BJN Radio – Ep. 89: The Blue Jays need bullpen help, Yankees fans are mad about All-Star voting, and more!

The Blue Jays are in a bit of a skid as they split a four-game series with the Orioles, got dropped by the Yankees, and then lost two of three to the White Sox.

In this episode of BJN Radio, we recapped the series with the White Sox and talked about how the Blue Jays are badly in need of some bullpen help. We also looked at the American League All-Star vote and why it’s making Yankees fans so upset.
After that, we looked ahead to the upcoming series with the Milwaukee Brewers and took a look back at the Rowdy Tellez trade that happened just over one year ago.
You can listen to the episode here… 
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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Pre-Series Notes: Josh Palacios claimed off waivers by Washington, Oakland has multiple unvaccinated players who can’t come to Toronto, and more!

After splitting their four-game series with the Yankees in The Bronx, the Blue Jays are back home for a three-game weekend set with the Oakland A’s.

This is a series the Blue Jays need to do well in because the schedule ahead is an absolute gauntlet. After hosting Oakland, the Blue Jays will hit the road to face the Red Sox in Boston and the Astros in Houston. They’ll then return home to host the Red Sox, Astros, and Yankees.
That said, the A’s aren’t a team the Blue Jays can take lightly. They’re fresh off winning three of four games against the Tampa Bay Rays and they managed to hold two pretty good lineups, Tampa and Philly, to three or fewer runs in four of the seven games they’ve played this season.
You’d assume the A’s would be junk this year because they traded away Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, and Sean Manaea over the offseason, but, hey, we’ve all seen Moneyball. The A’s can be pesky and they weirdly seem to be at their best when nobody expects it.
Worth mentioning…
Josh Palacios was designated for assignment a few days ago when the Blue Jays added Tyler Heineman to the roster in place of the injured Danny Jansen. Unsurprisingly, some …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Leafs 3 stars of the week: Mitch Marner extends point streak amid poor week, John Tavares breaks goal drought

After coming off a four-game week where we witnessed some great games and some stressful games, the Toronto Maple Leafs had three games on the schedule last week including a meeting with the Washington Capitals for the first time since October of 2019. Along with their meeting with the 2018 Stanley Cup champions, the Maple Leafs were also set to host both the Buffalo Sabres and the Vancouver Canucks at home.
They began their week on Monday night in Washington for a clash with the Capitals and it was a pretty good game if I’m being honest right now. The Maple Leafs did blow a 3-1 lead but they managed to stick around and get the lead back to ultimately win the game on the road. There were some questions in this game because Washington is such a heavy team to play against and at times when Toronto had puck possession, it felt like the Capitals were bullying Toronto nonstop, especially when Tom Wilson threw down John Tavares, but I guess it was alright given he set up the eventual ga …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs’ recent win streak is surprisingly well-deserved

The recent four-game winning streak for our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs is a welcome respite from what was a really concerning October. The team looked lethargic, and it was honestly getting a bit desperate. What we were seeing felt like a continuation of the depressing finish to last season, exiting the playoffs in the first round yet again.
However, despite how things looked to start, it feels like it is starting to turn around. After victories against Detroit and Chicago that were, frankly, embarrassingly close, the Leafs put together a deserved dominant win over an admittedly faltering Vegas team, and then a well-fought victory over the three-peat-hopeful Tampa Bay Lightning.
I wanted to know: are these wins a mirage? Are the real Leafs the ones who were losing and looking terrible, or the ones winning and looking pretty solid?
The Leafs are now 11 games into the season, which is a really nice niche where we haven’t seen enough goals to let them determine team quality, so shot attempts are by far the best indicator of team quality. This because we’ve seen way more shot attempts, enough to somewhat reliably predict what might happen as the season rolls on.


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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Travis Boyd will travel with the Leafs on the Alberta road trip

The Leafs are set to begin a four-game road trip in Alberta and made a roster move in preparation for it.

Forward Travis Boyd has been added to the Maple Leafs’ roster and will travel with the club to Alberta for its four-game Western road trip. #LeafsForever
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) January 23, 2021

It made sense why the Leafs are bringing Travis Boyd with them out west given all of the injuries they have had to deal with this past week, including losing two key forwards for a month and Auston Matthews sitting out Friday’s game.
While it’s unclear if Boyd will make an appearance in any of the games, he definitely played well enough in training camp and the scrimmage to earn the position he is in right now. After all, he was one of the last cuts after training camp and has been with the taxi squad so far this season.
He spent the past season with the Washington Capitals where he recorded three goals, seven assists, and 10 points in 24 games.
All stats unless otherwise noted are from Hockey-Reference.com.

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

News and Notes as the Blue Jays host the struggling Red Sox

After earning a huge split in their four-game series with the Rays at The House of Horrors, the Blue Jays are rolling what, on paper, is a soft part of their schedule with a 14-13 record.

The Jays will host the Red Sox for three games and then Baltimore will head to Buffalo for a four-game set. After that, the Jays will head to Miami for a couple of games with the Marlins and then they’ll play a four-game set with the Sox at Fenway.
This is a prime stretch for the Jays to pile up some wins and create some distance between them and the pile of junk behind them in the standings. It’s really crucial they capitalize here given the fact they’ll be playing the Yankees 10 times in September.

#BlueJays injury updates – Giles throwing bullpen today – Bichette progressing well, hopeful to return to baseball activities on weekend– Pearson has flexor strain, resuming playing catch this weekend – Thornton to get 2nd opinion from Dr. Andrews Mon– Grichuk can DH today
— Kaitlyn McGrath (@kaitlyncmcgrath) August 25, 2020

We got a handful of injury updates, most of which were positive. Randal …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

News and Notes as the Blue Jays head to Washington

The Blue Jays are travelling to D.C. to play a four-game series against the Nationals, two of which will be road games, and two of which will be home games.

As of right now, it looks as though these games are going to happen, but, after the Miami Marlins reported that one-third of their roster tested positive for COVID-19, there’s some worry that the season might be in jeopardy. That said, MLB has reportedly not had any serious discussions about pausing or suspending the season.

Updating the Miami Marlins’ outbreak: The total number of infected players is 11 of the 33 who have been traveling with the team and two coaches, sources tell ESPN.
The Marlins-Orioles and Yankees-Phillies games tonight have been postponed. For now, the rest may be played.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 27, 2020

Anyways…
So it’ll be the Blue Jays’ first look at the defending World Series Champions. Well, sort of. It won’t be the Champs at full-strength this week. Anthony Rendon, of course, left the team in free agency to sign with the Angels, and Juan Soto is currently in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. Soto produced a …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Maple Leafs Pregame #31: 5 Things to Watch for vs the Defending Champs

Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs start a four-game road trip against the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the St. Louis Blues.
The Leafs are now 4-3 under Sheldon Keefe and are surely looking to start banking some points in their pursuit of a playoff birth. It won’t be easy against a Blues team who has won four of their last five games and has had their way with the Leafs in the past.
Lineups

1) Pontus Aberg on the Top Line
After Andreas Johnsson got injured, it was a bit of a mystery as to who the Leafs would call up from the Marlies to replace him. Not only did Pontus Aberg end up getting the call, but it looks like he is going to skate alongside William Nylander and Auston Matthews.
Aberg has arguably been the Marlies’ best forward this season, with 24 points and 22 games. He’s been a dangerous threat in the offensive zone and is usually pushing play in the right direction for the Marlies using his creativity and skill.


 
In my opinion, putting Aberg on the top line represents Keefe putting him in a situation to succeed, as Aberg’ …

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Author: Nick DeSouza / The Leafs Nation