Yusei Kikuchi’s spring training shutout streak comes to an end as Blue Jays drop both split-squad games to Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies have finally gotten revenge for 1993.

They beat the Blue Jays by a score of 4-2 at home in Clearwater and they also pounded the Blue Jays by a score of 8-1 in Dunedin, earning themselves a Grapefruit League split-squad sweep. Flags fly forever!
Things worth mentioning…

Yusei Kikuchi had been perhaps the biggest story at camp for the Blue Jays, as he went 9 2/3 innings in his first four appearances of spring without allowing a run. Kikuchi’s spring shutout came to an end on Friday, unfortunately, as he walked the first two batters of the game, Brandon Marsh and Alec Bohm, and then allowed a double to Jake Cave. Kikuchi allowed one more run to score in the first frame on a sac fly but he settled down and found his groove after that. All told, he went three-and-one-third innings and allowed two earned runs on one hit and three walks while striking out three.

Kikuchi says he’s very happy with where he’s at right now, feeling free to let loose & attack hitters instead of thinking about mechanics.
Yusei did today’s post-game interview in English without an interpreter (after joking that I had to ask my questions in Japanese). #BlueJays
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) March 17, 2023

Following Kikuchi, Adrian Hernandez and Paul Fry both got knocked around and combine …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Niemelä finds twine, help on the way for Minten & Voit, Woll stays hot: Leafs Prospect Roundup

<div>Niemelä finds twine, help on the way for Minten & Voit, Woll stays hot: Leafs Prospect Roundup</div>

The Leafs picked up a convincing road win against Philadelphia in their 41st game of the campaign on Sunday night, marking the official halfway point in the regular season. Most of the prospects we’ve been following here each week are also gearing up for the stretch drive of the season, making it an ideal time to take a look at the bigger picture that is the Leafs’ prospect pipeline.
Later today, we will be kicking off TLN’s 2022-23 Midseason Leafs Prospect Rankings by profiling a few honorable mentions who just missed out on cracking the organization’s top-20 prospects. The rest of the week will feature a countdown of the top-20 so with plenty of prospect coverage on the way, this week’s Leafs Prospect Roundup will be a quick hit edition.
Let’s get to it.
Matt Knies and the Minnesota Golden Gophers split a weekend set against fellow Leafs prospect Veeti Miettinen and the St. Cloud State Huskies. Knies had his usual center back by his side as Logan Cooley returned from the World Juniors, and after being held off the scoreboard in a shutout loss on Saturday, they teamed up to give the Gophers an early lead on Sunday. Knies posted up in front of the net on the powerplay …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

‘I’m not going to let Canada tell me what I do:’ Philadelphia Phillies C J.T. Realmuto on being unvaccinated, missing series against Toronto Blue Jays

Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto has drawn a hard line in the sand. He’s not going to let Canada tell him what to do.

The veteran will be missing the Phillies’ two-game series against the Jays on Tuesday and Wednesday, because he isn’t vaccinated against COVID-19.

J.T. Realmuto said he consulted with doctors he knew and decided he did not need a COVID vaccine. He will forfeit close to $260,000. “I’m not going to let Canada tell me what I do and don’t put in my body for a little bit of money,” Realmuto said. “It’s just not worth it.”
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) July 12, 2022

J.T. Realmuto on not being able to join the Phillies in Toronto due to his vaccination status: pic.twitter.com/7suM66OYaB
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) July 12, 2022

“I’m not going to let Canada tell me what I do and don’t put in my body for a little bit of money,” Realmuto said. “It’s just not worth it.”
Realmuto, as well as teammate 3B Alec Bohm, and starters Aaron Nola and Kyle Gibson. He was questioned by reporters Monday night after the Phillies dropped a 6-1 decision to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Consistently, we’ve heard the same ol’ narrative that the Toronto Blue Jays are at some kind of advantage through teams’ inabilities to bring unvaccinated players to play at Rogers Centre. But truth be told, it’s a two-way street. The U.S. still doesn’t allow unvaccinated people into their country.
Realmuto is one of the Phillies better players. He’s been consistently hitting fifth in the lineup and is slashing .236/.310/.369 with seven dingers on the season
The Phillies are going with a bullpen game Tuesday to kick off a quick, two-game series.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.
PointsBet is live in Ontario. Get …

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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation