Goaltending keeping the Leafs afloat while their blueline deals with injuries

Goaltending keeping the Leafs afloat while their blueline deals with injuries

On Tuesday night the Leafs saw Victor Mete become the next in the series of Leafs defensemen to leave the game due to an injury and not return. With the Leafs presently without Morgan Rielly, TJ Brodie, Jake Muzzin, Jordie Benn and having additional depth injuries to Carl Dahlstrom and Filip Kral, the Leafs defensive depth chart is somewhat beyond ridiculous at the moment. Thankfully the return of Brodie seems to be imminent, and Mete won’t miss a ton of time, but it’s worth looking at how the Leafs have gotten through the past few games.

Sheldon Keefe says Victor Mete will be unavailable for rest of the week. They don’t think the injury is serious, though. But “he will miss some time.” @BodogCA @RinkWideTOR
— David Alter (@dalter) December 7, 2022

Morgan Rielly’s last game with the Leafs was on November 21st and the Leafs have played seven games since that point. That is the most significant run of games without Toronto’s top defense as Rielly, Brodie, and Muzzin were all out and Jordie Benn appeared in just eight minutes of that first game without Rielly before he too was injured. Here are the 5v5 on-ice numbers for the Leafs defensemen during that stretch (via Natural Stat Trick):
Player
GP
TOI/GP
CA/60
CF%
GA/60
GF%
xGA/60
xGF%
HDCA/60
HDCF%
PDO
Conor Timmins
1
13.45
31.23
68.18
0.00

1.82
65.89
13.38
57.14
1.000
Justin Holl
7
18.95
61.95
44.08
0.90
71.43
2.29
56.64
10.85
54.72
1.038
Rasmus Sandin
7
16.64
59.75
46.30
1.03
81.82
2.51
55.39
11.85
54.90
1.115
Mark Giordano
7
16.69
57.53
46.67
1.03
75.00
2.31
54.47


Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays have some interesting homegrown talent who could help the bullpen in 2023 and beyond

The Blue Jays bullpen has become incredibly deep over the past few seasons.

Remember the 17 pitchers on the Blue Jays staff/taxi squad to start the 2021 season? If not, it featured pitchers such as Tanner Roark, T.J. Zeuch, Ryan Borucki, Tyler Chatwood, Rafael Dolis, Julian Merryweather, Joel Payamps, and Trent Thornton (who may start 2023 in Buffalo). The Jays also had Tommy Milone, A.J Cole, and Travis Bergen on the now-defunct Taxi Squad. Here’s an article for Blue Jays Nation’s Cam Lewis if you want to see how far the team has come.
Of course, the 2021 opening day roster still featured Tim Mayza, David Phelps, and Jordan Romano. However, they were the only three mainstays in the bullpen out of the fourteen names I listed.
The state of the present-day bullpen:
Fast-forward to the present day, and the Jays have added Anthony Bass (1.54 ERA, 3 FIP in 2022), Yimi García (3.10 ERA, 3.47 FIP), Adam Cimber (2.80 ERA, 3.47 FIP), Erik Swanson (1.68 ERA, 1.85 FIP) as mainstays. 
This doesn’t even mention adding Trevor Richards, who had a good 2021 and a pretty good second half to 2022, or Zach Pop, who may not be on the 2023 roster because he has options.
The bullpen is incredibly deep with players that have produced great results. Yes, they did trade Rowdy Tellez, Joe Panik, Jordan Groshans, and Tesocar Hernández to acquire many of these relievers, but as a whole, these were all pretty good trades.
One of the few aspects the front office has failed at in the eyes of some is that they haven’t developed any homegrown relievers. While that may be true for the 2021 and 2022 seasons, the …

Read More

Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation