Ricky Tiedemann threw a bullpen session on Sunday after being shut down with shoulder soreness

Well, Blue Jays fans got some good news on Sunday!

According to MLB.com, Ricky Tiedemann threw a bullpen on Sunday and apparently felt good. Last week, it was reported that Tiedemann had soreness in his pitching shoulder, which had shut him down for a few days.

Left shoulder soreness for Ricky Tiedemann. Shut down for a couple of days but expects him to throw a side Wednesday per Schneider #BlueJays
— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) March 13, 2023

It’s also worth noting that Tiedemann was cut in the first wave of cuts, meaning that the young pitcher will start his season in the minor leagues, likely with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
The 20-year-old left-handed pitcher is the Blue Jays’ consensus top prospect, with multiple publications such as MLB Pipeline, Baseball America, Fangraphs, Prospects Live, and several other sites awarding him the number one spot.

Here’s every single pitch from Ricky Tiedemann (@TiedemannRicky3)’s afternoon.
I’m going to say it right now. This man is going to win multiple Cy Young awards.#BlueJays pic.twitter.com/lr4WKpab7j
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) February 28, 2023

And for good reason, pitching mainly as a 19-year-old in 2022, he had a 2.17 ERA in 78.2 innings pitched at Low-A, High-A, and Double-A. Here’s to another good season that could potentially propel him to a top-10 position on lists, and potentially make it to the big leagues.
Other notes from the article:
Mitch White hasn’t pitched yet this spring, but that looks likely to change this upcoming week. While it may not be in a spring training game, it will be a game scenario, unlike the bullpen sessions he has recently had.
It’s also worth noting that the Jays made their second wave of cuts on March 18. Pitchers Adrián Hernández and Casey Lawrence, as well as first baseman Rainer Núñez, were all sent to minor league game on Saturday afternoon.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.


Read More

Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Whit Merrifield hit his first home run of spring training, Bowden Francis pitched well, and more as the Blue Jays beat the Yankees 5-2

It’s always a good day when the Blue Jays beat the Yankees.

On Saturday afternoon, the Jays beat the Yankees in impressive fashion. Let’s look at the standouts, as well as some other things worth mentioning.
Blue Jays Nation’s player of the game: Whit Merrifield
Merrifield had a productive game on Saturday afternoon, hitting his first spring training home run and driving another insurance run in his next at bat.
The battle for second base continues to brew, with Merrifield’s slash line sitting at .360/.393/.640. This is better than Santiago Espinal’s slash line (.324/378/.500) and Cavan Biggio’s slash line (.270/.341/.351).
I have no idea who will be the starting second baseman, but this battle is fun.

Raking WHIT the bat 💪@WhitMerrifield is hitting .333 this spring! pic.twitter.com/gpHWrfjXoG
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) March 18, 2023

Things worth mentioning:
Bowden Francis looks damn good, doesn’t he? On Saturday afternoon, he pitched three innings, gave up three hits, two runs, and walked a batter. However, he also struck out a game-high five, generating a game-high nine whiffs. His role is yet to be determined, but I think there’s a good chance he will start the season as a starter with Buffalo.

Here’s Bowden Francis (@Bowdenpoint0)’s strikeout and whiff edit.
Very good fastball today, as it had a 43 whiff percentage (9 whiffs on 21 swings).
Could be a starter to look out for this season.#BlueJays pic.twitter.com/WVOwV8GRel
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) March 18, 2023

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s knee is doing better. He hit his third home run of the spring in only 21 plate appearances. That home run tied him with George Springer for the most, but the latter has 36 …

Read More

Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Latest Kyle Lowry injury update stinks for Toronto Raptors fans

Latest Kyle Lowry injury update stinks for Toronto Raptors fans

Even though the Toronto Raptors picked a good time to part ways with franchise icon Kyle Lowry, trading him to the Miami Heat for a package headlined by Precious Achiuwa, Raptors fans are still rooting for the greatest player in franchise history to succeed in his new spot. After all, part of the reason that […]
Latest Kyle Lowry injury update stinks for Toronto Raptors fans – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Oilers dummy the new look Leafs 5-2: Game highlights

There’s not much good to say about Wednesday’s game. The Oilers led the game from start to finish. Connor McDavid did Connor McDavid things. Below are the highlights from the game.
McDavid opened the scoring as Jake McCabe sat for slashing. He worked a give and go with Leon Draisaitl and scored his ninth goal in his last four plus games…

McDavid capitalizes early on the power play to put the Oilers up by one!🔥 pic.twitter.com/exJBnCXh9n
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 2, 2023

The Leafs evened it up later in the first. Cody Ceci turned it over on the wall and Mitch Marner found David Kampf to make it 1-1…

¯_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/qtYJ6MDRW9
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 2, 2023

McDavid did it again a few minutes later. Another highlight reel goal. Five straight multi-goal games for 97. 2-1 Oilers…

That’s five consecutive two goal games for Connor McDavid! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/yWPjmuEobL
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 2, 2023

Zach Hyman cleaned up his own rebound to make it 3-1. Three point period for McDavid. First point as an Oiler for Mattias Ekholm…

Hyman goes to work against his former squad! 👷‍♂️ pic.twitter.com/VooF2D1vp9
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 2, 2023

The Oilers dominance continued in the second period. Ilya Samsonov made a huge stop on Hyman in tight to keep the Leafs within two…

another strong pad save from Samsonov pic.twitter.com/fBgYWGNxQb
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 2, 2023

The two goal lead didn’t last long. Kailer Yamamoto tipped in the Ceci point shot to make it 4-1…

Kailer Yamamoto re-directs it
4-1 pic.twitter.com/H9EGKteDjW
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 2, 2023

The Oilers extended their lead again before the end of the second. Ryan McLeod walked TJ Brodie on the 2-1 and fed Klim Kostin. 5-1…

this game is a runaway. klim kostin extends the oilers’ lead to 5-1. pic.twitter.com/UYUEXscSzn
— zach (@zjlaing) March 2, 2023

Mitch Marner got the comeback started with a powerplay goal early in the third. He took the Morgan Rielly pass and wired a wrister past Stuart Skinner to cut the lead to three…

Marns gets us one back! pic.twitter.com/EtQVKzpGa9
— Toronto Mapl …

Read More

Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

News and Notes: The Minnesota Twins are interested in A.J. Pollock, Blue Jays sign an intriguing hard-throwing relief pitcher, and more!

I’m running out of good intros for the News and Notes articles. So here’s a News and Notes article to start off your day.

There isn’t a lot of Blue Jays-related news or rumours, but there are some rumblings of teams looking to trade players the Jays could be interested in. Let’s start with the Jays’ news first.
Julián Fernández:
Here’s the skinny: The Jays signed a 27-year-old righty who touches 103 mph with a great out pitch in his changeup. Despite his 6.63 ERA and 7 FIP in 57 innings pitched in Triple-A, which also saw home run issues and command issues, this signing has a possibility to be really good for the Jays.

#BlueJays are signing hard-throwing RHP Julian Fernández to a minor-lg deal per source. 27-yr-old reliever spent ‘22 at AAA Albuquerque & battled HR issues. Pitched in majors for ’21 Rockies, averaging 99 mph on FB. Topped out at 103. Recently pitched in Dominican Winter League
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) December 29, 2022

Fernández is an intriguing reliever, and our very own Cam Lewis went more in-depth in this article here. You can also read my deep dive on why he has the tools to become an elite reliever here.
Yosver Zulueta gets an MLB.com nod:
Speaking of Blue Jays pitchers that throw hard, Cuban-born Yosver Zulueta was featured in MLB.com’s article featuring which prospects they’re excited to see debut in 2023.
If you’ve read any of my prospect articles, you know I’m pretty high on Zulueta as he sits in the high-90s (and touches over 100 mph) as a starter, while flashing plus or average secondary pitches.

Zulueta just fanned his first runner throwing…
100 mph!!!!!!#BlueJays #NextLevel pic.twitter.com/RjpNT5v6Jl
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) July 7, 2022

While his strikeout rate was high, so too was his walk rate. However, this is to be expected as he hadn’t really pitched competitively since 2019 due to the plague …

Read More

Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

For the nostalgic Blue Jays fan, Vol. 3: Eric Sogard

With a 67-95 record, not many good memories came from the 2019 Toronto Blue Jays. Outside of the debuts of Vladdy, Bo, and Cavan Biggio, Jays fans were forced to watch Buddy Boshers pitch meaningful innings and Trent Thornton lead the team in starts.

However, the Blue Jays turned an offseason minor league signing into a solid leadoff hitter for the first half of the season. That man was Eric Sogard.
Sogard spent six seasons in Oakland from 2010 through 2015, as well as two years in Milwaukee prior to his time north of the border. The veteran utility man was part of the Oakland A’s during their three consecutive years of making the playoffs from 2012-2014, making him teammates with future Blue Jay Josh Donaldson.
Sogard’s glove was valued more than his bat, as he was able to play a variety of positions, but his batting average hovered around the mid to early .200s.
Nicknamed “Nerd Power” because of the goggles that he wore every game, Sogard was inked to a minor league deal with the Blue Jays in December of 2018. He was relegated to Buffalo to start …

Read More

Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Auston Matthews stands up for himself and shows his winning smile, chaos ensues

Auston Matthews stands up for himself and shows his winning smile, chaos ensues

The Leafs desperately needed a good result to get themselves back on track and they got exactly that on Wednesday night.
While it was against a Flyers team who played the previous night, Toronto did almost everything you could ask of them throughout the 60 minutes. Ilya Samsonov made some quality saves when he had to, John Tavares put the team on his back with an inspiring performance, and the bottom six played well while also getting rewarded with a goal from Zach Aston-Reese.
The power-play showed signs of being more creative and they turned it into two tallies. Although the Leafs took six infractions on the night, they killed off five of them and were much more sound down a man.
It was a game that was desperately needed with the temperature in the fanbase at a boiling point, which should help the team feel better about themselves as they prepare to take on the red-hot Bruins on Saturday. Theoretically, should be nothing to complain about with a game in which the Leafs were clearly the better team all night long.
As is always the case, people will find something to nitpick with the Leafs. In this case, many were upset at Auston Matthews for not really engaging with Travis Konecny near the end of the game.

Mark Giordano didn’t like that 🥊 pic.twitte …

Read More

Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

End of season comparison: Yusei Kikuchi to Steven Matz, a tale of change and qualifying offers

We’ve run through all the good comparisons, and now we’re left with Yusei Kikuchi and Steven Matz. Yay.

So yeah, getting this out of the way quickly, neither of these guys had a good season… sort of. It took a change mid-season to help them perform better.
Unlike the other three articles in the series, there are no prospects in this article. However, there should have been, but we’ll get to that. Here’s the background.
The Blue Jays traded three prospects, Sean Reid-Foley, Yennsy Diaz, and Josh Winckowski for Steven Matz on January 28th, 2021. The lefty had a solid season in 2021 with the Blue Jays and cashed in during the 2021-22 off-season, signing a four-year, $44 million contract with the St.Louis Cardinals.
Yusei Kikuchi spent three seasons with the Mariners, positing “meh” statistics with the team, before signing a three-year deal with the Blue Jays worth $36 million.
Steven Matz’s 2021:
Looking at Matz’s 2021 first, he finished the season with a 3.82 ERA and 3.79 FIP in 150.2 innings pitched. While his 22.3 K% was about average, he had a solid 6.6 BB% which meant he let runners get a free pass.
It was a fairly streaky season for the then 30-year-old lefty. At some point, he looked like it could be his best year, while he got lit up at other points. Overall, it was a solid season where he posted pretty good numbers for a guy who was penciled in as the fifth starter.
Unlike the other two free agents we’ve covered, Mat …

Read More

Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

This could be Wayne Simmonds’ last season as a player with the Toronto Maple Leafs

All good things must come to an end, and for Wayne Simmonds, this could potentially be the last season he pulls on a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey.
It’s always difficult to see such likeable players come to the end of the road with their team or career. Wishing to see them continue to succeed and win the ultimate prize before sailing off into the sunset is something that many fans will hope for, as seen with how strongly the Toronto Maple Leafs fanbase was drawn to Jason Spezza before his retirement this off-season.
But, as with all things in life, at some point, it can’t continue and there could be an argument that this is the case with Wayne Simmonds and the Leafs this upcoming season. Simmonds has been a popular addition to the team prior to the Covid-shortened 2021 season, being well-liked by both his teammates as well as the fans, but his run with the team may not continue beyond this campaign.
The biggest indicator of this is how little Simmonds actually played for the team last season. While he featured in 72 games during the regular season, scoring five goals and providing 11 assists, Simmonds averaged …

Read More

Author: James Reeve / The Leafs Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 103: Ross Stripling’s gem, Yusei Kikuchi to the bullpen, and more!

The vibes were very bad and suddenly they’re good again. That’s baseball, baby!

It was doom and gloom as the Blue Jays looked completely lifeless in losing the first two games of their series with the Baltimore Orioles but an incredible start from Ross Stripling and a late-game explosion offensively resulted in a momentum-changing win.
We talked about the Baltimore series, how the Orioles are becoming scary, how great Ross Stripling has been, the importance of George Springer to the lineup, and a whole bunch more. After that, we looked ahead to the upcoming four-game series with the struggling Yankees in New York.
You can listen to the episode here…

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation