Raptors’ OG Anunoby becoming an All-Star lock due to hot start

Raptors’ OG Anunoby becoming an All-Star lock due to hot start

The Toronto Raptors have been on the receiving end of some pretty tough injuries this season, as Pascal Siakam and Precious Achiuwa have both missed time. With Gary Trent Jr. having struggled offensively and Scottie Barnes in and out of the lineup, OG Anunoby has saved this team’s backside. Anunoby was one of the main […]
Raptors’ OG Anunoby becoming an All-Star lock due to hot start – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Precious Achiuwa injury update: Raptors big man far from return

Precious Achiuwa injury update: Raptors big man far from return

The Toronto Raptors have been one of the more impressive teams in the Eastern Conference when you factor in all of the games that their best players have missed due to injury. Losing an All-NBA player like Pascal Siakam and the Sixth Man in Precious Achiuwa is tough to shoulder. Achiuwa tore up some ligaments […]
Precious Achiuwa injury update: Raptors big man far from return – 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 steal James Wiseman from Warriors after G League move

Raptors must steal James Wiseman from Warriors after G League move

It has been an excellent start to the season for the Toronto Raptors when you consider the fact that they have had to deal with one injury after another just 17 games in. Nick Nurse’s side has a 9-8 record, and they should be close to contending in the Eastern Conference when healthy. Would a risky […]
Raptors must steal James Wiseman from Warriors after G League move – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Sourav Mahanty / Raptors HQ

Raptors loss vs. Hawks shows Thad Young must be the bench leader

Raptors loss vs. Hawks shows Thad Young must be the bench leader

Toronto Raptors veteran Thad Young has been on quite the journey after signing a multi-year contract with the club in the offseason. After one or two substandard performances early in the season, Young was excommunicated from the rotation until injuries forced him back into the fold. Young has started the last few games at center, […]
Raptors loss vs. Hawks shows Thad Young must be the bench leader – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Alek Manoah finished third in American League Cy Young voting

The American Cy Young award winner has been announced, and unfortunately, Alek Manoah didn’t win.

The 24-year-old Manoah had a fantastic season, registering a 2.24 ERA and 3.35 FIP in 196.2 innings pitched. While his K% dropped from 27.7% in 2021 to 22.9% in 2022, the Big Puma undoubtedly established himself as the Blue Jays ace.
For the next two seasons, the righty will make the league minimum, before his first year of arbitration after the 2024 season. Unless he is signed to a long-term deal beforehand (which is very possible), Manoah will become a free agent after the 2027 season.
Despite the excellent season, Manoah finished third in Cy Young voting, finishing with 13 votes for third place and seven votes for second. He also had 10 votes for fourth place but barely finished ahead of Shohei Ohtani.

I was a BBWAA voter for the AL Cy Young Award. My ballot:
1. Justin Verlander (HOU)2. Dylan Cease (CWS)3. Alek Manoah (TOR)4. Shohei Ohtani (LAA)5. Kevin Gausman (TOR)
Full results: pic.twitter.com/x9IiGP0qpc
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) November 17, 2022

Chicago White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease finished in second place, while the Houston Astros’ Justin Verland finished in first.
Verlander won unanimously, taking all 30 first-place votes. Without any bias, it was well deserved as he had a 1.75 ERA and 2.49 FIP in 175 innings pitched with the eventual World Series winners. He also had a pretty impressive 27.8 K% and a 4.4 BB%, which is even more impressive considering that Verlander will turn 40 years old in February.
Per Astros beat reporter Brian McTaggart, the veteran pitcher is looking for a contract similar to Max Scherzer’s 3-year, $130 million deal. Scherzer, who is similar in age, signed that deal which carried an annual average of $43,333,333 with a player option for the 2024 season.
While …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays add Spencer Horwitz, Addison Barger, Yosver Zulueta, and Orelvis Martinez to the 40-man roster

The Blue Jays’ roster has officially been set ahead of the Rule 5 draft.

To no one’s surprise, right-handed pitcher Yosver Zulueta, third baseman/shortstop Orelvis Martinez,  first baseman Spencer Horwitz, and third baseman/shortstop Addison Barger have been added to the 40-man roster.
Update: To make room for Zulueta, Horwitz, Martinez, and Barger, Foster Griffin was released, while Bradley Zimmer and Raimel Tapia were designated for assignment.
Let’s look at the prospects added to the 40-man roster.
Yosver Zulueta:
The 24-year-old Zulueta had a combined 3.72 ERA in 55.2 innings pitched in all four “A” levels of the minors in 2022. He had a fantastic 33.9 K% but struggled with the walks as he had a 12.9 BB%, which increased with each level he pitched at. This is to be expected, as he’s missed the last two seasons due to injuries and the plague year.

Zulueta just fanned his first runner throwing…
100 mph!!!!!!#BlueJays #NextLevel pic.twitter.com/RjpNT5v6Jl
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) July 7, 2022

Aside from the high strikeout rate and solid results, Zulueta was added to the 40-man roster due to the tools and potential he has. The Cuban has an 80-grade fastball which often reaches 100 mph, a plus slider, and a plus changeup, as well as an average curveball.
It’s possible, potentially even likely, that we will see Zulueta on the Blue Jays in 2023.
Addison Barger:
No Jays system position player had a year like Addison Barger. The 23-year-old slashed .308/.378/.555 with 26 homers in 526 plate appearances in High A, Double A, and Triple A. 
Although he likely ran out of gas in the Arizona Fall League (slashed just .189/.318/.321 in 63 plate appearances), Barger has taken a tremendous step forward in his development. The biggest change was the approach at the plate, which saw his K% drop from 32.9% in 2021 to 24.9% in 2022 across the three levels.

Addison Barger (@AddisonBarger) with his ninth homer of the season with the Fisher Cats!#BlueJays #NextLevel pic.twitter.com/D4BFPLk7er
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) September 15, 2022

Prior to the Arizona Fall Lea …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Amirov resumes treatment, Akhtyamov excelling, Lisowsky lighting it up: Leafs Prospect Roundup

Amirov resumes treatment, Akhtyamov excelling, Lisowsky lighting it up: Leafs Prospect Roundup

It has been an incredibly difficult year for the Leafs’ 2020 first-round pick, Rodion Amirov, after being diagnosed with a brain tumor last February. Through it all, he has been an inspiring source of strength and positivity, and it was great to see him around the Leafs’ players and staff in the early part of the season. It was an invaluable opportunity for him to familiarize himself with the organization and experience what life in the NHL could be like.
Unfortunately, Amirov’s agent Dan Milstein announced last week that he has returned home to his family as he undergoes further treatment and will be putting his training on hold. Amirov continued to train in the early stages of his treatment and had been eying a return to the ice sometime this year, but it appears that is on the back burner as the primary focus remains his overall health.

Update re: Rodion Amirov #WeAreGoldStar! pic.twitter.com/iZzbJR5aHh
— Dan Milstein-Hockey (@HockeyAgent1) November 8, 2022

We here at The Leafs Nation continue to send our best to Amirov and hope to see him fully healthy and back on the ice in the future.
Let’s get to this week’s Prospect Roundup.
Artur Akhtyamov | G | Neftyanik Almetievsk (VHL)
A fourth-round pick of the Leafs back in 2020, Akhtyamov has arguably been the best goaltender in the VHL so far this season. He is tied for the league lead in both wins and shutouts, and his .938 SV% is second among qualified goaltenders, though he has played in seven more games than the lone netminder ahead of him.
Akhtyamov played in his 17th and 18th games of the season l …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Leafs left with the easy task of naming Keith Petruzzelli the starter for Saturday night

Leafs left with the easy task of naming Keith Petruzzelli the starter for Saturday night

It seemed like it always should have been Petruzzelli’s game and one that was confidently announced a week ago so his family had time to shuttle to Toronto for his NHL debut, but if there was any doubt about who should be getting the start, it should be cleared up by this recent insight from Sheldon Keefe:

Keefe says Matt Murray will not play tomorrow. They will make that decision of who starts tomorrow. @BodogCA @RinkWideTOR
— David Alter (@dalter) November 12, 2022

While the Leafs have historically shied away from the idea of having their goaltenders make NHL debuts on Saturday night nationally broadcast home games, this one hits a little different than the standard fare. For one, there really doesn’t seem to be much of a choice, but we’ll get into that later. There’s also the fact that this is a game against the Vancouver Canucks. The 4-7-3 Vancouver Canucks that seem to be hanging on by a thread. It’s not a bad opponent to line an inexperienced goaltender up against, and in that sense it couldn’t have worked out any better.
It also seems that no one is delusional enough to believe that Petruzzelli will be making his case for a Leafs job tonight either. This is about as one and done as it gets. Good or bad, by Tuesday Keith will be riding a bus with the Marlies, and the Leafs will at least feel comfortable enough with Matt Murray wearing a ball cap f …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Raptors select Canadian high school legend in 2023 mock draft

Raptors select Canadian high school legend in 2023 mock draft

The Toronto Raptors, as has been the case under Masai Ujiri, are likely coming away from their last two draft classes with tons of hope for the future. Using the No. 4 pick on Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes was accentuated by second-round finds in Dalano Banton and big man Christian Koloko. Ujiri and […]
Raptors select Canadian high school legend in 2023 mock draft – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: Pascal Siakam injury update is not ideal for Toronto

Raptors: Pascal Siakam injury update is not ideal for Toronto

Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors have been soldering on without Fred VanVleet over the last few games, as back problems have forced names like Christian Koloko and O.G. Anunoby to step up. When called upon, most of Toronto’s role players have done their job. While Toronto has shown they can win without VanVleet for […]
Raptors: Pascal Siakam injury update is not ideal for Toronto – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ