The Bo Bichette Redemption Tour continues

In sports, it’s very easy to hyperbolize and dramatize statements like “That guy carries the offense!” and “That’s a one-man team!” For the Toronto Blue Jays right now, it is quite literally a one-man show on offense, as Bo Bichette once again carried the offense during a critical game in September for the Toronto Blue Jays. They defeated Tampa Bay 3-2 behind a gutsy two-run home run from Bichette to give the Blue Jays the lead in the bottom of the 8th.

Bichette’s home run was off of Rays closer Jason Adam, who has been shoving for the Rays all year. Bo, last week’s AL Player of the Week, battled amidst a seven-pitch at-bat against Adam, taking tough sliders and fouling off fastballs. On pitch number seven, Bichette pulled a slider over the left field fence for his 24th home run of the season. It was a little mind-boggling why the Rays even pitched to Bichette with an open base and considering how well he has been swinging the bat.

Bo Bichette gives the Blue Jays the lead in the bottom of the 8th!
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 13, 2022

The homer was extremely reminiscent of Bichette’s go-ahead home run late last year against the Yankees, taking a Clay Holmes sinker over the right field fence to lead Toronto to victory. Both home runs were in the bottom of the 8t …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 102: The rain saves the Blue Jays from a possible sweep in Baltimore

So much for all of those easy wins against the Trash Birds!

The Blue Jays rolled into Baltimore this week and dropped two games to the Orioles. The first was the result of a poor Yusei Kikuchi start and then the second one was the rest of a late-game bullpen meltdown. The sweep was avoided as the skies opened up and the third game was postponed due to rain.
In this episode of BJN Radio, we talked about the surprisingly good Orioles, Blue Jay Murder Ryan Mountcastle, potentially going with a six-man rotation once Ross Stripling is back from injury, and a whole bunch more!
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

2022 TLN Prospect Rankings: #10 Ty Voit

It’s easy to forget that we’re just one season removed from the cancellation of the 2020-21 OHL campaign. The long-term impact of the development for the prospects affected has yet to be seen, but we are already beginning to see steals emerge from the 2021 draft in the short term.
In the fifth round in 2021, the Toronto Maple Leafs took a swing on a small, creative winger who had shown promise in his underage season as a potential high-end playmaker in Ty Voit. Ranked as high as the second round by some outlets, Voit fell to the fifth round due largely to his non-existent draft-eligible season.
In selecting Voit, the Maple Leafs were hoping to have found a gem out of unusual circumstances. Returning to action in 2021-22, Voit began to make good on that upside, emerging as one of the elite playmakers in the OHL and proving he should’ve been drafted much earlier than 153rd overall.
Ty Voit’s statement season with Sarnia sees him rise eight spots on the TLN Prospect Rankings to crack the top 10.
Ty Voit
C | Sarnia (OHL) | Age: 19 | 5-foot-10 | 161 lbs | Shoots: RAcquired: 2021 Draft, 153rd Overall | 2021 Ranking: #18
As was the case for most OHLers coming off of an entire year without game action, many didn’t know what to expect …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays Fired Charlie Montoyo. Now What?

If turning around a struggling baseball team was as easy as firing your manager, there would be a constant cycle of middle-aged baseball dudes getting laid off weekly. But it rarely is that easy, and thus despite the Blue Jays firing Charlie Montoyo yesterday, a lot of work remains to be done in order to turn this team into one that not only will make the playoffs, but will be built to go on a deep run in October.

It is impossible to tell if replacing Montoyo with John Schneider will have any impact on how the players perform, but it became clear yesterday just how important of a first step it was to getting this team on the right track. From the first reports that were trickling out of the US, to this excellent piece from The Athletic’s Kaitlyn McGrath, Montoyo had clearly lost the confidence of his team, and once that happens, a move needs to be made. (Ironically, all arguments I saw and contributed to pre-firing assumed Montoyo was well-liked by the team. Once that assumption was thrown out the window, the argument for making a change became much simpler).
Now, after taking responsibility for where the club is in the standings at this point in the season yesterday, the task Ross Atkins has ahead of him is to identify the faults in this team and address them. It’s a tricky situation to navigate because if you’ve been watching the Blue Jays closely this year, you might identify many issues plaguing this team. In reality, though, I believe the issues are actually pretty simple. 
Despite what many might think, the Blue Jays’ offense is more or less fine. They’ve been the fifth-best team in baseball according to wRC+ this season in the aggregate. Their issues offensively have more to do with being inconsistent – which I don’t think is something you can ever avoid in baseball – and an inability to hit in high leverage spots.
That last point has been a thorn in their side since the beginning of 2021, and there have been many theories floating out there, from a lack of “clutch” – which would …

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Author: Gideon Turk / Blue Jays Nation

Maple Leafs plan in goal becomes a little clearer after shipping Mrazek to Chicago

MONTREAL — It’s easy to criticize Kyle Dubas’ decision to sign Petr Mrazek to a three-year, $11.4 million contract last summer.
With little salary cap space heading into next season and a $3.8 million hit on a tandem goaltender who had an abysmal first year with the club, the Toronto Maple Leafs GM traded the 30-year-old Czech to the Chicago Blackhawks on Day 1 of the 2022 NHL Draft at Bell Centre.
On the surface, it looks like the Leafs traded another first-round pick to dispose of a problem. In reality, all they did was move down in the draft from No. 25 to 38.
It’s not much of a downgrade and they didn’t have to retain any salary in the deal.
Really, Dubas has Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson to thank for alleviating Toronto’s problem.
Chicago was in a particularly giving mood by making some questionable decisions on Thursday, including trading away 24-year-old forward Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators for draft picks and 21-year-old centre Kirby Dack to the Montreal Canadiens for an identical haul.
The Blackhawks obvious aim to tank is Toronto’s gain and now they’re left with roughly $10.2 in cap space which will be primarily used to help fill their goaltending needs.
Now it’s just a question of how they go about it.
With incumb …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation