Alek Manoah’s Triple-A debut was insane

Alek Manoah’s last professional game came in August of 2019 for the Rookie League Vancouver Canadians.

After spending last summer at the Blue Jays’ Alternate Training Site, Manoah skipped pretty much the entire minor leagues and was placed on the Triple-A Bisons to start the 2021 season. If there was any worry Manoah wasn’t ready for this level of competition, he erased them in his debut.
Manoah went six innings scattered just two hits and collected a whopping 12 strikeouts. As impressive as Nate Pearson’s eight strikeouts were back on Tuesday, this was really something else.

A dozen will do for #Bisons @Alek_Manoah47 pic.twitter.com/qUcubokHLK
— Buffalo Bisons🦬 (@BuffaloBisons) May 7, 2021

Manoah was really good for the Blue Jays in spring training and he prompted a whole lot of “CALL HIM UP” sentiments from fans. I really don’t think he’s all that far away from contributing at the big-league level. We could see a Hyun Jin Ryu, Nate Pearson, Robbie Ray, Manoah, and Steven Matz starting rotation in a few months.
Some other minor-league stuff of note from Thursday…

The Thunder-Bisons put up 10 runs on Boston’s Triple-A team and are now 3-0 on the season. There …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

TLN Three Stars: Matthews and the Leafs handily defeat the Canucks

Another day, another Leafs victory.
Toronto came into this game looking to further cement their spot atop the North Division while the Canucks were trying desperately to squeak into the playoffs. The game proved to be an exciting affair, but only for one of those teams.
Tanner Pearson opened the scoring off a faceoff from a bad angle and they rode that momentum by piling up the shots. Sheldon Keefe did not like what he was seeing and gave his captain a long talk about the play and what should have been done differently.
It seemed to have paid off as the Leafs soon with Auston Matthews finishing off a nice feed from Mitch Marner off the rush to even things up. Early in the second, Marner stole the puck to set up Matthews’ 38th goal of the season and put his team in front for the rest of the game. Things started to balance out as both teams traded chances and kept the score close, but that all changed in the third period.
It started off with Adam Brooks getting a piece of Justin Holl’s shot from the point that Thatcher Demko had little shot of stopping. Then …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

A disappointing weekend in Kansas City is capped off by limp bats and some “WTF, Charlie?” moments

Yet again, the Blue Jays came out of an impressive series win against the Yankees and gave it all back by underperforming against a mediocre opponent. The Royals win the finale by a score of 2-0, the Blue Jays drop the series 3-1, and they now sit at 7-9 for the season.

Things worth mentioning…

Robbie Ray made his second start of the season and it was a really weird one. Despite walking six batters, Ray managed to walk the tightrope and not allow a single run over five innings of work. Out of 92 pitches thrown, he only generated 41 swings, and only 13 whiffs, which is pretty unusual for a strikeout guy like Ray. Even when he’s walking a lot of guys, as he was today, Ray generally still gets more whiffs than that.

After Ray came out of the game, we got a big-time “what the fuck, Charlie?” moment. Tim Mayza came out and pitched a scoreless sixth, and then Montoyo opted to bring in T.J. Zeuch to face the middle of Kansas City’s order in the seventh. Zeuch allowed a double on his first pitch and then allowed Sal Perez to smash a two-run bomb to …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Lakers beatdown serves as a brutal reminder that this isn’t a playoff team

Toronto Raptors: Lakers beatdown serves as a brutal reminder that this isn’t a playoff team

The Toronto Raptors came into their game against the Los Angeles Lakers feeling good for the first time in what feels like forever. Not only did they demolish the Golden State Warriors, but they won at the buzzer against the Washington Wizards just a night ago. With no LeBron James or Anthony Davis for the […]
Toronto Raptors: Lakers beatdown serves as a brutal reminder that this isn’t a playoff team – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Friedman’s thoughts on Leafs being “all in” and more

The majority of the Leafs news on Tuesday came directly from Kyle Dubas (covered here), the Leafs are aggressively searching for help sooner rather than later, it’s likely to be a forward, a rental, and in addition to that, the Leafs placed Jimmy Vesey on waivers and have a number of players returning from Europe to the Marlies. We’re trying to make sense of it, but so are the insiders. Here are Elliotte Friedman’s thoughts on the Leafs this week.
1. Toronto’s Kyle Dubas confirms he’s all in. The last two weeks haven’t been great, but the vast majority of the season’s been strong. He’s going for the best forward he can get and their top prospects are on the table. No Boston or Tampa Bay until at least the third round. Crazy not to take the leap.
Rough skid be damned, Dubas is still eying the ultimate prize, and for the sounds of things it’s going to come at a steep price. Top prospects being on the table is a tough pill to swallow, especially when Dubas has also been promoting the idea of bringing in rentals. Not having Nick Robertson …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Lmao McDavid got shut out by Michael Hutchinson

Much like Saturday’s game, the Oilers came out of the gate with a lot of pressure and gave Leafs fans some scares early on, but once again, it was the Leafs who opened the scoring, as Morgan Rielly made an excellent cross seam pass to Zach Hyman, who dangles around Mikko Koskinen and scores on the Leafs first shot of the game.

ZACH HYMAN
First shot of the game and it’s a goal! pic.twitter.com/RspFY66ELv
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 2, 2021

They followed it up quickly with another as William Nylander fought off Evan Bouchard and wired a backhander top shelf past Koskinen to make it 2-0.

Perfect pic.twitter.com/A8CImFYiYn
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 2, 2021

The Oilers would finally get a powerplay later in the first after not having a single one on Saturday, but it would last all of three seconds as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tripped up Justin Holl to make it 4-on-4. Another penalty to the Oilers would give the Leafs their first power play of the game, and they would capitalize on it as Rielly would fire a shot that deflected off of Darnell Nurse and squeak through Koskinen’s pads to give the Leafs a 3 …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Chris Boucher helps Toronto overcome slow start, beat mighty 76ers

Raptors: Chris Boucher helps Toronto overcome slow start, beat mighty 76ers

The Toronto Raptors came into their matchup against Joel Embiid and the hyped Philadelphia 76ers on an incredible high, as they avenged their loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves right before sweeping Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Carrying that momentum would be a difficult ordeal, however. Not only does Philadelphia have an MVP candidate in Joel […]
Raptors: Chris Boucher helps Toronto overcome slow start, beat mighty 76ers – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Montreal hands Toronto first regulation loss in 10 games with 2-1 victory over the Leafs

In a slow game, where the most flavour came during a second intermission segment spent discussing beef patties, the Toronto Maple Leafs fell to the Montreal Canadiens 2-1, suffering their first regulation loss in ten games.
It was another story of struggling in low-opportunity games for Toronto who showed weakness against that style of play during last season’s play-in round when they lost three of five games to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Both Toronto and Montreal seemed to take turns getting clogged up in the neutral zone and firing low-danger chances towards the other team’s goalkeeper. Making matters worse was the lack of powerplay time for either team with the referees calling only a single penalty for either franchise. With Toronto’s man-advantage unit being as lethal as it is, the referees putting their whistles away marked a noticeable dent into the Leafs gameplan.
The Leafs’ only goal came during the first period where Marner found the back of the net in close after a wonderful play from Auston Matthews behind the net to set up the goal.

Mitch Marner scores the first goal of his career against the Habs, 1-0! pic.twitter.com/NHLDgbI3fq
— Justin Holl’s …

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

The Vancouver Canadians could still remain a Blue Jays affiliate

Earlier this off-season, word came out that the Vancouver Canadians, one of the Blue Jays’ short-season rookie ball affiliates, would be becoming a minor-league affiliate of the Oakland Athletics.

Shortly after, though, Mark Shapiro said that the report about the Canadians and Blue Jays parting ways wasn’t factual.
“Major League Baseball has been overwhelmed with the amount of variables they’ve had to deal with this year and the timing on a minor league plan for next year,” Shapiro said. “Although we’ve got some loose insight, but we haven’t gotten a firm answer on what that’s going to look like. I think an understanding that it’s going to be a reduced number of teams, that short-season baseball is certainly not going to be the same.
What we do know is that a big part of MLB’s slashing of the minor leagues has to do with getting rid of short-season ball and increasing focus on having newly-drafted players go to instructional camps.
Over at Ballpark Digest, there’s a huge list that’s keeping track of which teams and leagues are getting chopped and which affiliates are moving around to accommodate these changes. It has …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Five moves the Raptors should make this off-season

  The 2020 NBA Playoffs came to an end for the Toronto Raptors in a seven games series loss to the Boston Celtics. Now, the Toronto Raptors have several roster adjustments to consider, and here is a look at five moves the team should make this off-season. 2020 did not end as well as 2019 […]
Toronto Raptors: Five moves the Raptors should make this off-season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ