Teoscar Hernandez returns as the Blue Jays host the Atlanta Braves

The Blue Jays are inching closer and closer to operating at full strength.

Well, when it comes to their lineup, at least. They still have about a dozen injuries to their pitching staff, but, after activating George Springer on Wednesday, the Blue Jays will also welcome back Teoscar Hernandez from the COVID list on Friday when they host the Braves.
So, with Springer and Hernandez back, Charlie Montoyo will be able to put together an optimal Blue Jays lineup for the first time this season. What would that look like? I’m thinking…
Springer DH
Bichette SS
Vladdy 1B
Hernandez RF
Grichuk CF
Semien 2B
Biggio 3B
Gurriel LF
Kirk C
How they’re doing…
The Braves have had a very underwhelming start to their season. They sit 12-13, and while that’s enough for first place in the NL East, it’s a far cry from what you’d expect from a team who came within one win of reaching the World Series last year.
Just like pretty much everyone else, the Braves are dealing with a decimated pitching staff. They’re still without Mike Soroka (who underwent Tommy John surgery last year) and will be until at least …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

What will the Toronto Maple Leafs’ lineup look like on opening night?

The 2021 NHL season is inching closer and closer, and with that comes some discussion regarding who gets into the Toronto Maple Leafs opening night lineup.
Not just that, but what will Sheldon Keefe do with the defence pairings? The bottom-six? It all remains a mystery.
But in my latest video I try to figure out what the best options are for the Leafs. I explained my reasoning behind it, and to me, it’s the best lineup the Maple Leafs can ice whenever the next season starts.
Here it is:

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

A referendum on the Randal Grichuck contract

With 29 home runs, Randal Grichuk is inching towards his first 30 home run season of his year. If he reaches that treshold and maintains his current on base percentage, Grichuk will find himself among exclusive company.
He could become the sixth player in MLB history to hit 30 or more home runs in a single season, all while posting an OBP if .285 or less. The list of infamous hitters includes Dave Kingman, Tony Batista, Rougned Odor, Cory Snyder and Tony Armas.

With his 29th home run tonight, Randal Grichuk inches closer towards the 30 home run/sub .285 OBP club. Only five players in MLB history have ever done that in a single season. (Rougned Odor is one of them).
— Ian Hunter (@BlueJayHunter) September 18, 2019

When the Blue Jays acquired Grichuk in January 2018, it seemed like he had 30-plus home run potential in his bat. With his batted ball statistics and switching to a hitter-friendly ballpark, it seemed like he could easily reach that 30 home run plateau.
Even though he’ll likely reach that milestone this season, is it really that special when his OBP is the third-worst in MLB this year? (Sandwiched in between Odor and Kevin Pillar).
With the 2019 season coming to a …

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Author: Ian Hunter / Blue Jays Nation