Leafs with three regulation losses in last 21 games

The Leafs are very, very good. And although they lost to the Montreal Canadiens in overtime, there are a ton of positives. One is Auston Matthews scoring another goal — his 39th of the season. Morgan Rielly had a goal as well.
But what really stands out is the fact that Toronto only has three regulation losses in their last 21 games. That’s bananas.
I talk a bit more about in my video, plus what the Leafs first-round playoff lineup should look like. I hope you enjoy the video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

The Tanner Roark era has come to an end

There’s a pretty good chance we’ve seen Tanner Roark throw his last pitch in a Blue Jays uniform.

The team announced today that Roark had been designated for assignment. This comes as Teoscar Hernandez was reinstated from the COVID list, which meant the team needed to remove somebody from the 40-man roster to make room for him.
The fact that the Blue Jays opted to DFA Roark despite the fact that they don’t even know who their starting pitcher is going to be on either Saturday or Sunday sort of speaks volumes about how they view him at this point. Roark made just one start, got shelled, was relegated to the bullpen, and made just two appearances.
There are a lot of teams out there with injuries so maybe somebody will make a deal for Roark. Obviously, nobody is going to straight-up claim him and take on his albatross salary, but the Blue Jays could possibly eat his money and get a scratch ticket from the bottom of somebody’s farm system.
Regardless, the Roark era, more than likely, is over with the Blue Jays. He pitched 54 2/3 innings and allowed 41 earned runs. It was ugly.
Sail on, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays Nation Radio Ep. 7: Good Times at The House of Horrors

Good times at The Trop? What world is this?!?!

The Blue Jays rolled into Tampa Bay and saw the Rays for the first time since getting swept away in the Wild-Card round of last year’s post-season and things went quite well. Steven Matz was excellent on Friday, Jordan Romano imploded in Game 2, and the bullpen put together a masterful performance in Game 3 for the Blue Jays to take two of three.
We talked about all of the things that were good, like the bullpen being insane, Robbie Ray not walking anyone, and Santiago Espinal’s presence on the field and in the lineup, and we also touched on the things that weren’t so good, like Bo and Vlad going 1-for-25, Hyun Jin Ryu suffering an injury, and Romano’s worrying outing.
We also welcomed Mat Germain from Rays The Roof on the show to talk about what to expect from the Rays for the rest of the season. He went into some detail for us about some exciting arms the Rays have on the way and when we can expect to see Wander Franco, baseball’s No. 1 prospect, make his debut. Germain also reiterated his pre-season prediction about …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

A Matthews-less lineup for the Leafs as they try to turn things around against the Jets

Well, it’s a probably a good thing it’s not a regular year because right now would be playoff time and something like this would sting a lot more…

Auston Matthews is OUT tonight against the Jets, head coach Sheldon Keefe confirms
Day-to-day issue, not something that is expected to keep him out long
Missing his fourth game of the season … Leafs won previous three, all against the Oilers @TSN_Edge
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) April 15, 2021

No Matthews isn’t a good thing, even if the results so far have been encouraging, but it should be noted that there is a very big difference between Connor Hellebucyk, and the Oilers nonsensical tandem of Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen. The Leafs could probably use the best goal scorer of this generation against the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, but all the wishing in the world doesn’t change the fact that we’re getting Adam Brooks instead.
In addition to the absence of Matthews, we are still waiting on the return of William Nylander, and the arrival of Nick Foligno. The update on Nylander would put him on track for this weekend, but that doesn’t really help the Leafs situation tonight.



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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Teoscar Hernandez has tested positive for COVID-19, George Springer won’t join Blue Jays on upcoming road trip

There was some good Blue Jays-related injury news earlier today in regards to Nate Pearson, but Charlie Montoyo provided us with some more not-so-good news later on.

First up, Teoscar Hernandez has tested positive for COVID-19. He had been quarantining after coming into contact with somebody who had a positive test last week. Montoyo said that Hernandez started feeling symptoms on Monday but is feeling better today. He’ll be out for at least 10 days, per MLB’s COVID protocol.
The hope, Montoyo says, is that since Hernandez has been isolated from the team since Friday, this situation is limited to just him and that it hasn’t spread to anybody else on the team. We don’t know yet if that’s the case, though.
Next up, George Springer took batting practice on Monday but won’t join the team on their upcoming road trip. After the New York series ends tomorrow, the Blue Jays hit the road to Kansas City, Boston, and Tampa Bay, and don’t play at home again until they face the Nationals on April 27. This would indicate that Springer won’t join the team until then, at the earliest.
Finally, in more positive news, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Ross Atkins: Nate Pearson is pain-free and now the focus is getting him ramped up

Here’s some good news from the mouth of Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins…

While talking to Mad Dog Chris Russo on MLB Network, Atkins said that Nate Pearson is feeling incredible and he’s 100% pain-free. The focus for Pearson now is building him up so that he can handle a starter’s workload. Atkins also went on to say that, based on the way Pearson is throwing, he looks like he has a very successful year ahead of him.
As Keegan Matheson reported last week, though, it’ll still take some time for Pearson to make his way back to the Blue Jays. Remember, Pearson only had one outing in Grapefruit play and it was one inning long, so he’s basically working his way back up from scratch and going through his own spring training now.
Barring any setbacks, it would seem that mid-May is a realistic target for Pearson’s return.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: What does Khem Birch bring to the team?

Toronto Raptors: What does Khem Birch bring to the team?

It’s always good to have another Canadian on the Toronto Raptors’ books. Khem Birch has had a solid four years with the Orlando Magic. A mobile centre at 6’9 and 235 pounds, Birch is an important type of player to have on a winning team. An energy big who can switch on D, rebound, dunk, can […]
Toronto Raptors: What does Khem Birch bring to the team? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Both Reese McGuire and Breyvic Valera have cleared waivers

Here’s some good news from an Asset Management perspective…

The Blue Jays announced on Sunday that Reese McGuire and Breyvic Valera have cleared waivers and have been reassigned to the Alternate Training site. McGuire and Valera were designated for assignment earlier this week in order to open up room on the 40-man roster for Joe Panik and Tim Mayza.
Valera getting through waivers isn’t really much of a surprise as he’s a 29-year-old middle infielder with a ho-hum glove and a .592 OPS over 54 games at the big-league level. But McGuire, a pretty solid young backup catcher, getting through is a bit more surprising. I thought that somebody out there would take a flyer on him.
Anyway, that’s good news for the Blue Jays as it keeps them with a backup middle infielder and a third-string catcher in the minors in the event of an injury. The team went out and acquired Juan Grateol from the Anaheim Angels last week as insurance in case McGuire got claimed but now they’ll be able to instead just bring a familiar player in McGuire back if necessary.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Marlies and Me: Nick Robertson, Rasmus Sandin soon to the Leafs

This week featured a lot of good things from the Toronto Marlies, who needed a few bounces their way. That was, until, they played the Belleville Senators again last night and lost 7-2. However, there’s still a few good events that happened in the past seven days.
After going 0-for-20 against the Belleville Senators last week, Toronto wanted to start this week on a better note. And they did. Adam Brooks got on the board against the Stockton Heat on Monday which was their first power play goal since March 14th against Laval.
It was, too, Brooks’ first goal in nine games which was a boost for both him, and the Marlies.
“I’m sure his confidence, got a boost, but if I’m him, my confidence wouldn’t have been down.” Said Marlies head coach, Greg Moore. “You know, as an athlete, you always want to feel the back of the net. He did a lot of good things. It was one of his better games and again, I know I say this a lot, but it’s always good to see when guys do things right away, work hard and get rewarded for it.”
Brooks is now …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

The dream of an undefeated season has come to an end

Well, it was a good ride. After operating at a 162-0 pace through the first two days of the 2021 season, the Blue Jays lost to the Yankees by a score of 5-3 and are now mere mortals with a 1-1 record.

Things worth mentioning…

Ross Stripling got the start and pitched, well, just about exactly how you’d expect a swingman, long-reliever type to pitch against the Yankees. Stripling managed to get through only three-and-one-third innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and three walks. There wasn’t really a point in Stripling’s outing where you really felt all that confident that a Yankee explosion wasn’t right around the corner. This pretty much sums it up…

Official line for Ross Stripling: “Well that could’ve been worse.”
— Drew F (@DrewGROF) April 3, 2021

Rafal Dolis also had himself a difficult inning in relief, which isn’t something we’re used to based on how things went for him last year. Of course, with Dolis, even though he posted a sparkling ERA in 2020, he was always the type where you felt he was walking the tight rope given how many balls he threw. In Saturday’s outing, Dolis came in …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation