Scouting Report: What the Toronto Maple Leafs are getting in Ryan Tverberg?

The Toronto Maple Leafs finally signed a college prospect. Woo!
But… it wasn’t the one everyone was expecting. Still, while we await the end of Matthew Knies’ college season with Minnesota, it was good to see the Leafs sign another notable NCAA forward: Ryan Tverberg from the UConn Huskies.
Tverberg was a seventh-round pick in 2020, with the Leafs moving a 2021 pick to acquire him. Their scouting department got an up-close look at him during the 2019-20 season with the OJHL’s Toronto Jr. Canadiens, where he had 26 goals and 51 points in just 47 games. He also showed a physical edge that wasn’t evident when he played a year of U-18 AAA instead of going straight to junior in 2018-19. Tverberg was a bit of a late-bloomer, but the leafs liked what they saw and took him with the fifth last pick of the 2020 draft – one spot behind top Buffalo Sabres prospect Devon Levi.

Ryan Tverberg, who just signed a future three-year ELC with the Maple Leafs, is on the ice before #Marlies practice wearing #77.
He’s on a PTO with the team for the remainder of the regular season and Calder Cup playoffs.
— Nick Barden (@nickbarden) March 15, 2023

Tverberg made an immediate impact with the Huskies, and he led the team with 15 goals this season en route to a 35-point junior cam …

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Author: Steven Ellis / The Leafs Nation

Digging into Chris Bassitt’s numbers, and what to expect next from the Blue Jays

The Jays have signed Chris Bassitt, let’s dive into his numbers.

Last season with the Mets, the 33-year-old had a 3.42 ERA and 3.66 FIP in 181.2 innings pitched, a career-high number for the righty. His 22.4 K% was below average, but he did a good job avoiding giving runners a free pass, as he had a 6.6 BB%.
As for his career totals, he has a 3.45 ERA and 3.81 FIP in 737.1 innings pitched. To go along with that, he has a 21.7 K% and 7.4 BB%, so no bad numbers.
Despite not being a strikeout artist, how has Bassist put up solid numbers? Well, he’s always been able to generate soft contact from his high 3/4 release point
According to Baseball Savant, Bassitt sat in the 95th percentile of average exit velocity of 85.7 mph, well below the league average. He also sat in the 87th percentile of HardHit%, essentially how many balls in play had an exit velocity of 95 mph or higher. Bassitt’s 2022 HardHit% sat at 32.8%, which is the same amount for his career.

1) Chris Bassitt’s curveball
A surprise at the top, Bassitt’s curve has top-25 drop despite a low release point & adds top-10 x move to boot. He doesn’t think it would be as effective if he threw it more, but he’s used it 2x as much & still getting as many whiffs this year.
— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) October 7, 2022

His st …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Blue Jays targets Andrew Heaney, Cody Bellinger sign elsewhere and the latest on Toronto Blue Jays payroll

A few free-agent targets have signed elsewhere.

Left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney, who was linked to the Jays a day ago, inked a two-year, $25-million deal with the Texas Rangers. The deal also carries an opt-out that could increase it to $37-million.
Outfielder Cody Bellinger, meanwhile, inked a one-year, $17.5-million deal with the Chicago Cubs. The slugger reportedly was looking for a one-year reset type of deal and now, he’s got it.
Here’s some of what Thomas Hall had to say about how Heaney made sense as a Blue Jays target:
Toronto heavily pursued Heaney last off-season before he ultimately signed a one-year, $8.5-million contract with Los Angeles, marking his second tenure with the franchise after being briefly acquired from the Miami Marlins in 2014. And their interest level has undoubtedly increased even further following his bounce-back 2022 performance.
After a disappointing 2021 campaign, where the left-hander posted a 5.83 ERA over 129.2 innings split between the Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees, he underwent some key mechanical adjustments that allowed him to enjoy a much-needed reset. As a result, the 6-foot-2 hurler finished with a 3.10 ERA, 3.39 xERA, 3.75 FIP and a . …

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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation

Fitting Rasmus Sandin into the Toronto Maple Leafs line-up

Fitting Rasmus Sandin into the Toronto Maple Leafs line-up

Rasmus Sandin has finally signed a new contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and now the coaches will need to find the best place for him in the line-up.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are no longer waiting for any remaining restricted free agents to sign a new deal with the team after it was announced that Rasmus Sandin had agreed to a two-year, $1.4 million AAV contract. It is reportedly the same contract that was offered to the young Swedish defenceman earlier in the summer and is the exact same deal that fellow countryman and teammate Timothy Liljegren penned this past off-season.
Now that the deal is signed, and there hasn’t been such a long and drawn-out situation that could make people sour on the 22-year-old, fans can rejoice that the Leafs have one of their better young players locked up and can now simply focus on playing hockey. That would be easier to do, however, if the Leafs were not suffering the slew of injuries that seemingly prompted Sandin to get his deal done this week.
With the injuries, though, comes the opportunity for Sandin to cement his position within the Leafs’ top six defencemen early on this season. This poses an interesting question of where will Sandin most likely fit into the team once h …

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Author: James Reeve / The Leafs Nation

Big bats show up on Sunday as Blue Jays earn series split in Tampa

When George Springer was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays, one of his biggest additions to the Blue Jays organization was his performance in big games. His contributions to three AL West titles, five playoff appearances, and two World Series appearances with the Houston Astros brought a wealth of successful culture to a team loaded with young talent.

Fast forward to September 2022, with the Jays in the heat of a playoff race, looking to split a series at the Trop, facing one of the AL’s best in Shane McClanahan. Springer did what earned him the $150 million contract, as he posted a 3-for-4 day with two home runs and three RBIs. Springer’s day, as well as homers from Teoscar Hernandez and Alejandro Kirk propelled the Blue Jays to a 7-1 drubbing of the Tampa Rays on Sunday afternoon.
Toronto earned the split of the four-game series down at the Trop, maintaining the two-game lead they had over Tampa Bay when the series started. Thankfully, the Blue Jays don’t play the Rays anymore in the regular season, however a Wild Card round matchup in the postseason is looking more and more likely as the days go on.
A split in Tampa equates to a series win in any Blue Jays fan’s book, but more importantly, it leaves the fanbase with a better taste in their mouth …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation