acquired in the Mookie Betts trade, and he had undoubtedly the best game of his career tonight. Wong had a Wendy’s special, going 4-for-4 with two home runs, a double, and a single. Wong had everything going for him in a multitude of ways; the two home runs he had …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Analyzing Mitch White’s first start on his rehab assignment

We’re just about a month into the regular season, yet we’ve barely heard anything about Mitch White. What gives?

Well, dear viewer, Mitch White made his season debut on Wednesday evening for the Dunedin Blue Jays, and had an okay game. Let’s look at how he did.
A positive to take away from this game is that he appeared to be lifted due to his pitch count, as he only had 46 pitches. That means that he’s likely in good health after his first in-game outing in 2023.
Moreover, his line of 3.1, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K was pretty solid. Dunedin doesn’t stream home games, but it appeared that an infielder made an error which led to the run.
White’s fastball averaged 92.5 mph, which is down from last year’s average of 93.7 mph. However, this shouldn’t be too surprising considering it was his first game of 2023 season. What’s more interesting is the fact that the average spin rate on the fastball dropped from 2277 RPMs in 2022 to 2175 RPMs in Wednesday’s start. However, it’s a one game sample size after a long layoff, so I wouldn’t look too hard into it yet.

Mitch White’s Player Breakdown (from Baseball Savant) from yesterday’s game.
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) April 27, 2023

What’s more concerning is the lack of whiffs that he generated. He threw 19 fastballs, …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Tim Stapleton reflects on his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs: Leafs Morning Take

Talk about a tone setter!
What a night in Tampa.

From Joseph Woll to Luke Schenn to Ryan O’Reilly to Matthew Knies, I thought there were a lot of positives to grab from Tuesday night’s 4-3 victory at Amalie Arena. Naturally, we kicked off the Wednesday edition of Leafs Morning Take by talking about friend of the show Luke Schenn and his importance to this hockey club. The 33-year-old was an assist why of the Gordie Howe hat trick. You love to see it!
After that, we briefly discussed Matthew Knies. The 20-year-old phenom was really good against Tampa.

Meantime, powered by our friends over at Skip, former Leaf & current co-host of the Raw Knuckles Podcast Tim Stapleton dropped by to reminisce on old times. What a legend!

Lastly, we finished off the show with the Betano Wrap Up.

Presented by @Betano_Canada..@Jay_D_Rosehill & @thegoldenmuzzy are looking at the Calgary/San Jose game tonight. 👀
Full Show: 19+. Please play responsibly.
— TheLeafsNation (@TLNdc) April 12, 2023

Join me on Thursday at 11 AM ET as I preview the regular season finale between the Leafs and Rangers. Also, Jay Rosehill will drop by for another instalment of 3 Hits With Rosie.
Don’t forget to subscribe, like, and leave us a review wherever you’re checking us out. …

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Author: Nick Alberga / The Leafs Nation

Joey Votto on the Blue Jays would be perfect

It’s all about perspective.

On Monday morning, The Athletic’s Jim Bowden tweeted out that the plan is for Canadian first baseman Joey Votto to retire as a Cincinnati Red, unless…

Nick Krall #Reds GM told us their plan is for Joey Votto to finish his career as a Red. However, if the Reds are out of it at the trade deadline and Votto came to them and asked if they would trade him home to Toronto #BlueJays..he said he would consider under those circumstances
— Jim Bowden⚾️🏈 (@JimBowdenGM) March 20, 2023

The most interesting part of this tweet is that Votto would consider being traded to his hometown Blue Jays if the Reds are out of the playoff race. We’ll go over this more in the contract section, but keep this in mind.
In terms of fit, you may be saying “well Brennan, the Jays don’t need another first baseman, they have Vladimir Guerrero Jr, and Brandon Belt to back him up.” While that is true it’s all a matter of perspective.
Let’s dive into the numbers, his contract, and how I think he fits.
How good is future Hall of Famer Joey Votto in 2023:
I don’t think it’s unfair to say that out of any current players in the league, Votto may be one of the only locks to make the Hall of Fame. For his career, he has slashed .297/.412/.513 in 8504 plate appearances and has accumulated 57.9 fWAR in his 16-year career. For first basemen since 1900 with 5000+ plate appearances, Votto’s 57.9 fWAR ranks 26th overall, beating out 2023 Hall of Fame inductee Fred McGriff.
However, what about recent times? At the end of the day, Votto is in the twilight of his career, so it’s unlikely that he puts up a considerable amount more.
Last season, he slashed .205/.319/.370 with 11 homers in 376 plate appearances. It’s worth noting that his season was derailed by i …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Oilers dummy the new look Leafs 5-2: Game highlights

There’s not much good to say about Wednesday’s game. The Oilers led the game from start to finish. Connor McDavid did Connor McDavid things. Below are the highlights from the game.
McDavid opened the scoring as Jake McCabe sat for slashing. He worked a give and go with Leon Draisaitl and scored his ninth goal in his last four plus games…

McDavid capitalizes early on the power play to put the Oilers up by one!🔥
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 2, 2023

The Leafs evened it up later in the first. Cody Ceci turned it over on the wall and Mitch Marner found David Kampf to make it 1-1…

— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 2, 2023

McDavid did it again a few minutes later. Another highlight reel goal. Five straight multi-goal games for 97. 2-1 Oilers…

That’s five consecutive two goal games for Connor McDavid! 🙌
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 2, 2023

Zach Hyman cleaned up his own rebound to make it 3-1. Three point period for McDavid. First point as an Oiler for Mattias Ekholm…

Hyman goes to work against his former squad! 👷‍♂️
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 2, 2023

The Oilers dominance continued in the second period. Ilya Samsonov made a huge stop on Hyman in tight to keep the Leafs within two…

another strong pad save from Samsonov
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 2, 2023

The two goal lead didn’t last long. Kailer Yamamoto tipped in the Ceci point shot to make it 4-1…

Kailer Yamamoto re-directs it
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 2, 2023

The Oilers extended their lead again before the end of the second. Ryan McLeod walked TJ Brodie on the 2-1 and fed Klim Kostin. 5-1…

this game is a runaway. klim kostin extends the oilers’ lead to 5-1.
— zach (@zjlaing) March 2, 2023

Mitch Marner got the comeback started with a powerplay goal early in the third. He took the Morgan Rielly pass and wired a wrister past Stuart Skinner to cut the lead to three…

Marns gets us one back!
— Toronto Mapl …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Raptors demoting Christian Koloko amid defensive struggles is inexcusable

Raptors demoting Christian Koloko amid defensive struggles is inexcusable

The Toronto Raptors don’t have a ton to smile about this season, but the terrific play of rookie big man Christian Koloko has been one of the few silver linings the team can hold their head high about. Koloko has been one of the best second-round picks in the 2023 class. Koloko is averaging just […]
Raptors demoting Christian Koloko amid defensive struggles is inexcusable – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The Deal that Toronto Needs to Get Done Before Opening Day

I was already thinking about this column for the last couple of weeks before Scott & Adam brought it up last week but I’m going to write it anyway.

With the “other shoe” having dropped in major fashion on Friday, the shape of the 2023 Blue Jays’ roster has largely come into focus, whether or not one feels the need to add a 4th outfielder (ironically, the guy who’s an ideal fit for that role is one Randal Grichuk – we’re paying him anyway! – wonder if they’d send him back for Trent Thornton or Trevor Richards?) or just let Merrifield and Biggio take up that slack. But that doesn’t mean there’s not some housekeeping to see to.
It’s true that everyone is jonesing for the Jays to work out long-term deals for Vlad and Bo, and some even suggest Alek Manoah (which seems a little premature to me) but there’s another player closing in on free agency, the one remaining key player who has just one season of control left, that needs attention first: Matt Chapman. I’m prepared to argue that if they can by any reasonable means avoid letting him hit the market, it should be as of now their top focus for the rest of this off-season. Of course, this discussion immediately provokes the question – at what cost? Well, that’s a tricky question – let’ …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

Trading up for Thompson twins in 2023 draft may fix Raptors offensive woes

Trading up for Thompson twins in 2023 draft may fix Raptors offensive woes

The Toronto Raptors are always thinking about the NBA Draft, but fans need to prepare for the possibility of this team getting dispatched in the play-in tournament and ending up with a lottery pick. While this would be immeasurably disappointing, Toronto needs to recognize how much a young scoring talent is needed. The NBA has […]
Trading up for Thompson twins in 2023 draft may fix Raptors offensive woes – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Where Does Alek Manoah Stand Among Baseball’s Elite?

Back in July, I wrote about the similarities between Alek Manoah and Sandy Alcantara and how Manoah can use that blueprint to improve in the future. Now, nearly four full months later, Manoah’s first full season in MLB has come to a close. How did Manoah do in the last few months of the year, and where does he stand moving forward? Strap in. It’s time for a deep dive.

We’re not going to start with baseball. They say talk is cheap, but Alek sure gets his money’s worth. During his appearance on former Raptor Serge Ibaka’s show, “How Hungry Are You?”, Manoah called AL East rival Gerrit Cole the “worst cheater in baseball”, then went on to briefly discuss illegal substances, which he says Cole uses. His comments definitely didn’t go unnoticed by Yankees fans, who brought out their Twitter fingers to let Manoah know what they thought about him as a pitcher.

Alek Manoah’s ERA being over 3.5 next season is going to feed families man
— Ryan Garcia (In the Lab) (@RyanGarciaESM) November 21, 2022

It’s the offseason though, so Manoah had time for some Twitter fingers of his own, firing back with some emojis…

— MANOAH (@Alek_Manoah6) November 22, 2022

Talk may be cheap. But despite what Yankee fans may think, Alek Manoah’s next contract won’t be. Let’s get into the pitching, and take a look at Alek Manoah’s season by month.

With an ERA of 2.24 before I wrote my previous piece, and a 2.25 mark afterwards, Manoah was nearly exactly as good before and after. He certainly wasn’t on Sandy Alcantara’s Cy Young level, but he played incredibly well. His Fielding Independent Pitching, which takes defence out of the equation, hung higher than his ERA, but e …

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Author: Tate Kispech / Blue Jays Nation