Could the Maple Leafs look at the Stars’ Jim Nill to be their new general manager?

Although much of the recent coverage of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ ongoing search for a new general manager has focused on ex-Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving, former Maple Leaf defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo threw a new name out there on Thursday.
Speaking on the TSN 1050 radio show “First Up” with Aaron Korolnek, Colaiacovo mentioned longtime Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill as a potential candidate to replace Kyle Dubas in Toronto.
Nill, 65, won four Stanley Cups as an executive in the Detroit Red Wings organization before joining the Stars in 2013. Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan played for the Red Wings during Nill’s tenure as assistant general manager.
Here’s the transcript of what Colaiacovo had to say about Nill:
Carlo Colaiacovo: At the end of the day, we sit here and we wait to see what the Maple Leafs’ plans are. I think a name that I heard pop up yesterday was Jim Nill of the Dallas Stars. He’s got one year left on his deal and he’s got a really close relationship with [Maple Leafs president] Brendan Shanahan from their days in Detroit. I know Jim Nill really well from my time in Detroit and I think he’d be an outstanding candidate for this job, so we’ll see how this plays out [and] if that’s a guy they choose to interview when Dallas gets eliminated. Clearly, right now, all the talk is [Brad] Tre …

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Author: Mike Gould / The Leafs Nation

4 thoughts heading into game four of the Maple Leafs and Panthers second round series

Although the 19-year wait came to an end after the Toronto Maple Leafs finally ended the first-round curse, the team isn’t giving their fan base anything to cheer about in their second-round series against the Florida Panthers as the team from Sunrise currently has the team north of the border in a stranglehold and a chance to sweep them Wednesday night.
It was a sigh of relief when we all saw that puck that John Tavares shot toward the net slowly cross the goal line in game 6 against Tampa Bay just 10 days ago. However, since then, Maple Leaf fans haven’t experienced a win and are now watching their team – after knocking off the Lightning – slowly turn back into the Maple Leafs of the past.
Heading into this series against Florida wasn’t going to be an easy out by any means, and for the Leaf fans or hockey fans in general who thought otherwise, you were clearly in for a surprise. Florida came back from a 3-1 series deficit against the best team in NHL history (regular season-wise), and we were supposed to believe Toronto would walk all over them? Wrong.
Through three games of this series, the Panthers have shown us what the Maple Leafs …

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Author: Joseph Zita / 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
— 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
— Brennan Delane …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays, Position by Position: A three-man catching tandem? Or a trade?

Although the 2022 season is ongoing, unfortunately, it’s not for the Toronto Blue Jays. That means we have to look at the past season in retrospect, as well as look ahead to the future. 

This is a new series, which will focus on the current roster, position by position. As you can presume by the title, we’ll be looking at catchers and how they did in 2022, who’s pushing the issue in the minors, and what may happen to the position in the off season.
How did the Blue Jays catchers do in 2022:
It’s not unfair to say that the Jays had two of the best catchers in the MLB, as well as one of the best catching (and overall) prospects coming into 2022. Let’s see how each of them did.
Alejandro Kirk:
I think it’s fair to say that Alejandro Kirk was the best all-around catcher in the majors this season. Prior to the start of the season, I had said he was “average” defensively, but Kirk proved me and everyone wrong by posting some of the best defensive numbers behind the plate.
In my opinion, the best all-around defensive catching metric is Baseball Prospectus’ Catching Defensive Adjustment (CDA). This tool measures three of the most important defensive actions a catcher can do, framing, blocking, and throwing.
In 2022, Kirk had a 12.1 CDA, which ranked third in the league and second in the American League (next to Jose Trevino …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Cubs withstand Blue Jays rally, take series finale 7-5

Although the Jays took the first two games of this series against the Cubs, it was clear that Chicago wasn’t going to be an easy out. Both games required Toronto to come back from early deficits, and tonight, the early deficit was a little too much to handle. Chicago jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and never trailed to avoid the sweep in a 7-5 win.
It was another rough go for Mitch White, who allowed 6 runs over 4 and 2/3 innings, elevating his ERA to 4.67. White ran into trouble early on, as Cubs batters forced deep pitch counts. White threw 70 pitches in the first three innings, and similar to his other starts with the Blue Jays, had a lot of traffic on the bases.
The Cubs countered with a bullpen game, throwing a total of seven pitchers at the Blue Jays offense. Although the Jays were able to have a little bit of a rally, the likes of Manuel Rodriguez, Mark Leiter Jr., Michael Rucker and others kept the Blue Jays from ever taking the lead. Three of the Blue Jays top 5 batters in the order – George Springer, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Bo Bichette, combined to go 0-12 on the night.

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

The Mark Shapiro Era Draft Retrospective: 2018

Although it feels like just a year ago, it’s been over 4 years since the 2018 draft.

It has to be said that this was the current regime’s most creative draft. They went underslot with their first round pick, just to go overslot with their third rounder.  Those two players also went to the same high school and were seniors at the same time, so this will be a pretty interesting article.
Jordan Groshans:
Selected with the 12th overall pick, the 22-year-old is the first player in this series to currently be on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list. Let’s look over each season of the utility player’s career.
In 2018, he played for the two rookie league teams. He posted a .296/.353/.446 slash line in 207 plate appearances. He hit five homers between the two levels, a rather impressive display of power early in his professional career.
Moving on to 2019, Groshans was promoted to the Lansing Lugnuts in A ball. In 96 plate appearances, he slashed .337/.427/.428 while adding two homers. He had a K% of 21.9 (a career high), but walked 13.5% of the time, which is also a career high). In May, he had an undisclosed left foot injury, which ended his season prematurely.
Much like every single other minor league player, Groshans didn’t participate in the 2020 minor league season, because there wasn’t one. However, Groshans played at the alt site, where he re …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation