Toronto Blue Jays activate Teoscar Hernandez, lose Gosuke Katoh to New York Mets on waivers

A pair of roster moves came hours before the Toronto Blue Jays’ Saturday doubleheader.

The Jays activated Teoscar Hernandez off the IL as the slugger makes his return, while the club also lost Gusoke Katoh on waivers to the Mets. Toronto DFA’d Katoh on Wednesday.
Hernandez returns to the Jays lineup and will be active as the 27th man for today’s games. Teo will draw in for the second game but can pinch-hit in game one if need be.
He’s been out of the lineup since April 13th dealing with an oblique injury and the Jays’ offence has sputtered without him. Injecting him back into the lineup, even if just for game two today, will be a much-needed addition. He appeared in six games earlier this year slashing .316/.435/.526 with six hits, one dinger and three RBI.
Katoh, meanwhile, is off to joins the Mets and has been assigned to their Triple-A club in Syracuse. Beyond having a legendary walkup song, NEver Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley, he got into a few games for the Jays this year in a pinch in what was his first MLB action. The 27-year-old had one hit, a double, and three walks in his 11 plate appearances.
While not a major loss, Katoh had spent nearly a deca …

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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation

Gosuke Katoh designated for assignment as Blue Jays add pitcher Casey Lawrence to the roster

The Blue Jays have made a pair of roster moves in order to add right-handed pitcher Casey Lawrence to their active roster.

Left-handed pitcher Andrew Vasquez was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo in order to clear room on the 26-man roster, while utility guy Gosuke Katoh has been designated for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster.
This is sad news for Katoh, who quickly became a fan favourite in Toronto. After spending nearly a decade in the minors, Katoh cracked the Blue Jays out of spring training. Katoh picked up his first-ever big league hit in a game against the Boston Red Sox last week and his teammates embraced him afterward in an incredibly heartfelt moment.

Lawrence has an underdog story of his own. The Blue Jays signed him as an undrafted free agent back in 2010 and he finally made his debut with the team in 2017. Lawrence spent some time with the Seattle Mariners, pitched in Japan in 2019, and returned to the Blue Jays as a minor league free agent in 2021 where he would split time with Triple-A Buffalo and Double-A New Hampshire.
In 22 1/3 innings for the Bisons this season, the 34-year-old Lawrence has a sparking 2.82 ERA and has 18 strikeouts compared to five walks.
He’s been used mostly as a starter over the past two years so Lawrence will be able to provide Toronto some length out of the bullpen. Given the way Yusei Kikuchi has pitched so far this season, that might be necessary on Wednesday night.
POINTSBET IS LIVE IN O …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Hyun Jin Ryu lands on the 10-day Injured List with left forearm inflammation

After a pair of difficult starts to kick off the season, Hyun Jin Ryu has been placed on the 10-day Injured List with left forearm inflammation.

He apparently felt some tightness in his throwing arm while warming up for his start on Saturday and tried to pitch through it. Ryu would wind up getting tagged for five earned runs on six hits over four innings of work while striking out just one batter.
As rough as that outing was for Ryu, it was actually an upgrade on his first result. Against the Texas Rangers last Sunday, Ryu cruised through three innings and then the wheels completely came off the tracks, as he was drilled for five runs while recording just one out. All told, Ryu went three-and-one-third innings in that start, surrendering six earned.
There’s obviously quite a bit of worry about Ryu, as his struggles date back to the mid-way point of last season. He was his ace-like self in April and May, started to struggle a bit in June and July, and then com …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Injuries to Dermott and Sandin present a depth challenge to the Leafs

The start of the season intriguingly saw the bottom pair unification of Travis Dermott and Rasmus Sandin for the Maple Leafs. Now, the Leafs are suffering with both of them out of the lineup for the last 2 games. Dermott will be missing from the lineup again tonight, as he practiced yesterday in a non-contact jersey, but he is getting close to returning. Sandin will still be out for a couple of weeks with a knee injury.
Dermott has moved to different spots in the lineup, with Dermott moving up to play with Morgan Rielly to bring Timothy Liljegren into the team. But even though they weren’t always playing together, they have become key parts of this teams’ defence core.
Undoubtedly, the team is suffering some negative effects with them out of the lineup. With both of them out, the Leafs have restored both Justin Holl and Timothy Liljegren to the team, and brought up the young Latvian Kristians Rubins from the Toronto Marlies.
In the 175 minutes that Dermott and Sandin have been on the ice together this season, they’ve been incredible. Below is a set of heat maps using HockeyViz’s Environment Distiller (a subscriber-only feature).
They are 55% …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: 3 first-round picks Dalano Banton is outperforming

Raptors: 3 first-round picks Dalano Banton is outperforming

The Toronto Raptors had a pair of second-round picks to burn this offseason, and they chose to spend one of them on Nebraska wing and Rexdale native Dalano Banton. Considering how he came into the league with questions about his shooting and true offensive position, many expected him to start the season in the G […]
Raptors: 3 first-round picks Dalano Banton is outperforming – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Minor League Notes: Nate Pearson and Thomas Hatch return, Logan Warmoth is now on the radar, and more!

What a heartbreaking pair of games we’ve just witnessed.

The Blue Jays squandered a ninth-inning lead to the Red Sox on Thursday with a bunch of Boston fans booing them at their own home park and then they lost on a grand slam in extra innings to the Rays on Friday night. Ugly, ugly stuff!
Rather than re-live those nightmares, let’s take a look at the farm for some positive news…

There’s no doubt that the Blue Jays badly need pitching reinforcements. They really only have three starting pitchers right now and the bullpen, who did a miraculous job navigating injuries for the past month, is clearly starting to burn out. Thankfully, there seems to be help on the way. Thomas Hatch made his 2021 debut for the Thunder-Bisons on Thursday, allowing one earned run in three innings on three hits, zero walks, and four strikeouts. Hatch, of course, is currently on the 60-day Injured List and will be eligible to join the Blue Jays at the end of May. I’m not sure he’s a solution for the starting rotation but having him in that same multi-inning bullpen role again would be helpful.
Nate Pearson is …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs likely aren’t done making moves ahead of the trade deadline

Kyle Dubas was busy on Sunday, making a pair of significant additions to the Leafs’ roster with the clock ticking down towards the trade deadline.
The biggest acquisition was that of Nick Foligno from Columbus in a three-team deal that saw the Leafs ship out their 2021 first and fourth-round picks to the Blue Jackets, and their 2022 fourth-round pick to the San Jose Sharks. Columbus retained 50% of Foligno’s remaining salary and the Sharks retained an additional 25% while also sending depth forward Stefan Noesen back to the Leafs.
Foligno checks a lot of boxes in terms of what the Leafs were looking to add. He can slide up and down the lineup while having the versatility to play wing or center if needed, he plays with an edge, is a strong defensive presence, and brings a bit more of that good old fashioned veteran leadership.
It wasn’t exactly a bargain but adding a player like Foligno to this lineup for a fraction of his salary, in exchange for what should be a late first-round draft pick, is a solid move.
Dubas wasn’t done there, however, as it was announced shortly before midnight that the Leafs had also acquired goaltender …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Chris Boucher ranks among NBA’s most valuable fourth-year players

Raptors: Chris Boucher ranks among NBA’s most valuable fourth-year players

The Toronto Raptors have leaned heavily on a pair of fourth-year studs in two-way star OG Anunoby and the always-improving Chris Boucher, who has given the Raptors a feared inside presence off of the bench. While he has been making huge strides this season, there’s no way he can be grouped in the same elite […]
Raptors: Chris Boucher ranks among NBA’s most valuable fourth-year players – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leafs sign TJ Brodie to 4 year, $5 million contract

The Toronto Maple Leafs have got their top pair defenseman.
While the word was that they were going to pursue Alex Pietrangelo in free agency, or maybe go the trade route and acquire David Savard or MacKenzie Weegar, they’ve decided on TJ Brodie. The deal comes at a $5 million AAV for four years, according to Elliotte Friedman.

Brodie is 4x$5M
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 9, 2020

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, as the Leafs have had Brodie on their radar for a while now. It was reported last year when they were trading Nazem Kadri that one of the deals was Brodie and Mark Jankowski until Kadri nixed it.
While he wasn’t the best defenseman on the market, he was an ideal consolation prize for Toronto, as he still provides a lot of value, especially where the Leafs need it most: defensively. While he shoots left, he has been more than capable on the right side in Calgary and can fill that role a lot better than Ron Hainsey tried to in years past.

TJ Brodie, signed by TOR, is a top four left-handed two way defenceman who plays the right side and, yes, …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson will be calling the Leafs’ playoff games

In a shocking twist, a familiar pair of voices will be heard on your TVs when the Leafs take on the Blue Jackets in the play-in round. Sportsnet revealed in a media release this morning that Jim Hughson and Crag Simpson will be calling games for all Canadian teams in the Toronto bubble, including the Leafs.

Sportsnet announces broadcast teams for NHL hub cities:
Edmonton: Chris Cuthbert with Louie DeBrusk, calling the Western Conference qualifying series w/Canadian teams
Toronto: Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson, with Canadian teams in Eastern series.
— SeanFitz_Gerald (@SeanFitz_Gerald) July 20, 2020

This is a crushing blow to some Leafs fans hoping to hear Chris Cuthbert, who just recently switched over from TSN, calling Leafs games on national TV for the first time in years. That is because, for years, the broadcasting pair of Hughson and Simpson have been accused by parts of the Leafs fanbase of perceived favouritism to the opposing team during games. This is partially why you also hear said fans pleading for Joe Bowen to be brought back to call games on TV since he moved to radio full-time in 2014.
At the time of writing, NBC has yet to fully reveal …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation