1 stud and 1 dud as Gary Trent Jr, Raptors lose tough game to Pacers

1 stud and 1 dud as Gary Trent Jr, Raptors lose tough game to Pacers

Gary Trent Jr. and the Toronto Raptors looked to start 2023 off the right way, as they had a winnable road game against the Indiana Pacers up on the schedule following a nice victory against the Suns. Myles Turner and Tyrese Haliburton are tall orders, but Nick Nurse was hoping “Vision 6-9” would derail the […]
1 stud and 1 dud as Gary Trent Jr, Raptors lose tough game to Pacers – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Winter League wrap-up: Could Rainer Núñez win the LIDOM MVP? Bowden Francis continues to dominate, and more!

At the end of November, we looked at how each Jays prospect was doing in their respective winter leagues. Today, we’ll do the same.

I don’t think it’s a hot take to say that a Blue Jay prospect could be a Most Valuable Player candidate in the Dominican Winter League (LIDOM). Let’s start there.
Rainer Núñez MVP-calibre campaign:
When Estrellas de Oriente drafted Rainer Núñez in the fourth round of the 2022 LIDOM draft, one has to imagine what they were expecting from the young first baseman.
I wouldn’t assume they expected an MVP calibre season for the rookie, but that’s what they’ve gotten so far.
Núñez, who recently turned 22 years old, is slashing .270/.314/.487 in 118 plate appearances with Estrellas. While that’s impressive in its own right, he currently leads the league with seven homers, again, as a 21/22-year-old.

Le dio pa’ la calle el MVP de esta semana 💥 ¡HOMERUN de Rainer Núñez que empata las acciones para las @EOBASEBALLCLUB! 🐘🔥#LIDOM #CopaBanreservas ⚾️🏆 pic.twitter.com/MXZbP0qcVs
— LIDOM (@LIDOMRD) December 7, 2022

His seven home runs are tied for the most since the 2019 season. Furthermore, the last time someone his age led the league in homers was back in the 2012-13 season. That season saw Marcell Ozuna (also a rookie) hit nine homers as a 22-year-old, which is a LIDOM record for rookies.
A comparable MVP season came from Peter O’Brien in the 2019-2020 season. He slashed .243/.386/.479 with nine homers in 210 plate appearances. While O’Brien was older, he did also have a higher on-base percentage. 
Núñez could very well be in contention for the MVP award this season, and with less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, it’ll come down to the wire. The Dominican Winter League is free to watch on MLB . tv, so definitely tune in! Estrellas are currently fourth in the LIDOM standings, so they’d be in the playoffs if it were to start today!
Vinny Capra:
Next up, we’ll look at Vinny Capra, who also plays for Estrellas.

Vinny …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

3 cheap free agents Raptors may sign after Armoni Brooks release

3 cheap free agents Raptors may sign after Armoni Brooks release

Just when it looked like the Toronto Raptors had finally put the finishing touches on their offseason plans after completing the signing of the NBA’s resident Laurence Olivier in Juancho Hernangomez, the Armoni Brooks news dump has left them with one more open spot. Brooks was waived in a move that looks a little less […]
3 cheap free agents Raptors may sign after Armoni Brooks release – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The Maple Leafs will have an open competition in goal in what could essentially be a coin-flip

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ options in goal looked a lot better following the first day of NHL free agency. On Wednesday, they signed former Washington Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov to a one-year, $1.8 million contract.
The Russian played in 44 games last season and he essentially split the goaltending duties with Vitek Vanecek. But with Washington’s need to improve their situation in goal, they went out and signed free agent Darcy Kuemper to a five-year, $26.25 million. Two days prior, they relinquished the rights to Samsonov by not tendering him a qualifying offer.
“The thing that really stood out to me more than anything was that he really wanted it to be a one-year show me, bet-on-yourself type deal, which is not always common with players coming of this shock of being non Q-O’d when he wasn’t expecting it,” Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas said of Samsonov. “That was impressive to me and combined with the evaluation of our goaltending department of what he can become if we can work with him, get him and get him on the right track.”
Samsonov is the other half of a massive bet in goal that the Leafs made this week. On Monday, they acquired Matt Murray from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation