Analyzing Mitch White’s first start on his rehab assignment

We’re just about a month into the regular season, yet we’ve barely heard anything about Mitch White. What gives?

Well, dear viewer, Mitch White made his season debut on Wednesday evening for the Dunedin Blue Jays, and had an okay game. Let’s look at how he did.
A positive to take away from this game is that he appeared to be lifted due to his pitch count, as he only had 46 pitches. That means that he’s likely in good health after his first in-game outing in 2023.
Moreover, his line of 3.1, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K was pretty solid. Dunedin doesn’t stream home games, but it appeared that an infielder made an error which led to the run.
White’s fastball averaged 92.5 mph, which is down from last year’s average of 93.7 mph. However, this shouldn’t be too surprising considering it was his first game of 2023 season. What’s more interesting is the fact that the average spin rate on the fastball dropped from 2277 RPMs in 2022 to 2175 RPMs in Wednesday’s start. However, it’s a one game sample size after a long layoff, so I wouldn’t look too hard into it yet.

Mitch White’s Player Breakdown (from Baseball Savant) from yesterday’s game. pic.twitter.com/6uHXFoLwQ1
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) April 27, 2023

What’s more concerning is the lack of whiffs that he generated. He threw 19 fastballs, …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Three x-factors for the Maple Leafs heading into their first round matchup against the Lightning

The time has finally come. The 82-game regular season has ended, and the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs are set to begin tonight. As we know, Toronto’s opponent in the first round is none other than last year’s opponent, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
It’s not shocking at all that these two teams are matched up with each other again, to be honest. They were the first two teams to lock in their matchup and although it wasn’t confirmed months ago, we all kind of knew they were set to play each other around Christmas time.
However, despite these two teams being in the same division, knowing each other pretty well and just playing each other last playoffs, there’s always one or two key x-factors for a team come playoff time, and in this case, I have picked three x-factors for the Toronto Maple Leafs as they prepare to face the team that has gone to three straight finals.
 
 
1. Ryan O’Reilly
2022-23 stats: 53 GP – 16 G – 14 A – 30 PTS – 17:56 TOI
2022-23 stats with TOR: 13 GP – 4 G – 7 …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

Bruins edge Leafs 2-1 in a second round playoff preview: Game Highlights

The Leafs and Bruins faced off for the final time in the regular season on Thursday night. It was a low scoring, chippy affair that felt a lot like a playoff preview. Of course, the Leafs will have to win a round first, but there is a good chance these two squads meet again in the postseason. Below are the highlights from the game.
There weren’t many quality scoring chances early in the first period. The game’s first notable highlight came in the form of a fight. AJ Greer took exception to Sam Lafferty’s hit on Matt Grzelcyk. Then the two depth forwards engaged in a spirited tilt. The Leafs went to powerplay afterward due to an instigator penalty on Greer…

Lafferty and Greer drop the mitts! 🥊 pic.twitter.com/aEFc0tzNEu
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 6, 2023

Jake DeBrusk had one of Boston’s better opportunities of the first period. Ilya Samsonov turned his wrister away with the shoulder…

high shot off the shoulder for Sammy pic.twitter.com/nhGbH1Epua
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 6, 2023

The goaltending battle continued in the second period. The two teams traded chances partway through the middle frame. Samsonov’s save started the counter attack for the Leafs but Jeremy Swayman read the play perfectly and denied William Nylander…

Both goalies are locking it down so far to keep the game tied 0-0. 🔒 pic.twitter.com/0LNV9J9Om7
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 7, 2023

Toronto finally broke the deadlock more than halfway through the game. David Pastrnak had an uncharacteristic turnover leaving his defensive zone. Sam Lafferty intercepted the careless pass, got the puck deep, drove the net and deposited the game’s first goal…

Starts with LaffsEnds with Laffs! pic.twitter.com/RWKhbxfBOj
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) April 7, 2023

The Leafs held onto the lead for most of the third period but one goal is rarely enough t …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Knies check-in, Niemelä & Hirvonen watch, Minten on fire: Leafs Prospect Roundup

The home stretch of the NHL regular season is upon us, and that means that prospects in other leagues around the world are also wrapping up their seasons. The most notable of those prospects for Leafs fans is undoubtedly Matthew Knies, who is winding down his sophomore season at the University of Minnesota.
Knies and his Gophers teammates earned a first-round bye in the BIG10 tournament after finishing first in the conference, but they were back in action this past weekend in a semifinal matchup against Michigan State. Things started slowly for Minnesota as they worked to get their legs under them after so much time off, but they walked away with a tidy win in Saturday’s single-elimination game against the Spartans, advancing to the BIG10 Championship game against the Michigan Wolverines for the second consecutive year.
Down 1-0 in the opening frame, the Gophers’ powerplay got to work with Knies setting up Jaxon Nelson on the doorstep to tie the game. Minnesota never looked back from there, and Michigan State had no answer as the Gophers piled up five unanswered goals to come away with the victory. Fellow Leafs prospect Mike Koster also notched a pair of assists in Saturday’s semifinal.

Matthew Knies sets up Jaxon Nelson ou …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Winter League wrap-up (part two): Blue Jays prospect Robert Robertis continues to impress, Bowden Francis is still pitching well, and more!

Although the Dominican Winter League regular season wrapped up this past weekend, there’s still plenty of baseball remaining for the three other winter leagues!

Earlier on Monday, I wrote an article featuring the prospects playing in the Dominican Winter League. In this article, we’ll be looking at the seven prospects playing in the Puerto Rican Winter League, the Mexican Winter League, and the Venezuelan Winter League.
Let’s start with Puerto Rico, where there are currently four Jays’ prospects playing.
Puerto Rico:
In the last overall update, there were only three prospects playing in the Puerto Rican Winter League. Now there are four, as Chavez Young has recently Indios de Mayaguez, joining fellow Jays prospect Glenn Santiago
Chavez Young:
The sample size is short, as he played his first two games on Sunday. He has yet to register a hit in his first eight plate appearances, but he also has three walks and was caught stealing once. 

Chavez Young (@chavezyoung242) doing Chavez Young things.
He walks and makes sure to pump up the crowd.#BlueJays pic.twitter.com/4GhM8P6SCH
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) December 18, 2022

I mentioned in the other wrap-up that Young has a fun grade of 80, and there’s no better proof of that than the video above.
The next update should have more information, but I went on about his defense in one of my latest articles, which you can read here.
Glenn Santiago:
Like some Jays prospects that played in LIDOM, the 22-year-old hasn’t really gotten an opportunity with his Puerto Rican Winter League team. Santiago has only had four plate appearances with a hit in the five games he’s appeared in.
Between Low-A and High-A, Santiago slashed .228/.293/.344 with three homers in 208 plate appearances. There’s definitely room for improvement, but he has quick bat speed and hits the ball hard. 

Glenn Santiago’s first High A hit is a triple!
The 21-year-old was drafted in the 10th round of the 2019 draft.
The shortstop slashed .268/.329/.423 with two homers in 86 PAs.
Interesting player to keep an eye on.#BlueJays #NextLevel pic.twitter.com/HWejeMrGJS
— Brennan Delane …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Precious Achiuwa injury update is true nightmare for Raptors fans

Precious Achiuwa injury update is true nightmare for Raptors fans

The Toronto Raptors are no strange to seeing their regular season momentum killed by some crushing injuries to rotation stalwarts. On top of Scottie Barnes clearly laboring through a nagging ankle problem and Pascal Siakam sidelined with a groin ailment, Precious Achiuwa has seen his name added to the injury report. Achiuwa is in the […]
Precious Achiuwa injury update is true nightmare for Raptors fans – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Key injuries, Kuznetsov suspended and Sharks eyeing Bedard: NHL Notebook

Key injuries, Kuznetsov suspended and Sharks eyeing Bedard: NHL Notebook

Less than two weeks into the regular season and injuries are already piling up. Over the last week several key players hit their respective injured lists, a Washington Capitals forward was suspended, and the San Jose Sharks took the lead in the race for Connor Bedard.
Landeskog knee surgery
The Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche will be without their captain Gabriel Landeskog for the next 12 weeks after his second knee surgery of the year. He missed the last quarter of the 2021-22 season for the same reason before joining the team for their playoff run.
He was held out of the first three games with a lower body injury and ultimately they decided another surgery was necessary.
Red Wings injuries
Tyler Bertuzzi will miss the next four to six weeks after blocking a shot against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. This a massive blow for a young Wings team with playoff aspirations. Bertuzzi was second on the team with 62 points last season.
His teammate Jakub Vrana is also away from the team for personal reasons. There has been no timetable given for his return. Detroit will need depth players to step up with the absence of two top-six forwards. Pius Suter and Filip Zadina have joined the lineup after being healthy scratches early on.
Ekblad groin s …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation