Jacob Barnes, who cleared waivers earlier this season, is back with the Blue Jays

On June 19th, the Blue Jays traded 24-year-old Troy Miller for relief pitcher Jacob Barnes. On July 26th, he was DFA’ed. Let’s be real, we all thought he’d never pitch another inning for the Blue Jays. Below is the article I wrote about this trade…

What were his Blue Jays stats? Is a 6.00 ERA in 9 IP good? I would say no, but when you look at peripherals, you can see that he wasn’t actually that in his short time for the Jays.  While his BB/9 was high (6), he had a K/9 of 13. Most surprising to me however is the fact he had a 4.05 FIP and 4.17 xFIP, so not nearly as bad as one would think.
Fast forward to September 29th, guess who’s back, back again? Jakey is back, back again.
If you think about early season Blue Jays relievers, Dolis, Chatwood or maybe even Jersey Beasley comes to mind. Yet, Jacob Barnes got the call up to the majors. That begs the question, how did he do in Buffalo?
Pretty darn good. He’s pitched 14.1 innings since the demotion. In that time, he’s allowed one earned run for a 0.63 ERA. As for his peripherals, …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Meet the Sellers: Arizona Diamondbacks

Over the course of May and June, the Arizona Diamondbacks have been one of the most putrid baseball teams in history. They had lost 23 straight games on the road at one point, an MLB all-time high. They finished the month of May with a record of 5-24. This also set a new MLB record for most losses in a calendar month. 

Despite the horrible record, the Diamondbacks have some effective pieces that would fit the Blue Jays’ needs. One player being analyzed in this article has a bit of term and has been a star player in the past. Moreover, the Blue Jays have also recently expressed interest in investing in bullpen help and a left-handed bat. Well Blue Jays fans, how about a couple of switch hitters that have played more than one position in the past. As mentioned in previous articles, the value in versatility is important for Toronto, as it could help keep the current outfield unit stay healthy with DH time. 
Here are some players that fill the Blue Jays’ needs…
Joakim Soria
Joakim Soria has had a tough season this year, however, he does have a lot of recent success in previous years. He is …

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Author: Eric Lightfoot / Blue Jays Nation

Leaflets: Stray thoughts on the Leafs forward depth

It’s the ides of June, and we’re still a couple of weeks away from the Stanley Cup Final. This wouldn’t seem so bad except there’s the small matter of knowing that Montreal is still playing, and that between the Islanders and Canadiens still being around there is an active effort to make the series formerly known as the Conference Finals as boring as possible. Part of that sentiment is sour grapes on my part, but that doesn’t change that tuning in to watch these games is a short lived stop on my TV dial. Last night I watched long enough to realize that House Hunters International is more where I’m at right now, and watched a terrible family move to Valencia, Spain instead.
Anyways, with my mind cleared, as ones head does when watching House Hunters, I got to thinking about the Leafs again, and with that, I realized that as much as I want a major move, there needs to be a fundamental shift in the way they address depth in the organization as well. Here are a few of my thoughts on Leafs depth.
You don’t have depth until your depth …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Stories of the year: The rise of the Hockey Diversity Alliance and BLM’s impact on the NHL

June 8th, 2020 marked the formation of the Hockey Diversity Alliance. Spearheaded by an executive committee of seven current and former NHL players with Akim Aliu and Evander Kane at the forefront. It is the HDA’s mission to eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey. It will be a long and difficult process, but they are well on their way. 
Since their formation they have shown that meaningful change in hockey is the most important to them.

Let’s create sustainable change on every level within hockey.
We will educate and encourage accountability from our leagues and leaders. At the grassroots level, we will work to ensure hockey is accessible to anyone who loves the game.#ISupportHDA | https://t.co/zBFO5GjauA pic.twitter.com/rH2h8QImey
— Hockey Diversity Alliance (@TheOfficialHDA) August 11, 2020

Access and opportunity is just one place to begin.

Former Canadian NHL hockey player Akim Aliu helped to establish a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) hockey team that played in a recent tournament in Etobicoke. Read more: https://t.co/i1YLEeM8tS pic.twitter.com/yl6kPQBFRz
— CBC Toronto (@CBCToronto) September 15, 2020

Then the focus moves to the opposite end of the spectrum where the onus falls …

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Author: Marsha Joseph / The Leafs Nation

Lose for Lafreniere? How the Toronto Maple Leafs could still possibly land the first overall pick on Monday

Back in June, the NHL conducted its first phase of this year’s draft lottery. While many teams faced the unfortunate fact that they wouldn’t be picking first overall, the most surprising result was that Team E, or a “team to be named later” won the first overall pick. But what happens now?
Well the second phase of the draft lottery is scheduled to take place on Monday night at 6 p.m. EST, and technically the Toronto Maple Leafs are still in the running for the first overall pick. The Leafs chances may be slim, but it’s still possible. Here is a breakdown of how the Leafs can have a shot at the top selection.
A quick debrief about the new format
Before I get into the Leafs’ chance at selecting the assumed first overall pick Alexis Lafreniere, I want to quickly give a refresher over how this new draft lottery works.
Phase one of the draft lottery took place on Jun. 26. Basically, the seven teams who did not qualify for the return-to-play phase were entered into three lotteries. These three lotteries were for the top three picks, ultimately to determine where …

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Author: Matthew Rodrigopulle / The Leafs Nation

Friday Future Stars: The 2020 Draft and the Leafs

It just doesn’t seem like June unless we’re talking about the draft. Normally by this time of year our site would be rotten with prospect rankings, profiles, mock drafts, arguments for the Leafs trading up or down in the draft, and the several dozen trade rumours of Leafs dumping players for picks which never materialize but give us the false hope and content we love to keep us interested in what is usually a pretty straight forward and bland process.
That brings us to this year and the mountain of question marks surrounding the draft.
The Draft Lottery
We know it will be held on June 26th, but alas, we might not know who the winner is until the play-in rounds of the rebooted playoffs are completed.
This could potentially be a consolation prize for the Leafs if they are booted in the play-in round by the Blue Jackets.
The format this year is as follows (via NBC Sports)
There will be three different draws. The first will be for the No. 1 overall pick; the second for the No. 2 pick; and a third for the No. 3 selection.
The seven teams done for the year were ranked …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Last chance to sign for a couple of Leafs prospects

June 1st is a significant date on the hockey calendar for prospects and General Managers. It’s the date that junior hockey players selected in the 2018 draft need to be signed by. Exciting, I know, but still a somewhat relevant date on the calendar when we’ve basically been sitting around rehashing classic games and debating what the return of the 2019-20 season will look like.
For the Leafs part of this equation, Toronto has two players who are unsigned, and would therefore be eligible to re-enter the draft in 2020. Riley Stotts, and Zachary Bouthillier.
The cases for and against them were made previously in this hockey hiatus…
Riley Stotts: 
Stotts has had a steady upward trajectory in his production, but lacks the ridiculous numbers you’d expect in post draft seasons. This may speak to him not having the talent to dominate offensively against much younger competition, but it also speaks to the state of the Hitmen organization over Stotts’ time there. I don’t think anyone is making the case for Stotts as a top six player at either the AHL or the NHL level, but the lack of dominance might …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Giving Marv

Martin Marincin was traded to the Leafs on June 27, 2015. On the same weekend Toronto drafted Mitch Marner, Travis Dermott, and Jeremy Bracco, adding a depth defenceman from Slovakia was a footnote. Looking back now, in the state of the Leafs blueline it is surprising there was not more excitement about Marincin.
By the time he got to the Leafs, Marincin had already represented Slovakia multiple times at the World Juniors, World Championships, and Olympics. He was a 23 year old, 6’4″ (now listed at 6’5″) defenceman with 85 games of NHL experience, and it only cost the Leafs Brad Ross and a 4th round pick. Marincin was originally selected 46th overall by Edmonton in 2010, they actually traded Riley Nash for the pick.
At that point the knock on Marincin was making bad decisions with the puck, and not being able to stick on a horrendous Oilers blueline was not a good sign for him. He joined the Leafs at an extremely turbulent time, en route to a last place finish in search of the great Papi.
Almost 5 years later, there are few faces in the Leafs organization that have been around longer than ‘Marv’. I’ve decided …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

Mark Shapiro says something big is brewing with Rogers Centre renovations

This past June, Rogers Centre celebrated its 30th anniversary. Unveiled in 1989 as a state-of-the-art multi-use facility, it boasted the largest Jumbotron of its era and encapsulated the “everything to everyone” mantra of professional sports stadiums during the 80s and early 90s.
Skydome also ushered in the end of an era of multi-use stadiums and it’s one of the last of its kind. Four years later, Camden Yards was constructed in 1992 and set forth the new era of retro ballparks; smaller, distinctive and much more conducive to an intimate ballpark experience.
At 27 years old, Camden Yards barely shows its age. The stadium formerly known as Skydome didn’t future proof itself quite as well and it’s very apparent the facility was built during the heyday of Milli Vanilli.
In any other scenario, the merits of building a brand new stadium would be up for debate, but the Blue Jays already have the ideal location on prime real estate near Toronto’s waterfront. In the meantime, the club is working with the concrete bones the Rogers Centre already has.
This year, the Blue Jays made substantial renovations to the 100 and 200 level concourses; the blue and white facings are brighter and …

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Author: Ian Hunter / Blue Jays Nation