Toronto Raptors: Stock up, stock down after first 3 games

Toronto Raptors: Stock up, stock down after first 3 games

The Toronto Raptors have been one of the most volatile teams in the league to start the season, as the likes of Scottie Barnes and Precious Achiuwa will lead the team to a dominant win one night while a depleted bench and unusually shooting-deficient roster will let them down in the next game. Friday and […]
Toronto Raptors: Stock up, stock down after first 3 games – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Mitch Marner is still elite, even if it doesn’t look that way

There has been a swell of vitriol growing around Mitchell Marner. Who could blame anyone for being frustrated that the team’s supposed best player is not living up to the expectations?
Especially when he basically set those expectations for himself with the very public contract negotiation where he was clearly demanding to be paid like a star — like his teammate, Auston Matthews, who is verifiably a star.
The problem with public negotiation is that it can be thrown back in your face when you’re not playing your best. The case that Marner and his agent, Darren Ferris, were making was so abundantly obvious that there wasn’t room for interpretation: they wanted what Matthews got.
While what’s past is in the past, and we have to remember that the player probably isn’t involved in everything the agent puts out there, Marner and the Leafs now have to live with the fact that he’s a $10M player, above the ranks of similar top tier wingers that signed around that time, like Sebastian Aho, Mikko Rantanen and Mark Stone.
Watching his uninspired play in the COVID lockdown series, where the Leafs technically didn’t make the playoffs, …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Now is not Nick Robertson’s time, but it will come

If you’ve been paying attention to the Leafs preseason and training camp (first, congrats, you’re braver than most) you’ve probably noticed that Nick Robertson has been a little on the underwhelming side. That’s not to say he’s been bad, but given his showing in the development camp preceding the Leafs camp the expectations were high, and Robertson didn’t really do enough of anything to establish himself ahead of Ritchie, Bunting, Mikheyev, Kerfoot, or even Engvall or Simmonds. That’s why yesterday’s news didn’t really come as too much of a surprise…

The following players have been assigned to the Toronto Marlies (AHL): F Mikhail AbramovD Joseph DuszakD Noel HoefenmayerD Teemu KivihalmeF Jack KopackaF Jeremy McKennaF Nick Robertson
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) October 5, 2021

Now the fact that a player that just turned 20 last month failed to make a NHL team isn’t going to be too shocking to most people. At this point Robertson (impressively) has only 6 regular season NHL games, 4 post season NHL games, and 21 AHL games to his name in his professional career. That’s not a ton of pro experience, and him having to put in a bit more work is …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Joshua Ho-Sang signs an AHL deal with the Marlies

Joshua Ho-Sang’s hard work has finally been rewarded and he will be sticking with the Leafs organization for the coming season.

Josh Ho-Sang signs an AHL deal with the Marlies. He attended #leafs camp on a PTO.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 6, 2021

In only two pre-season games, he has amassed an impressive  four points (all of which are assists). In spite of a limited showing, he has already impressed a number of players with his hard work and resilience.
Had there not been a log-jam with the forward unit, there was a real chance Ho-Sang could have earned a spot on roster and challenge for the top-six. While I’m sure the Leafs would have loved to keep him on the main roster to begin the season, he would have had to been placed on waivers and be in serious danger of getting scooped up by another team in need of bodies. By signing an AHL deal now, it leaves open the option to convert it into an NHL contract once the time is ripe to bring him up to the main squad (whether that be injuries or he is done enough dominating in the AHL).
Considering how grateful he …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Leafs return William Villeneuve to the QMJHL

The one thing that has been missing from the Leafs preseason are player cuts and with the stretch between last night’s game and the next preseason game on Monday, it stood to reason that we’d start seeing some cuts and William Villeneuve gets the distinction of being the first.

Defenceman William Villeneuve has been loaned to Saint John (QMJHL)
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) September 30, 2021

With CHL seasons starting up it makes sense to get Villeneuve back competing as quickly as possible now that he’s had a chance to get a feel for the style and pace of a NHL camp. I’m sure he’s been sent off with a very specific development plan for him, but with a Leafs organization eager to see how he does in competitive situations.
Over the course of September Villeneuve also signed his entry level deal with the Leafs, so there’s no doubt the organization wants to see more of him, and more from him, and developing his skating will likely be a big part of that. The Saint John Sea Dogs season starts tomorrow, and I’m sure they’ll have William in their lineup.

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Danny Jansen loves getting hot in September

I’ve been highly critical of Danny Jansen in the past. First and foremost, Danny, if you are reading this I am sorry. Secondly, keep mashing dingers.

Despite a career .210/.297/.681 slash line in over 812 plate appearances in the MLB, Jansen gives you value by being a fantastic defensive catcher. However, it wasn’t always this way. In fact, as a prospect, the defense was the most worrisome part of his game while his bat had some upside.
Minor Leagues:
Danny Jansen has had an incredibly odd professional career, dating back to when he was drafted 475th overall out of high school in 2013. In 383 minor league games (1531 plate appearances), Danny Jansen had a slash line of .269/.366/.776 while also adding 34 home runs. Furthermore, Jansen walked 170 times while striking out 188 times.
In 2015, Dan Jansen (yes, that’s what his name was on Pipeline for a little while) was ranked 14th for Blue Jays prospects and features some solid grades, including 45 for both hitting and power while also having a 50 grade in both arm and fielding. However, the most optimistic part of his profile was these two sentences: “He has made his biggest strides behind the plate. He has good receiving skills and has …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 rotation decisions to make in training camp

Toronto Raptors: 3 rotation decisions to make in training camp

The Toronto Raptors have been finalizing their last few signings ahead of training camp’s Monday start and, as we prep for the first scrimmages and drills of the 2021-2022 season, the coaching staff and front office will have many rotational questions to unpack and decide on rather quickly. With franchise legend Kyle Lowry off to […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 rotation decisions to make in training camp – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Tyler Hedmann / Raptors HQ

Digging into Hyun Jin Ryu’s recent struggles

Hyun Jin Ryu has been struggling here down the stretch.

Over his last eight starts, he’s pitched to an 8.10 ERA, giving up seven runs in three separate starts. In four starts he failed to make it past the fourth inning.
He’s been putting the team in early deficits and putting more pressure on the bullpen to cover more innings. It hasn’t all been bad for Ryu he did have a couple of good starts in this stretch, shutting out Detroit over seven innings on August 21st, and then shutting down the Yankees over six on September 6th. However his last two starts against Baltimore and Minnesota he gave up 12 runs over 4.1 innings.
For a team in a tight playoff race, you can’t afford to keep pitching Ryu and see if he will figure it out. The Blue Jays have given him a chance to reset and placed Ryu on the 10-day injured list with a strained neck.
When a pitcher like Ryu has stretches like this it’s usually tied to his velocity. Ryu for his career has much more success when his fastball is averaging above 90 miles per hour. His two best starts in this …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Leaflets: Thoughts heading into training camp

It’s been three and half months since we’ve been adequately disappointed by the Leafs, and it’s almost time for some fresh hurt. How will the team wrong us this year? Will this be the year a concession stands worker injures Auston Matthews? Will Mitch Marner be thrown in a Chinese prison during the Olympic break? How will the Leafs keep the hurt fresh, yet quintessentially Leafy? Training camp is our first step on this voyage, and while this entire year feels like it will be a wait and see for the playoffs kind of year, there are going to be important stories to pick up at the start of training camp.
How will the Leafs adjust to Matthews not being in camp?
Auston Matthews’ decision to have surgery in August is potentially going to keep him out of the early on-ice work and preseason games to start training camp and while there doesn’t seem to be any risk to him not being ready for the start of the season, the question remains about how do the Leafs get their lineup sorted for game one.
It will be interesting to see if the Leafs at least explore …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Hyun Jin Ryu is headed to the 10-day Injured List

I guess this would explain what’s been going on with Hyun Jin Ryu lately?

After getting lit up in back-to-back starts, first by the Orioles and then by the Twins, the Blue Jays have placed Ryu on the 10-day Injured List with neck tightness.

ROSTER MOVES:
LHP Hyun Jin Ryu (neck tightness) placed on 10-day IL
LHP Tayler Saucedo recalled from Triple-A and will be active today pic.twitter.com/5obkH105uJ
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 19, 2021

I wrote yesterday about Ryu’s struggles and what the Blue Jays should do next. Ryu said after Friday’s outing that he didn’t feel he was dealing with an injury, which was sort of the assumption after word came out that he was dealing with forearm tightness after his start in New York a couple of weeks ago.
Regardless, Ryu will miss his next start, which was supposed to be on Wednesday in Tampa Bay against the Rays.
Jose Berrios goes Sunday, Robbie Ray kicks off the Tampa series on Monday, and then Alek Manoah, who was pushed back, starts Tuesday. The hole on Wednesday could be filled by Ross Stripling or possibly Thomas Hatch, who’s currently with the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation