Ross Atkins: Nate Pearson is pain-free and now the focus is getting him ramped up

Here’s some good news from the mouth of Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins…

While talking to Mad Dog Chris Russo on MLB Network, Atkins said that Nate Pearson is feeling incredible and he’s 100% pain-free. The focus for Pearson now is building him up so that he can handle a starter’s workload. Atkins also went on to say that, based on the way Pearson is throwing, he looks like he has a very successful year ahead of him.
As Keegan Matheson reported last week, though, it’ll still take some time for Pearson to make his way back to the Blue Jays. Remember, Pearson only had one outing in Grapefruit play and it was one inning long, so he’s basically working his way back up from scratch and going through his own spring training now.
Barring any setbacks, it would seem that mid-May is a realistic target for Pearson’s return.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Expectations for the Leafs at the trade deadline

Expectations for the Leafs at the trade deadline

At the time of posting this we are 33 hours away from the trade deadline, and as fun as the Riley Nash trade was, it would certainly be nice to see the Leafs make another move. That’s the low bar of what I want out of the trade deadline, but I put the question out to the TLN crew, “what do you want out of the trade deadline for the Leafs?”
Michael Mazzei:
This season represents the Leafs’ best shot at making a deep playoff run for the first time in nearly two decades. So they should be looking at any possible method to improve the team because despite their solid record to this point, they could surely be even better That’s what their focus should be at the deadline, add another piece to make the existing team even better.
Mark Norman:
Taylor Hall.
I don’t think the Leafs need to do anything with their defence, but adding a gamebreaking top-6 forward at a discount into the mix to compliment Matthews-Marner or Tavares-Nylander is the stuff dreams are made of. Acquiring Hall has a dual purpose: acquiring him for our own needs AND keeping him from going to …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

George Springer is now dealing with a quad injury after running the bases on Tuesday

You may or may not be fully recovered from watching Tanner Roark toss batting practice last night, but we’ve got some bad news.

Apparently, George Springer is dealing with a new injury on top of the oblique issue that ultimately landed him on the Injured List. Springer was running the bases on Tuesday and felt tightness in his left quad. He’s already had an MRI but the results are pending.
Uh oh!

recycling this shitty joke but for George Springer https://t.co/uMvNenJUDH
— Ty Berry (@tberry3) April 7, 2021

The hope, of course, was that Springer would be ready to join the Blue Jays and made his debut on Thursday for the team’s home opener against the Anaheim Angels, but that might not happen now. This is obviously shitty news, but it’s best the team takes things slow with their $150 million man. There isn’t much to be gained by rushing him back.
Elsewhere… Robbie Ray will be the first of the Blue Jays’ injured pitchers to return and, according to Keegan Matheson, Nate Pearson doesn’t appear to be very close behind him. Charlie Montoyo said that Pearson is “progressing” which, uh, isn’t a super …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Both Reese McGuire and Breyvic Valera have cleared waivers

Here’s some good news from an Asset Management perspective…

The Blue Jays announced on Sunday that Reese McGuire and Breyvic Valera have cleared waivers and have been reassigned to the Alternate Training site. McGuire and Valera were designated for assignment earlier this week in order to open up room on the 40-man roster for Joe Panik and Tim Mayza.
Valera getting through waivers isn’t really much of a surprise as he’s a 29-year-old middle infielder with a ho-hum glove and a .592 OPS over 54 games at the big-league level. But McGuire, a pretty solid young backup catcher, getting through is a bit more surprising. I thought that somebody out there would take a flyer on him.
Anyway, that’s good news for the Blue Jays as it keeps them with a backup middle infielder and a third-string catcher in the minors in the event of an injury. The team went out and acquired Juan Grateol from the Anaheim Angels last week as insurance in case McGuire got claimed but now they’ll be able to instead just bring a familiar player in McGuire back if necessary.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Marlies and Me: Nick Robertson, Rasmus Sandin soon to the Leafs

This week featured a lot of good things from the Toronto Marlies, who needed a few bounces their way. That was, until, they played the Belleville Senators again last night and lost 7-2. However, there’s still a few good events that happened in the past seven days.
After going 0-for-20 against the Belleville Senators last week, Toronto wanted to start this week on a better note. And they did. Adam Brooks got on the board against the Stockton Heat on Monday which was their first power play goal since March 14th against Laval.
It was, too, Brooks’ first goal in nine games which was a boost for both him, and the Marlies.
“I’m sure his confidence, got a boost, but if I’m him, my confidence wouldn’t have been down.” Said Marlies head coach, Greg Moore. “You know, as an athlete, you always want to feel the back of the net. He did a lot of good things. It was one of his better games and again, I know I say this a lot, but it’s always good to see when guys do things right away, work hard and get rewarded for it.”
Brooks is now …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

NHL Announces Changes to Leafs Schedule

Another day, another tweet notification from the Leafs Twitter account that quickly turns anticipation into disappointment. Certainly not a feeling us Leafs fans can identify with.
The NHL announced updates to their 2020-21 schedule on Sunday, presumably to shoehorn this week’s postponed Canadiens games back into the schedule:

The @NHL has announced updates to the Leafs schedule
TOR at WPG, scheduled for April 21 at 8 p.m., will now start at 7 p.m.
MTL at TOR, scheduled for May 7, is now scheduled for May 6 at 7 p.m.
TOR at OTT, scheduled for May 5, is now scheduled for May 10 at 8 p.m. https://t.co/1BSGtIOuzV
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 28, 2021

As laid out above, the changes impact three Leafs games, with one time slot change (TOR @ WPG, moving the game back an hour to have it start at the right and natural time of 7PM ET) and two game date changes (MTL @ TOR moves from May 7 to May 6, TOR @ OTT moves from May 5 to May 10).
The good thing about the first date change is that it takes a back-to-back off the Leafs’ schedule. The Leafs were scheduled to play Montreal on Friday and Saturday that week, but now will face …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Leafs add Robertson and Liljegren to the taxi squad

When we see a tweet from Leafs PR our hearts skip a beat thinking that Kyle Dubas may have pulled off the long awaited trade, but in reality it’s just some taxi squad shuffling…

Defenceman Timothy Liljegren and forward Nick Robertson have been reassigned to the @MapleLeafs taxi squad.
Defenceman Kristians Rubins has been reassigned to the @TorontoMarlies.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) March 27, 2021

So ends the Kristians Rubins taxi squad era, and the triumphant return of Liljegren and Robertson is the end result.
For a move from the Marlies to the Taxi Squad there’s no salary change, so this is strictly about getting Robertson and Liljegren practicing with the Leafs while the Marlies are off until the 29th.
For Robertson, who is returning from an injury, getting some additional time on the ice with the Leafs should help him be at best come game time and as for Liljegren, I think the Leafs really want to give him as much time as possible with the club so he can easily transition into the lineup if there is a defensive injury.
Unless I’m missing something obvious, I don’t think there’s much more to the move than that, …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Frederik Andersen’s time with Leafs is running out – Rate That Leafs Game

Another game, another stinker from Frederik Andersen. I love the guy but a few of those goals shouldn’t have gone in and even he knew that (Andersen said it after the game). Heck, even Sheldon Keefe had a few words for the netminder after the game.
Thankfully, Jack Campbell will be in net tonight for Toronto as they face Calgary once again. Will they do good? We’ll see, but Keefe believes so.
Enjoy the video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

FGD 31: Back to Toronto (5pm MT, SN West)

Just two days after a thumping from the Edmonton Oilers, the Calgary Flames (14-13-3, 31 points) head back to Toronto to play the Maple Leafs (19-9-2, 40 points) for a pair of games with big playoff implications for the Flames.
The puck drops just after 5 p.m. MT and you can catch the action on Sportsnet West or on Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
For a view from the other side, visit the fine folks over at Leafs Nation!

The Flames
Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:
Tkachuk – Lindholm – Dube
Gaudreau – Monahan – Ritchie
Lucic – Backlund – Mangiapane
Bennett – Ryan – Leivo
Giordano – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Valimaki – Nesterov
Jacob Markstrom starts for the Flames, backed up by David Rittich. The taxi squad is Artyom Zagidulin, Oliver Kylington, Alex Petrovic, Zac Rinaldo Buddy Robinson and Derek Ryan – the expectation is, per the usual, Ryan will be activated and Dominik Simon will be shuffled to the taxi squad for cap reasons.
The Flames have played three really good games under Darryl Sutter and one where they weren’t all that good – particularly in a disastrous third period. They have a chance to show what they really are with a pair of games against the high-powered Leafs who sit …

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Author: Ryan Pike / The Leafs Nation