TLN Three Stars: Well, that was certainly a random weekday November game

Something something progress isn’t linear.
Obviously the Leafs weren’t going to win every single game for the rest of the season, but a game against the Kings both seemed very winnable, but it also seemed like a trap game. It ended up being the latter as the Leafs played relatively well, but ran into the problem of poor officiating, getting goalied by *shudders* Jonathan Quick, and the Kings capitalizing on their mistakes.
It’s a random game on a Monday night in November, it sucks to see the winning streak end, but it probably won’t matter come playoff time.
Three Stars
Third Star: Tobias Bjornfoot
The former first round pick had another solid night on the backend, something the Kings needed with a depleted blueline. He didn’t quite stand out, but he definitely didn’t hurt the team either, and that’s all you can ask from a defenseman.
Second Star: Carl Grundstrom
Grundstrom helped ignite the scoring for the Kings tonight with an underrated job of hanging onto the puck from Michael Bunting before handing it off to Trevor Moore for the opening goal.
First Star: Trevor Moore
Speaking of Moore, his goal was pretty …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Leafs snap their three game losing streak

Perhaps the title of this post isn’t fair. And it certainly doesn’t embrace the fact that it was fun to see the Leafs play again, and while the purpose of the preseason isn’t necessarily to win, it certainly doesn’t hurt to come away with the W, and the Leafs did tonight in a 4-1 win, and with a 2-1 shootout victory as well.
Tonight marked the anticipated return of John Tavares to the lineup, and the healthy captain potted a goal from where we’ve come to appreciate him the most, in front of the net redirecting a William Nylander shot.
Nylander, Tavares, and Jake Muzzin certainly did what we’d hope to see out of them, and played a step above the competition you see teams are playing with only half a NHL roster and shooting against AHL goaltending.
The new arrivals also put on a strong showing as Gabriel managed to end an assist short of a Gordie Howe Hat trick, Michael Bunting put in a greasy goal as well, and Josh Ho-Sang had a strong night, that might unfortunately have one bad turnover as a mark against him. It’s probably worth noting …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Where the Raptors stand in the 2020-21 NBA Awards race

Toronto Raptors: Where the Raptors stand in the 2020-21 NBA Awards race

The Toronto Raptors season isn’t going as well they’d hoped but there is still an opportunity for one of their players to take home some hardware. Last offseason, the Raptors lost two important players in Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka. Those subtractions from the roster are a part of the problem that has been plaguing […]
Toronto Raptors: Where the Raptors stand in the 2020-21 NBA Awards race – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jeff Borsuk / Raptors HQ

Blue Jays Nation Radio Ep. 1: Taking a trip around the American League with Dan Szymborski

Welcome to Blue Jays Nation Radio!

No, it isn’t on the radio, but you get the idea. It’s our podcast (which drops every Monday Morning) in which we’ll be talking about all of the good and spicy Blue Jays-related content that you more than likely want to hear. Since we’re just a couple of big-time dumbasses, our plan is to bring as many guests into the mix who actually know what they’re talking about as possible.
And that’s exactly what we did this week! We welcomed FanGraphs’ Dan Szymborski (the father of the ZiPS projection system) to the show to take us on a tour around the American League. Dan walked us through who’s bad, who’s good, and where the Blue Jays stand based on all of that. HINT: things look quite good.
Other random stuff we touched on includes… The pitching puzzle that Charlie Montoyo and The Algorithm have to sort out, being all-in on the Thin Vlad breakout, and whether Nate Pearson might wind up in an Andrew Miller-esque role this season. We also took some insane Hot Takes from the audience to finish things off, which is, as you’ …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs trade day?

So there are no guarantees in life, but today isn’t a bad day to turn on notifications for insider tweets, and to hit refresh on the @LeafsPR all day long instead of doing actual work. Thanks to the 14 day quarantine required for players crossing the border from the United States, this is one of the windows that results in the fewest number of games to that would be missed by said player in joining the Leafs. A second window like this occurs after Saturday night’s game against the Flames, but with the exception of these two occurrences, the Leafs new player would miss six games minimum in joining the club. There’s also something to be said for making moves sooner rather than later, a concept that Kyle Dubas has been fond of in the past.
What are the Leafs shopping for?
Well, the consistent leading item on the Leafs wishlist according to insiders has been a middle six forward, more or less a second line winger seems to be the target, but perhaps someone who could elevate the third line is more the reality of it. Of course this is what the ongoing rumours have been, and …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Transaction: The Joel Payamps era begins again!

No, this isn’t deja-vu, this isn’t a dream, Joel Payamps has again been claimed by the Toronto Blue Jays.

ROSTER MOVE: We’ve claimed RHP Joel Payamps off waivers from the Red Sox.
To make room on the 40-man roster, RHP Jacob Waguespack has been designated for assignment. pic.twitter.com/7awdikkLQr
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) March 6, 2021

Payamps has had one hell of winter. He was originally with the Diamondbacks, he was waived and claimed by Boston, waived again two weeks later, claimed by the Blue Jays, waived again shortly after that, and now he’s a Blue Jay again. So, in the last three-is months, he’s been Diamondback, a Red Sock twice, and a Blue Jay twice. Let’s see if it sticks this time.
In a corresponding move, the team designated Jacob Waguespack for assignment. Waguespack, of course, was the guy the Blue Jays got in return for Aaron Loup a couple of years ago.
He pitched 95 2/3 innings for the big-league club between 2019 and 2020 and put together a 5.08 ERA. He had a few strong starts in 2019, most notably the seven one-hit innings against the L.A. Dodgers, that made it appear as though there was …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Pearson, Martin, Groshans, Woods Richardson, Kirk, and Martinez land in Baseball America’s most recent Top-100 Prospects list

Here’s something that isn’t ‘the Blue Jays are in on ______’ or ‘the Blue Jays came second on ______’, which is a nice change of scenery! Baseball America has released its pre-season Top-100 list and it features six Blue Jays’ prospects…

14. Nate Pearson
19. Austin Martin
34. Jordan Groshans
69. Simeon Woods Richardson
70. Alejandro Kirk
96. Orelvis Martinez
The last time BA put out a list, it featured four Blue Jays, Pearson (No. 7), Martin (No. 16), Groshans (No. 31), and Woods Richardson (No. 67).
An injury-riddled debut season that saw him struggle with command drops Pearson a few spots while Martin, Groshans, and Woods Richardson remain pretty much where they were last summer.
The fact Martin is already ranked this high despite not having any at-bats since being drafted is very high praise for his raw talent and what he accomplished in college. Same goes for Groshans, who maintains a very high ranking despite only having 79 plate appearances over the last two seasons.
And then there’s Alejandro Kirk and Orelvis Martinez, who break BA’s Top-100 for the first time. Kirk, of course, gained a lot of hype last season with a very strong big-league debut and rockets all the way up to No. 70. Martinez, a …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

How about Marcus Semien as a possible bargain option?

Though it isn’t the team’s most glaring need, there’s been plenty of discussion around the Blue Jays making an infield upgrade this off-season.

The two names we’ve heard about the most are Francisco Lindor, who was recently traded to the New York Mets, and DJ LeMahieu, who’s locked in a strange stalemate with the New York Yankees. One name we haven’t heard about at all — which is sort of shocking given the fact the Blue Jays have been reportedly in one just about everyone this winter — is Marcus Semien.
Over at FanGraphs, Craig Edwards wrote an interesting post about Semien, a player he believes could wind up as a great bargain addition.
Despite George Springer, Trevor Bauer, and LeMahieu getting attention as this year’s big free-agent names, Semien has actually accumulated the most WAR of any player on the open market over the past three seasons. Most of that comes from one very good season in 2019 that was sandwiched between two forgettable seasons in 2018 and 2020.
In 2019, Semien had what looked to be a breakout performance for the A’s. He slashed a .285/.369/.522 line with 33 homers and a strong 87-to-102 strikeout-to-walk ratio while playing …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: 4 reasons Bobby Portis would be a nice pickup

Toronto Raptors: 4 reasons Bobby Portis would be a nice pickup

Bobby Portis certainly isn’t the fanciest name on the market, but he is a name the Toronto Raptors should consider in the offseason. Bobby Portis is currently on a two-year deal with the New York Knicks with the second year being a club-option that is expected to be declined by the team. This would make Bobby […]
Toronto Raptors: 4 reasons Bobby Portis would be a nice pickup – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Oh man, Teoscar Hernandez is expected to miss “serious time” due to injury

This isn’t good.

The day after losing an infuriating, heartbreaking game in Boston, it appears the Blue Jays will be without their best hitter for an extended period of time.
Per Rob Longley, Teoscar Hernandez is expected to miss “serious time” due to an undisclosed injury. There’s an MRI scheduled for today, so we’ll find out exactly what’s up with Hernandez later on.
This certainly comes out of the blue given the fact that Hernandez had a big game yesterday, going three-for-five with a homer and three runs driven in. I didn’t notice Hernandez nursing anything during the broadcast at all, so this really does come as a shock.
Hernandez has undoubtedly been the Blue Jays’ best hitter this year, and arguably their MVP (Hyun Jin Ryu would be the other guy in that conversation). He’s currently slashing a .308/.358/.637 line and his 14 homers is right up at the top of the league with names like Mike Trout and Fernando Tatis Jr.
After Sunday’s series finale in Boston, the Jays will start a difficult stretch of their schedule in which they play the Yankees 10 …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation