The Blue Jays have a Great Catching Problem

The Jays have a catching problem.

Unlike a few issues that have arisen this season, this catching problem isn’t bad in the slightest. On one hand, we have Jansen hitting like a prime Barry Bonds. On the other hand, Kirk has arguably become one of the best two-way catchers in the game.
This isn’t a problem, as the Jays could split time evenly between the two backstops. However, on the third hand, we have Gabriel Moreno, who is tearing up Triple A.
Usually, MLB teams only carry two catchers, meaning one player is left out unless there are positional changes or trades. In this article, we’ll look at the former, while also looking at the strengths and weaknesses of each of the three catchers.
Danny Jansen:
Is Danny Jansen just on an insane heater, or has he finally figured out the bat? I genuinely have no idea. I’d like to think his .303/.361/.879 (that’s slugging, not OPS) slash line can hold up, but he has shown to be streaky in the past.
However, Jansen’s home run total of SIX in 36 plate appearances is absolutely crazy. He has hit  a homer 15.6% of the time, which yeah. In fact, his six homers rank second on the team. Again, he’s only had 36 plate appearances.
Other than consistency, Jansen’s only weakness (if you could even call it that) is his defense behind the plate.
The sample size is too tiny to judge, but last season, Jansen only had a Catcher …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

William Nylander could reach new heights if he started playing like a power forward

No matter how the Leafs are doing, the one constant is that William Nylander will get mixed responses from the fanbase in terms of how he is doing.
There will be those who stand by the eighth overall pick of the 2014 Draft and give him praise for his skillset and smooth skating, while there are others who cannot stand him and are hoping to ship him off every single offseason for a defenceman. It’s easy to see why given that his salary is the most movable of the big four, the stench surrounding his contract negotiations not going away, and his seemingly lackadaisical effort on occasion.
Regardless of how you feel about him, the Leafs are a better team when Nylander is on his game and oozing with confidence. After all, he is coming off a career year where he finished third on the Leafs in scoring during the regular season (80) and playoffs (seven). But one of the big talking points apart from his sluggish start through the first four games of their series against Tampa Bay was this one incident where he seemingly avoided a collision in the corner with Erik Cernak that sent the hockey world into a frenzy. It was that moment where the aforementioned group of Leafs fans who hated his guts screamed louder than ever to have Nylander traded away.
After Toronto inevitably got eliminated in seven games, it was announced that Nylander would represent Sweden at the World Hockey Championships (WHC). In just his second game of the tournament, he showcas …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Rumours: Campbell out? Gibson In? Floating the idea of bold moves

It’s the offseason, and with that comes the return of speculation, rumblings, chatter, whispers, and all your other favourites. We can confirm this. Given the fact that for a lucky few the playoffs are still going on it’s still relatively silent, but Elliotte Friedman dropped a few interesting tidbits about the Leafs in the video below (Leafs content is from the 5:30-9:30 mark) and we’ll dive into some of that here.

The Leafs aren’t necessarily going to “run it back”
This isn’t much of a surprise to anyone who has taken a good look at the Leafs cap situation, and even with the bargain that is the Mark Giordano contract, there is a need to do something to spice up the Leafs lineup and try to put themselves over the top. It can’t just entirely be a waiting game for teams like Tampa and Colorado to take a step back, there needs to be a constant exploration of how the team can improve and Elliotte Friedman alludes to the Leafs considering a couple of significant moves in the coming months. When it comes to a target, Elliotte primarily speaks about goaltending, and we’ll get into that much more below. When it comes to who the Leafs could be entertaining moving on from, the two names that seem to stand out as potential trade bait, we can speculate that William Nylander and Jake Muzzin are those players. Nylander appears to be viewed as the most movable of the big four forwards, and Muzzin, because the Leafs have a …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Patience was the key in the Blue Jays’ big win in St. Louis

That was a cathartic experience.

For weeks runs have been seemingly impossible to come by as the Blue Jays have inexplicably performed like a bottom-of-the-pack club offensively. On Tuesday night, the bats finally exploded. Danny Jansen homered, George Springer tripled, Vladdy homered, and Danny Jansen homered again as the Blue Jays scored eight runs in a route over the Cardinals.

For those that missed last night’s Jays game it was basically this pic.twitter.com/7Fv8Bp4K14
— Andrew Stoeten (@AndrewStoeten) May 25, 2022

While the homers are the things that stand out, the key to Toronto’s bats finally coming alive was patience. The Blue Jays walked eight times, a stark contrast to what they’ve been doing otherwise this season as they came into Tuesday night’s game ranked 22nd in baseball in terms of total walks. They also only struck out four times, which is much more in line with the 2021 team, which struck out less than anybody in baseball.
Now, it should be pointed out that Jordan Hicks, St. Louis’ starter, is a pitcher who struggles with command, so that obviously helped the Blue Jays in their endeavour to take more pitches than usual, but they also drew three walks off of Miles Mikolas on Monday, and he’s a pitcher who has walked just 1.8 batters per nine over the course of his career.
Laying off on pitches outside of the zone and demanding Hicks challenge them is ultimately what resulted in the Blue Jays hitting three homers and scoring eight runs…

The #BlueJays got some big hits and homers, but tonight’s offensive outburst was powered by smart swing decisions.
While Jordan Hicks was all over the place, Toronto kept their swings …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Potential Raptors pick EJ Liddell could be Masai Ujiri’s draft crush

Potential Raptors pick EJ Liddell could be Masai Ujiri’s draft crush

Part of the reason that the Toronto Raptors have been so excellent at developing talent in the NBA draft is Masai Ujiri’s dogmatic commitment to finding players who fit his system. This has led to an abundance of switchable forwards populating the Toronto roster over the last few years. While some might consider the addition […]
Potential Raptors pick EJ Liddell could be Masai Ujiri’s draft crush – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors’ Yuta Watanabe confirms he wants to return to Toronto

Raptors’ Yuta Watanabe confirms he wants to return to Toronto

The Toronto Raptors have some big names that could decide to pack up and leave in free agency this summer, with Chris Boucher and Thad Young topping the list. Those two need to be taken care of, but Yuta Watanabe can’t be forgotten in the shuffle after his rise from the G League to the […]
Raptors’ Yuta Watanabe confirms he wants to return to Toronto – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

BJN Radio – Ep. 78: The 2016 team comparison, Joey Votto’s successful finale in Toronto, and more!

It was another series win that left a sour aftertaste.

As they did with Seattle, the Blue Jays took the first two games against a weak opponent and then came up short with a chance to pull off a sweep.
In the post-Reds series episode of BJN Radio, we gave praise to Hyun Hin Ryu for another good start, questioned whether it was right for Charlie Montoyo to not give Alek Manoah the ninth inning, and looked at Bo Bichette’s low-key hot streak in the month of May. We also talked about the handful of guys who aren’t hitting and wondered how long such cold streaks can possibly continue.
We also talked about Joey Votto playing likely his last game in Toronto, barring a trade, and talked about whether we root for Canadian players when they go up against the Blue Jays.
You can listen to the episode here…

POINTSBET IS LIVE IN ONTARIO

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Why Nick Robertson is deserving of an extended look with the Maple Leafs this fall

The thing that Nick Robertson needs most is a full-time NHL gig and I think he’ll get that with the Maple Leafs next season.
After the 20-year-old returned from a four-month layoff due to injury, there was a different look to his game. Robertson seemed to be as confident as ever at a time when it just didn’t seem possible. Coming off an injury like a broken leg, there’s usually a period where a player is getting used to everything again.
Not Robertson, though.
The work that he and the Maple Leafs’ return-to-play staff did together allowed for Robertson to come back to the Marlies as good as ever. The 20-year-old averaged a point-per-game in his final 26 games of the season.
It wasn’t just the points that made Robertson stand out more this time around in the AHL. He seemed more confident with and without the puck, not forcing plays to come to him, but getting in better spots for better looks.
It also seemed like the 20-year-old got stronger on the puck while he was nursing his broken leg.
Robertson wasn’t getting pus …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Meet the Sellers: Cincinnati Reds

It’s late May, which means that it’s not too early to look at players the Jays could trade for at the upcoming trade deadline.

Today, we’ll be looking at the Cincinnati Reds, timely, right?
Preface: I started writing for Blue Jays Nation just over a year ago. One of the first articles I wrote was about which Rockie players would have fit on the Jays. As I was new to writing, I included hypothetical trades to get Trevor Story and German Marquez.
However, I want to steer clear of naming particular prospects in this series.
Joey Votto:
I feel the inclusion of Votto here is necessary, despite not really wanting the first baseman on the team for a multitude of reasons.
Statistics:
At one point, I’d give my first born to the Jays if they were to acquire the Canadian first baseman. However, his numbers have taken a huge hit in the 2022 season. Thus far in 94 plate appearances, he’s slashing .128/.277/.154 with a wRC+ of 37.
He has yet to hit a homer and his K% has been blown up to 30.9%, well above his career average of 18.4%. In fact, his numbers have been so bad that he has a -1.1 fWAR, well below average.
Last season, the then 37-year old slashed .266/.375/.563 with 36 homers (one less than his career high) and a wRC+ of 140. Votto contracted COVID, which halted the start of his season, so it’s safe to assume that the 38-year-old would likely bounce back.

JOEY VOTTO HAS DONE IT AGAIN!! A FRANCHISE RE …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Maple Leafs bracket: Who scored the goal of the year for Toronto?

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ season is over, but that doesn’t mean that we should stop talking about it. Starting tomorrow afternoon, there will be a daily poll being put out on our Twitter account that will give you the chance to vote between two goals. This poll is a part of a bracket that we have put together to try and find the best goal from the Maple Leafs’ season this year.
Out of the 315 different goals, the Toronto Maple Leafs scored this past season, there are 16 of them that were selected to be a part of this bracket to help determine which goal was the best from this season. We’re going to need everyone’s help to decide which goal was the best, and that will all start tomorrow as the first round gets underway tomorrow afternoon.
 
First-round matchups:
There are eight first-round matchups that include 16 total goals to start out this bracket. As the days go by and as everyone gets their vote in for which goal was their favourite, we’ll update the bracket and have an update on our Twitter as well as an article discussing what went down in the previous round which will include who advanced to the next round, what the total vote …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation