Rosie’s back + Recapping Toronto’s beatdown of the New York Islanders: Leafs Morning Take

Rosie’s back + Recapping Toronto’s beatdown of the New York Islanders: Leafs Morning Take

Back on track.
John Tavares had one and one while Willy Nylander notched four points (two goals, two assists) as the Leafs kicked off their five game homestand with an impressive 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders.
The big story from the game was Sheldon Keefe reuniting the Tavares/Nylander and Matthews/Marner combos. Furthermore, it must be an amazing feeling for Sheldon Keefe to have two lethal duos in his back pocket at his disposal whenever the well runs dry. And that was not the first time his line juggling ignited the offence this season.
Speaking of reunions, after a weekend trip to Vegas, Jay Rosehill was back in the mix today for the Tuesday edition of Leafs Morning Take. After getting back up to speed – including a brief breakdown of Saturday night’s loss in Montreal – we recapped another impressive victory for the Maple Leafs.

“I can’t say enough about Nylander & Tavares this year, it just seems like they’re like brothers out there.”
– @Jay_D_Rosehill
Leafs Morning Take – Jan. 24 @TLNdc
Full Show: https://t.co/yuM6y85WbL@PointsBetCanada | @MontanasBBQ #LeafsForever 5 #Isles 2 pic.twitter.com/yrSvMBDKPQ
— Nick Alberga (@thegoldenmuzzy) January 24, 2023

 
Before a well-deserved nine-day break (All-Star + Bye Week), Toronto has four games left —all at home.
As per usual, we wrapped with the PointsBet Canada bet of the day. We’re looking for Vancouver to make some noise in their first game under Rick Tocchet.

.@thegoldenmuzzy & @Jay_D_Rosehill are feeling Vancouver tonight in Rick Tocchet’s debut behind the bench. 👀
💰💰💰@PointsBetCanada is live in Ontario!
Details -> https://t.co/uvEnShfFwr#ad #pointsbetcanada
Full Show📱: https://t.co/MQHdN6VNxQ pic.twitter.com/ZLL3CZ9ykP
— TheLeafsNation (@TLNdc) January 24, 2023

 
Join us at 11 AM ET on Wednesday as we preview Leafs and Rangers from Scotiabank Arena.
Don’t forget to subscribe, like, and leave us a review wherever you’re checking us out. …

Read More

Author: Nick Alberga / The Leafs Nation

Blue Jays Nation’s 2023 Preseason Top 50: #15 Josh Kasevich

It’s been a while since a 2022 draftee was ranked on Blue Jays Nation’s Top 50, but that changes with this article.

Josh Kasevich is an intriguing prospect, as he has a great hit tool and will be able to stick at shortstop as he’s a great defender.
However, we’ll look at the criteria before taking a deep dive.
Brennan’s criteria:
Instead of writing this out every time I did for the mid-season Top 60, I’ll copy and paste my criteria for how I rank and scout these players.
There are many factors that determine a top prospect. The eye test is the biggest driver in determining a top prospect, but proximity to the majors, ceiling, and floor is also important. Moreover, statistics are another key ingredient, as everything works together to give you numbers.
As for the grades, it’s important to remember that they are relative to the league in which they play. A kid from Dunedin is not going to have a 50-grade hit tool if he were placed in the big leagues. But relative to the league in which he plays, a .300 hitter is eligible for that grade.
For these prospects, I’ll review their background, numbers in the minors, pitch mix (if they’re a pitcher), and give a scouting report (if feasible, rookie league guys are difficult).
Let’s jump in!
Josh Kasevich’s career so far:
The 21-year-old (who’ll turn 22 a day after this article is published) was drafted in the second round of the 2022 dr …

Read More

Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Donovan Mitchell has lame excuse for Raptors beating Cavs three times

Donovan Mitchell has lame excuse for Raptors beating Cavs three times

While the Toronto Raptors may be a measly 12-18 against every team in the league not named the Cleveland Cavaliers, they are a perfect 3-0 against a squad that can legitimately be considered one of the best in the Eastern Conference. Who could have figured? After breaking out of their shooting slump, the Raptors had […]
Donovan Mitchell has lame excuse for Raptors beating Cavs three times – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Could Raptors reunite with DeMar DeRozan amid Bulls drama?

Could Raptors reunite with DeMar DeRozan amid Bulls drama?

While the Toronto Raptors have won a championship and made the playoffs three times since the departure of DeMar DeRozan in the Kawhi Leonard trade, some fans have spent the last few years wondering about what it would take to bring No. 10 back to Toronto and further add to his legacy. While DeRozan signed […]
Could Raptors reunite with DeMar DeRozan amid Bulls drama? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Which zones do Leafs players thrive in?

It’s been a while since I sat down and did some high school math level analysis of the Leafs, and that’s exactly what I did last night. I was curious about what parts of the rink Leafs players are thriving in and how tilted are the Leafs towards being an offensive team.
I decided to start by putting the 5v5 for and against stats for Corsi, goals, and expected goals into league-wide percentiles (with a minimum of 200 minutes played) and then looking at the trends around the for and against stats while factoring in time on ice to identify any excessive sheltering. (For example, Nic Aube-Kubel had strong defensive numbers, but was heavily sheltered, only playing in the 7th percentile of 5v5 ice time.)
I broke the players into the following groups with the following definitions:
200ft player: They would need to be above the 70th percentile in both for and against stats, as well as being in the 70th percentile for time on ice. Basically, you can’t be a 200-foot player if your coach is afraid to put you out there.
Offensive player: You are in the 70th percen …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Blue Jays celebrate playoff clinch with 9-0 pounding of the Red Sox

While it was great that the Blue Jays clinched a playoff spot, it certainly didn’t feel like it considering that their “clinching game” was in the hands of the Baltimore Orioles on an off day for Toronto. The only move that would’ve made it better is if they opened up their series with the Red Sox on Friday night with a dominant win.

With Alek Manoah on the mound and three home runs from Blue Jays batters, Toronto smoked the Red Sox 9-0. Manoah threw six shutout innings and only allowed two hits – one being an infield single, and the other a broken bat single. With that outing, Manoah’s ERA is down to 2.24, fourth amongst all qualified MLB pitchers.

It might be time for everyone to put some more respect on the name Alek Manoah pic.twitter.com/GsadOvrUwS
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) October 1, 2022

The Blue Jays, who announced before the game that they would have their clinching celebration tonight, had lined Manoah up to pitch the final game of the season if that game had implications on the possibility of hosting their Wild Card series. With tonight’s win, the odds of Toronto hosting that series got even better, so it’d be nice if they could simply rest Manoah until Game 1, and maybe use Yusei Kikuchi to start Game 162.
Speaking of Kikuchi, he earned his first career save, pitching the final three innings of tonight’s game. He recorded five strikeouts versus only one walk and one hit in what was his best relief outing as a Blue Jay. Amidst the season he has had, it was just a good feeling watching him cruise through the Red Sox order.
Now for the offense. All nine starters recorded a hit, including Raimel Tapia and Whit Merrifield posting mu …

Read More

Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors 2019 champion eyeing shock return to NBA

Toronto Raptors 2019 champion eyeing shock return to NBA

While many members of the Toronto Raptors’ 2019 championship team are still playing important roles for championship clubs, a few of the role players on the back end of the roster have not been so lucky. Noted good luck charm Patrick McCaw has found life after the title somewhat difficult. McCaw had the good fortune […]
Toronto Raptors 2019 champion eyeing shock return to NBA – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Xander Bogaerts says the Boston Red Sox aren’t trading him

While it may have appeared the Boston Red Sox were going to be forced into a rebuild after being embarrassed last weekend by the Toronto Blue Jays, that may not be the case.

Speculation began to swirl about the status of pending UFA’s like J.D. Martinez and Nathan Eovaldi could fill some needs for teams making a playoff push.
And that’s not even taking into account a guy like Xander Bogaerts, either. Despite having four years left on a deal paying him $20-million a year, the 29-year-old’s name was floating out there in the market.
That is, until he told reporters Thursday night the Bo Sox told him he wouldn’t be traded.

Bogaerts said he’s been told personally that he won’t be traded. “I don’t know if I’ll get in trouble for saying that,” he said. Said it’s allowed him to relax some.
— Julian McWilliams (@byJulianMack) July 29, 2022

If Boston does sell-off, it would undoubtedly be a plus for the Blue Jays. Toronto plays two more three-game series against Boston, including one right at the end of the season and going against torched lineup would only increase the Jays’ odds of winning.
Things will be interesting to watch around the AL in the coming days. The Blue Jays are sitting two games up in the AL wild card race, but a team like the Seattle Mariners, who are sitting half a game up in the race, could be big spenders at the deadline.
Could the Cleveland Guardians, or Tampa Bay Rays make a push at the deadline, too? Things will be interesting to see, to say the least.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’ …

Read More

Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation

With the 128th overall pick, the Blue Jays could select…

While this isn’t a top 100 pick, there could be some interesting prospects available with this pick

Of course I had to feature a hard-throwing college player that everyone knows about, but there are some interesting starters available with this pick.
This will be the last article in the series, but there are still  plenty more players that will be picked in the 20-round draft. Let’s get into this group of prospects.
Ben Joyce: 
Joyce is a right-handed reliever that will likely be picked higher than 128th. You’ve probably heard the name for good reason. He’s only pitched one season for the University of Tennessee, but boy did he ever leave an impression.
The 6’5 righty had an ERA of 2.23 with a K/9 of 14.8 and a BB/9 of 3.9 in 32.1 innings pitched. While the righty is strictly a reliever, his stats aren’t the reason everyone and their mothers want him drafted for their bullpen.

Ben Joyce throws the fastest pitch in college baseball history at 105.5 MPH (via @PitchingNinja) pic.twitter.com/TPgsCwyNrb
— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) May 1, 2022

Yup, you read that right. According to the velocity reading at the arena, Ben Joyce threw 105.5 mph. While there are questions about whether or not this was the actual velocity, it’s definitely possible as he often hit 103 mph and hit 104 mph a few times.

Tennessee junior Ben Joyce is hitting 103.5 MPH pic.twitter.com/KXWQdlDWuv
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) February 24, 2022

There are causes for concern, however. The 21-year-old missed all of 2019, pitched at a community college in 2020, and missed all of 2021 due to Tommy John. While the Jays have shown they aren’t afraid of drafting pitchers with arm issues (Gunnar Hoglund, Nate Pearson), it’s to be seen if Joyce’s arm can hold up.
This leads into the second issue, which is the fact that he hasn’t ever worked in back to back days for his University. In fact, he works on 3+ days of work, according to MLB Pipeline.
Furthermore, some Jays fans believe he would immediately help this bullpen, which is just not true. While at this point, his floor is a major league reliever, Joyce needs to work on command, as his BB/9 of 3.9 is on the high side. His secondary pitches also need work.


Read More

Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

MLB Notebook: Nationals make Juan Soto available, Santiago Espinal sent to the all-star game and more

Juan Soto is on the open market.

And while I still am learning about this beautiful game, it’s hard not to think that the Toronto Blue Jays should be all in. The power-lefty was reportedly offered a record-breaking 15-year, $440-million offer, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported, but the player turned it down.
While it would’ve made him the highest-paid player in major league history, the Nats are reportedly making Soto available in a trade now.
This is a massive development ahead of what was to be a busy Aug. 2 trade deadline in the first place. Soto immediately becomes the top player available, but the truth is the Nats don’t have to be in a rush to move him. He has two years of salary arbitration remaining and if a team could pick him up now, they would have control for three consecutive pennant races.
You know which team is looking to win some pennant races? That’s right, the Toronto Blue Jays.
Espinal the all-star

SantiaGOING to the All-Star Game!
Congratulations, @santdr13 pic.twitter.com/n8OVcSFnql
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 16, 2022

Santiago Espinal has been named to the midsummer classic, the Jays announced Saturday.
He will replace Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who left a Friday night game with a leg injury after being hit by a pitch.
Espinal’s in the midst of a breakout season in the majors and has been one of the Jays’ better stories so far this year. He’s slashing .271/.332/.394 in 317 at-bats driving in 37 runners while hitting six homers.
Minor league lawsuit settled
The MLB will pay $185 million to settle a federal class-action lawsuit surrounding minimum wage and overtime pay for minor leaguers.
Originally filed in Feb. 2014 by former Miami Marlins minor leaguer Aaron Senne and two others, the suit was reportedly settled in May, three weeks before it was set to go to trial.
According to ESPN’s Je …

Read More

Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation