George Springer displaying encouraging signs as regular season nears an end

Between missing large chunks of the 2021 season due to a quad injury and battling through his current knee sprain, outfielder George Springer’s inaugural campaign with the Toronto Blue Jays has been far from ordinary, but with one week remaining, there could be an opportunity to finish on a high note.

After returning from the injured list on Jun. 22, Springer enjoyed nearly a two-month stretch without any injury concerns, allowing the superstar center fielder to make a considerable offensive impact during that span. Unfortunately, the injury bug struck again during a road trip in Seattle, where the 32-year-old injured his left knee while attempting to make a catch up against the center-field wall.
Following a two-week IL stint, the 6’3″ outfielder returned to the active roster on Aug. 30, however, it became pretty clear he was nowhere near 100 percent recovered. Making matters worse, a foul ball deflected off that same left knee just one week later, ultimately forcing the right-hander to miss a few additional games to help alleviate the swelling.
Since then, Springer has needed to push through the pain in order to keep himself in the lineup, although that hasn’t exactly benefited his production at the plate. Though …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Ishmail Wainright must make the Opening Night team

Toronto Raptors: Ishmail Wainright must make the Opening Night team

The Toronto Raptors have a large chunk of their rotation already, but after the signing of Svi Mykhailiuk, it appears as if five players with partial guarantees will battle it out for three remaining NBA roster spots. One of those players looking to stick in the NBA is Ishmail Wainright, who is coming off of […]
Toronto Raptors: Ishmail Wainright must make the Opening Night team – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: OG Anunoby seen by executives as Top 5 breakout candidate

Raptors: OG Anunoby seen by executives as Top 5 breakout candidate

The Toronto Raptors are placing a large chunk of responsibility in the post-Kyle Lowry era on the broad shoulders of OG Anunoby, who is quickly becoming one of the more unheralded great players in the game. This may be the year the perpetually underrated Anunoby starts getting the praise he deserves. On top of the […]
Raptors: OG Anunoby seen by executives as Top 5 breakout candidate – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Why the Leafs should sign development camp invites way more often

Why the Leafs should sign development camp invites way more often

Every year, a large group of undrafted free agents attend development camps and rookie tournaments around the league. Teams bring these players that they have varying degrees of interest in to get a closer look at them, before sending them back to their junior leagues in the hopes of being drafted the next time around.
And with that, every year we see “overage” prospects drafted relatively high. No matter the draft class, you can find numerous prospects that had been passed over in previous drafts selected as high as the top 100. Most just accept this as a reality of the draft, that once the draft is over you have to wait another year to have a crack at bringing these prospects into your organization. This isn’t exactly the case, however.
For NCAA bound prospects and those based in Europe, there isn’t much an NHL franchise can do. NCAA players cannot be signed to NHL contracts, so any NCAA prospect would have to forgo their collegiate career in order to turn pro. It is highly unlikely that an invite would forgo their collegiate career in order to join an organization, especially when these invites are often entering their first …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays have recalled Otto Lopez from Triple-A

There’s a new Large Adult Son in the mix.

According to Hector Gomez, the Blue Jays have recalled infielder Otto Lopez from the Buffalo Bisons…

The Blue Jays call up INF Otto Lopez, per @antoniopuesan.
Born in DR and raised for several years in Montreal after his father’s teaching job took the Lopez family to Canada, Otto signed with the Blue Jays back in 2016 and has quietly put up numbers ever since.@BlueJays pic.twitter.com/y2Sf6mu4Cq
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) August 17, 2021

Lopez was added to the 40-man roster ahead of last winter’s Rule 5 draft. The highest level he had played before the 2020 minor-league season was wiped out was Low-A with the Lansing Lugnuts and then he jumped all the way to Double-A New Hampshire in 2021.
In 69 games with the Fisher Cats, Lopez put together a nice slash line of .330/.397/.457 with 28 walks and 62 strikeouts. He was promoted to Buffalo a couple of weeks ago and has continued to hit, slashing a .282/.404/.410 line over 11 games.
Here’s a scouting report from MLB Pipeline…
Born in Santo Domingo and raised for several years in Montreal after his father’s teaching job took the Lopez family to Canada, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Who Are The Untouchable Prospects?

As the trade deadline looms large, the Toronto Blue Jays are on the cusp of a wildcard position with a fleeting chance of winning the AL East. This means that the Jays will be looking to add MLB players to their roster and as they have a surplus of prospects, so much so that Fangraphs ranks them second in the best farm systems. So with this article, I’ll give you my list of untouchables and the higher prospects who could be on the move.

A small disclaimer here, I actually don’t believe any of the Jays top prospects will be traded this deadline. If we’ve learned anything, they’ve made deals that usually surprise us, like the Liriano trade back in 2016. I could be wrong, but I think at most they trade only one top prospect.
The Untouchables
There is a difference between prospect hugging and holding onto players that have the potential to be all-stars, if not superstars. Prospect hugging means that you hold on to most of your prospects instead of trying to make your team better for the time being. There are a few prospects in the Jays’ system that could be the next …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Aron Baynes has chance to rebuild value at Olympics

Toronto Raptors: Aron Baynes has chance to rebuild value at Olympics

Toronto Raptors fans spent a large chunk of the 2020-21 season slinging arrows at Australian center Aron Baynes, as the man they signed to replace Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka failed to provide either Gasol’s ability to keep the ball flowing in the post and Ibaka’s two-way stardom. His breakout year in Phoenix appears to […]
Toronto Raptors: Aron Baynes has chance to rebuild value at Olympics – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Who has benefited from Norman Powell’s injury?

Norman Powell’s injury is a large loss for the Toronto Raptors but this opens doors for the young core to shine. Which three players have benefitted the most? When Kawhi Leonard left for Los Angeles, the Toronto Raptors lost the main player that they relied on during late-game situations. What Nick Nurse has done so […]
Toronto Raptors: Who has benefited from Norman Powell’s injury? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Lee Tanner / Raptors HQ

Baseball America’s new Top 100 features Nate Pearson (7th), Jordan Groshans (29th), and Simeon Woods Richardson (61st)

Interested in some Large Adult Son content? Well, Baseball America has you covered, as they’ve released their much-anticipated annual Top 100 prospects list.

Three #BlueJays crack Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects list: 7 – RHP Nate Pearson29 – SS Jordan Groshans61 – RHP Simeon Woods Richardson
(Sub required) https://t.co/4y30jXyoCz
— John Lott (@LottOnBaseball) January 22, 2020

Given that Vlad Jr. and Bo Bichette, the organization’s top two prospects graduated this year, it’s pretty impressive that the Jays have three guys in the Top 100 ranking. We all knew Nate Pearson would be there as he’s arguably the best pitching prospect in baseball. Seeing Jordan Groshans get this much love from BA is really encouraging as he’s set to become the organization’s next big position player in the system. And, finally, Simeon Woods Richardson being ranked as high as he is mean that Marcus Stroman trade return that pissed so many fans off maaaaaybe doesn’t look too shabby.
Remember when everyone was mad the Jays didn’t get a Top 100 guy back for Stroman? Well, there you go!

BA thinks Simeon Woods Richardson could be “on …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Why Toronto is Signing Cody Ceci, and What That May Bring

In the aftermath of the acquisition of Cody Ceci, in large part, the opinion of Toronto fans seems to be that the team should do what it can to ensure that Ceci sees no time on the ice for the Maple Leafs. There are a number of very good reasons why that could be the best route to take. Namely, potential contract amount, the potential to flip him for draft picks or other undervalued assets, and the fact that he’s just not very good at hockey. This piece is not trying to say that getting rid of Cody Ceci would be necessarily wrong. It only seems prudent to explore some reasons why keeping him and playing him might be the better call, since the resounding vocal majority seems to be ignoring that possibility.
Contract Reasons
The most important reason to keep Ceci is the ultimate goal, maximizing his value in a trade. Because he’s a restricted free agent this year, the Leafs have to negotiate a new contract with him to keep him around.  The new contract can be structured as mostly a signing bonus, so he’ll get paid that money once the contract is signed. He …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation