Raptors: 3 two-way free agents who could replace Gary Trent Jr

Raptors: 3 two-way free agents who could replace Gary Trent Jr

Since being acquired by the Toronto Raptors, Gary Trent Jr. has been nothing short of a deadly offensive threat. Scoring 17.4 points per game last season, Trent was an outside threat, shooting 37% from three-point range. He paired this offense with solid defense adding 1.6 steals per game to the box score. His two-way play […]
Raptors: 3 two-way free agents who could replace Gary Trent Jr – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Nolan Fluke / Raptors HQ

Kyle Dubas’ 5 best moves during his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs

After being hired by the organization at the age of 28 back in 2014 as an assistant general manager, the Kyle Dubas era in Toronto has officially come to and end after nine years with the organization.
As we all know by now, the news broke recently that the Toronto Maple Leafs will not be extending the contract of Kyle Dubas and will now be looking elsewhere for a new general manager to take over arguably the biggest hockey market in the world with the 2023 NHL draft and free agency both just around the corner.
Whether you liked the job Kyle Dubas did throughout his five years as general manager and four years as assistant general manager or not, it’s no secret that he did some good things for this organization  — and yes, even some questionable things for this organization that at the time and even looking back at it now, were a bad idea.
What I’ll classify as a “move” in this article is simply trades, free-agent signings and even some draft picks that Dubas made. I am not counting re-signings with the players having already been part of the organization.
Before we start, let me say this, this is my top five, not yours. Yours may be a …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

Not Sunny in Philadelphia: Bo Bichette’s error wins the game for the Phillies

Part of baseball being a beautiful sport is that a game can be a snooze-fest through eight innings, then must-see, intense TV for two innings. That’s exactly what happened this afternoon, as the Blue Jays lost the lead and eventually the game 2-1, and the Phillies swept the mini two-game series.

With runners at first and second with one out in the 10th, Tim Mayza fielded a tailor-made double play ball and threw to second to get the first out. Bo Bichette’s throw to first, however, was wide to the left, and it took Vladimir Guerrero Jr. off the bag allowing the lead runner to score. It was Bichette’s fourth error of the season.
While this play will get magnified, Bichette was not the sole reason Toronto lost the game. Unfortunately, it was the final play of the game, and the Blue Jays lost their second game in a row.
Blue Jays Nation’s Player of the Game: Kevin Gausman
Gausman needed a rebound start after his last outing against the Red Sox in which he gave up eight earned runs after 3.1 innings. That’s exactly what he produced, with his stat line today featuring a whole lot of zeros. Gausman pitched six innings of shutout baseball while only allowing three hits, no walk …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Matthew Knies has been “a difference maker” for the Maple Leafs in two pivotal games vs. Lightning

Did anyone have Matthew Knies being on the ice for two massive goals to help propel the Maple Leafs over the Lightning in game 3 on their bingo card? I definitely didn’t.
The jump from college hockey to the NHL is quite a feat but the 20-year-old is making it look like child’s play.
Whether it’s winning puck battles, setting up players for goals, or just positioning on the ice, Knies is playing well above what the Maple Leafs could’ve asked for when they signed him just 15 days ago.
Knies was on the ice for Toronto’s two final goals on Saturday — each being massive situations — highlighting the trust that Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe has instilled in him.
“He’s shown that he’s a guy that can make a play and be a difference maker,” Keefe told reporters on Sunday in Tampa.
“It’s one thing to have the confidence and belief in yourself that you can make plays. It’s a whole other thing to make (those) plays.” Added Keefe.
Of all the games the 20-year-old has played in the NHL, Saturday’s was the one where he saw the most ice. Knies had more five-on-five minutes (17:42) than each of Calle Jarnkrok, David Kampf, Alex Kerfoot, Sam Lafferty, and Zach Aston-Reese.
Every moment Knies was out for a shift, he was noticeable. With that being said, the 20-year-old is now — after everyone, including mys …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Blue Jays’ Mitch White throws 43-pitch bullpen session, scheduled for live batting practice Friday

Despite being blanked 7-0 by the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday, the Toronto Blue Jays provided an encouraging injury update on right-hander Mitch White, who has yet to make his Grapefruit League debut this spring.
White, delayed by a right shoulder impingement over the off-season, has been working on his build-up at the player development complex over the last few weeks and made a positive stride this past weekend, throwing a 43-pitch bullpen session. The 28-year-old’s next step will be facing live hitters on Friday, where he is expected to throw a few simulated innings.
If everything checks out, White may be cleared for game action shortly afterwards and could make his spring training debut as early as next week.

Mitch White (shoulder) threw a 43-pitch bullpen over the weekend. He’s scheduled to throw a live bullpen on Friday against Blue Jays hitters. Aiming for a couple simulated innings.
If all goes well Friday, White’s next step would be 1-2 innings in a Grapefruit League game.
— Arden Zwelling (@ArdenZwelling) March 8, 2023

The 6-foot-3 hurler, acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers at last season’s trade deadline, figures to open the regular season in the bullpen – if he’s ready by then – and would serve as Toronto’s multi-inning reliever. But if he were to start the season on the injured list, however, the team would likely turn to Nate Pearson or Zach Thompson for that role.
White made eight starts and two relief appearances with the Blue Jays in 2022, logging 43.0 innings and posting a 7.74 ERA a …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

NBA rumors: James Harden departure would be dream for Raptors, Atlantic Division

NBA rumors: James Harden departure would be dream for Raptors, Atlantic Division

The Toronto Raptors have the misfortune of being placed in the Atlantic Division, meaning they must go through a complete gauntlet of championship contenders if they want to add a division title to their list of accolades. The Philadelphia 76ers, led by Joel Embiid and James Harden, rank among those quality opponents. While the presence […]
NBA rumors: James Harden departure would be dream for Raptors, Atlantic Division – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Blue Jays Nation’s 2023 Preseason Top 50: #7 Tucker Toman

Despite being selected after the second round, most publications considered Tucker Toman to be a top 50 draft prospect.

So it may have been a shock when the Jays selected him and went over-slot on his signing bonus. At the end of the day, it was a great pick.
Before we jump into that, let’s look at the criteria first.
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 to have that grade.
For these prospects, I’ll be reviewing their background, numbers in the minors, pitch mix (if they’re a pitcher), and giving a scouting report (if feasible, rookie league guys are difficult).
Let’s jump in!
Tucker Toman‘s career so far:
The 19-year-old switch-hitting third baseman/shortstop was drafted 77th overall by the …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Maple Leafs one of just two NHL teams with zero prospects at 2023 World Juniors

Toronto Maple Leafs one of just two NHL teams with zero prospects at 2023 World Juniors

Being one of the National Hockey League’s top teams comes at a cost.

Boxing Day typically marks the start of the World Juniors, one of the hockey world’s most exciting events, and this year is no different. The 2023 World Junior Championship begins today with four games: Finland/Switzerland, Sweden/Austria, Latvia/USA, and Czechia/Canada.
But, for the first time since 1982, the Toronto Maple Leafs won’t have a single prospect taking part in this year’s World Juniors. A four-decade streak of Maple Leafs representation will come to an end when the first puck drops on Monday.
In a sense, it’s understandable. With a 21–7–6 record through the first three months of the season, the Leafs are a Stanley Cup contender with the desire to win now. They’ve made just eight picks over the last two drafts.
But the cupboards aren’t completely bare. Matthew Knies is just barely too old to play for Team USA this year, while Ty Voit was a curious omission on the part of USA Hockey considering his fantastic statline with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting. The Leafs selected both Knies and Voit in 2021.
Meanwhile, 2022 fifth-round pick Nikita Grebenkin would’ve been a shoo …

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Author: Mike Gould / The Leafs Nation

Dalano Banton has proven he is Raptors’ best backup PG option

Dalano Banton has proven he is Raptors’ best backup PG option

One of the many position battles currently being conducted on this Toronto Raptors team is at the critical position of backup point guard. Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam will likely man that role in the regular season, but Dalano Banton and Malachi Flynn will both be given a chance. With Flynn out for Toronto’s preseason […]
Dalano Banton has proven he is Raptors’ best backup PG option – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

3 most underrated players on the Toronto Raptors’ current roster

3 most underrated players on the Toronto Raptors’ current roster

Being underrated is nothing new to the Toronto Raptors or their fanbase, especially when they’re in the postseason picture. How many teams that have a championship in the last five years and are fresh off a 48-win season get talked about this infrequently? The Raptors have an All-Star point guard in Fred VanVleet, an All-NBA […]
3 most underrated players on the Toronto Raptors’ current roster – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ