News and Notes: Blue Jays have been linked to Masataka Yoshida, while Kevin Kiermaier and Joey Gallo could also be fits

What do Kevin Kiermaier, Joey Gallo, and Masataka Yoshida have in common? Well, they all play in the outfield, and all bat left-handed!

While I hope the Jays still remain in the hunt for Brandon Nimmo, it doesn’t hurt to look at some possible names that could fill in as a fourth outfielder.  With how the Jays utilize the Designated Hitter spot, these fourth outfielders would likely get an opportunity to play.
Masataka Yoshida:
Per The Athletics’ Will Sammon, the Jays are one of the teams linked to the Japanese outfielder by various sites overseas.
The 29-year-old lefty slashed .335/.447/.561 with 21 homers in 508 plate appearances with the Orix Buffaloes. He was also an on-base machine, with a walk rate of 15.7% and an incredibly low strikeout rate of 8.1%.

運命の首位攻防第3R#吉田正尚 勢いそのままに先制2ランホームラン!
ソフトバンク•ワイモバイルなら追加料金なしhttps://t.co/Ic2VzF1PlY#Bs2022 pic.twitter.com/a9abqfCh6z
— ベースボールLIVE (@baseballlive_JP) September 19, 2022

In his 3189 plate appearances in the NPB, he has 133 home runs, so there is definitely some raw power there as well. The main question is his defense, which has been described as below average.
While his corner outfield profile could certainly help the Jays in 2023, his defense is suspect, and overseas statistics don’t always translate well in Major League Baseball. It also would keep George Springer in centre field, which may not be ideal if the Jays hop to keep him healthy.
Kevin Kiermaier:
Did Kiermaier steal Alejandro Kirk’s gameplan sheet? He sure did. Does that mean the Jays shouldn’t sign him if he accepts the fourth outfielder role? Absolutely not.
The 32-year-old slashed .228/.281/369 with seven homers in  221 plate appearances. The former gold glove winner has a tendency to strike out, as he had a career-high 27.6 K% the past season, with a career K% of 22%. In total, he finished with a wRC+ of 90, slightly below his career average of 97.

IN(KK)REDIBLE pic.twitter.com/pumna1AhTT
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 24, 2022

While it’s arguable that his offense is an upgrade over Raimel Tapia’s, his defense in centre field certainly is. He had a 2 Defensive Runs Saved and a 1 Outs Above Average, which was slightly above average in his 482.1 innings.
While his numbers took a hit in 2022, he did have a 13 DRS in 2021, as well as an 11 OAA in 894.2 innings in centre field. As for his career defensive numbers,  he has an insane 134 D …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Aaron Judge hits home run No. 61 as Yankees spank Blue Jays in series finale

Kevin Gausman said after Monday’s game that he didn’t want to be the answer to a trivia question regarding Aaron Judge’s (potential) 61st home run of the 2022 season. While Gausman avoided that label, there is finally an answer.

That man is Tim Mayza.

61 years since 61.
Aaron Judge has written his name alongside Roger Maris in baseball’s record books. pic.twitter.com/1V4Gums34C
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 29, 2022

Judge battled through an 8 pitch at-bat with Mayza, and eventually deposited a 94 mph sinker into the Blue Jays bullpen. While he has only tied the record for most home runs in a single season, it absolutely sucks that this happened in Toronto. Glass half full, I think we can all look at the silver lining in all of this and be grateful that Zack Hample wasn’t able to collect the home run ball.
Judge also put Roger Maris Jr. out of his misery, as every camera shot of Maris Jr. showed a man who couldn’t wait to be home.
Judge’s legendary moment came amidst some glaring momentum shifts throughout the game. The Yankees were in complete control through the first five innings. Mitch White walked the first two batters he faced en route to allowing three runs in the first inning. He pitched 3.2 innings total, only allowing those three runs, but eight baserunners.
His opposition, Gerrit Cole, cruised through five perfect innings in only 54 pitches, as the Blue Jays only managed to produce two batted ball outs in the air.
It was the sixth inning, however, that Cole imploded and let Toronto right back int …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Raptors: NBA exec says they’d move Scottie Barnes for Kevin Durant

Raptors: NBA exec says they’d move Scottie Barnes for Kevin Durant

The Toronto Raptors are still in a position to acquire Kevin Durant if Masai Ujiri is willing to sell off such a large part of the future. However, talks have hit a snag due to the Raptors being unwilling to discuss any trade as soon as Scottie Barnes’ name is mentioned by Sean Marks. The […]
Raptors: NBA exec says they’d move Scottie Barnes for Kevin Durant – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Kevin Gausman flirts with no-no as Blue Jays beat Tampa 3-1

Kevin Gausman is a Blue Jay.
The 31-year-old righty threw 8 innings of one-hit, shutout baseball tonight as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated Tampa Bay 3-1. Normally, the Blue Jays are on the losing side of these types of games with the Rays, especially when they’re playing at the Trop, so it was good to see one go their way.
In only his first year as a Blue Jay, Gausman has already had several memorable performances, and this one was one of his best. Gausman opened the game throwing five no-hit innings. Taylor Walls had the first base hit of the game for Tampa to lead off the bottom of the 6th, but it was immediately erased by a beautiful 4-6-3 double play that ended with a nice pick by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at first base.
One of the most impressive feats of the night for Gausman was finding his rhythm after a long first inning; he threw 27 pitches, which included walking Randy Arozarena and hitting Isaac Paredes with a pitch. Gausman responded by retiring 14 in a row, which was a huge positive considering some of the starts have featured the wheels coming off in the early innings (see home starts against Baltimore and Minneso …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Nets “angling” for Raptors’ Scottie Barnes in Kevin Durant talks

Nets “angling” for Raptors’ Scottie Barnes in Kevin Durant talks

Even though the prospect of a Kevin Durant trade is looking less likely by the day, the Toronto Raptors are keeping their feelers extended. The sticking point in trade negotiations may end up being reigning Rookie of the Year and Raptors fan favorite Scottie Barnes, who has long been considered an immovable piece of the […]
Nets “angling” for Raptors’ Scottie Barnes in Kevin Durant talks – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors must be afraid of Celtics in Kevin Durant trade talks

Raptors must be afraid of Celtics in Kevin Durant trade talks

Even though a Kevin Durant trade remains fantastical given the mountain of picks and players needed, the Toronto Raptors are one of just a handful of teams with the requisite pieces needed to jigsaw together a respectable offer. However, another contender in the division appears to have joined the fray. The Boston Celtics are fresh […]
Raptors must be afraid of Celtics in Kevin Durant trade talks – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Here’s why a Raptors-Bojan Bogdanovic trade shouldn’t happen

Here’s why a Raptors-Bojan Bogdanovic trade shouldn’t happen

As the Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell trade rumors continue to swirl, the Toronto Raptors would not be viewed unusually if they decided to go for a slightly less bombastic trade package. Utah Jazz wing Bojan Bogdanovic has popped up in the rumor mill in recent weeks. ESPN’s Tim MacMahon mentioned that he thinks Toronto […]
Here’s why a Raptors-Bojan Bogdanovic trade shouldn’t happen – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Latest Kevin Durant trade update is bad news for Raptors’ odds

Latest Kevin Durant trade update is bad news for Raptors’ odds

As more suitors continue to flake away in the Kevin Durant trade sweepstakes, the Toronto Raptors remain firmly in the mix. Even though they are unwilling to part ways with Scottie Barnes in a move, the Raptors clearly have some degree of interest in bringing Durant to town. Raptors fans dreaming of a future centered […]
Latest Kevin Durant trade update is bad news for Raptors’ odds – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Why Masai Ujiri, Raptors have leverage in Kevin Durant talks

Why Masai Ujiri, Raptors have leverage in Kevin Durant talks

The Toronto Raptors may not end up with Kevin Durant when all of the dust settles after his trade request, but it won’t be from a lack of trying. Masai Ujiri has ensured that Toronto is consistently mentioned as a landing spot as the trade saga rages on. Toronto’s chances, however slim they may be, […]
Why Masai Ujiri, Raptors have leverage in Kevin Durant talks – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Vince Carter defends Toronto from Chris Broussard

Raptors: Vince Carter defends Toronto from Chris Broussard

The Toronto Raptors are trying to bring Kevin Durant to Toronto, thus putting him alongside names like Vince Carter and Kawhi Leonard in the annals of franchise history. While Toronto seems like an ideal destination for him, some talking heads appear to be more skeptical. Chris Broussard has spent the last few days getting torn […]
Raptors: Vince Carter defends Toronto from Chris Broussard – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ