Toronto Raptors: Lenny Wilkens remembers Raptors tenure and fans fondly

Toronto Raptors: Lenny Wilkens remembers Raptors tenure and fans fondly

The Toronto Raptors struggled through some truly awful basketball through the first few years of their NBA existence, but the hiring of Hall of Fame coach Lenny Wilkens helped turn this team around as soon as he arrived in Toronto. Wilkens ended his Raptors tenure with a sub-.500 record, but he made the playoffs in […]
Toronto Raptors: Lenny Wilkens remembers Raptors tenure and fans fondly – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Blue Jays Front Office Conference Call Agenda

Kevin Goldstein of FanGraphs has been writing some excellent pieces bringing insight into how Major League front offices operate. His recent post “Front Office Conference Call Agenda: American League” focuses on each AL team and what they are talking about on their monthly conference call with the team leadership group. This is a time where teams evaluate where they are at a month into the season, and start planning for the rest of the year.

Here is what Goldstein wrote on the Blue Jays:

We should be happy to be over .500, but we don’t really have a good feel for who we are as a team yet, as our big free agent spent most of the month hurt, and now our ace is on the shelf, but at least it’s not with an arm issue.

Our starting pitching depth was a bit shaky to start the year, and injuries have absolutely killed us. We’re a bit desperate here, even if it’s just another Tommy Milone-type — someone who can just pick up some innings for us. Has anyone been in touch with Aníbal Sánchez’s agent? Any weird free agents with any attractive qualities still out there?



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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays acquire pitcher Jeremy Beasley from the Diamondbacks, Thomas Hatch goes to the 60-day Injured List

The Blue Jays have added some pitching depth.

The team announced today that they’ve acquired right-handed pitcher Jeremy Beasley from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Beasley had been designated for assignment earlier this week. In a corresponding roster move, the team has moved Thomas Hatch from the 10-day Injured List to the 60-day Injured List, which opens up Beasley’s spot on the 40-man roster.
So, who is this guy? Good question!
When searching “Jeremy Beasley Scouting Report,” the best report I could find was one from last January when he was traded from the L.A. Angels to Arizona for Matt Andriese. The report suggests that Beasley is most likely an option for a team’s bullpen…
Beasley spent the bulk of 2019 at Double-A, as well as making three starts at Triple-A, though it’s hard to call him impressive at either level:

Double-A (108.2 IP) – 4.06 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 8.45 K/9, 3.48 BB/9
Triple-A (13.2 IP) – 7.90 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, 8.56 K/9, 3.95 BB/9

He did show an ability to miss bats, with a 13.8% SwStr% overall, but both his control and groundball rate (45.8%) were lackluster.  That, along with a limited arsenal, make you think that his future lies in the bullpen.  Here’s what Baseball America said about his …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Injury Updates! Jordan Romano is expected back soon, Teoscar Hernandez is COVID symptom free, and more!

The weekend in Kansas City was ugly but we got some positive injury updates in regards to some key players. Let’s go through them all…

Teoscar Hernandez tested positive for COVID-19 and has been away from the team since the series last weekend against the Los Angeles Angels. Thankfully, Hernandez has recovered and is now “symptom-free,” which is a great sign. Of course, per MLB’s COVID protocol, Hernandez has to be quarantined from the team for a 10-day period and he has to test negative before he can join the Blue Jays. That would mean that, if he can test negative, he’ll be eligible to join the team on April 23, which is the beginning of this weekend’s series in Tampa against the Rays.
Speaking of that series against Tampa, we might also see George Springer finally make his debut this weekend. According to Ross Atkins, Springer isn’t quite at 100% but “all signs are exceptionally positive,” and Charlie Montoyo noted that Springer has resumed all baseball activities.
This, of course, would be a game-changer for the Blue Jays lineup. The team pretty much only has two players, Bo and Vlad, who are hitting right now, and …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays hit the road to Kauffman Stadium, a place of shadows, to deal with the Royals

It’s been quite some time but watching baseball in Kansas City fills me with a combination of anxiety and dread. I get flashbacks to bloops singles, random overachievers hitting dingers, and runners getting stranded on third. As always, fuck the Royals.

How they’re doing…
This is obviously a very different team than the one we, unfortunately, knew from 2015. That’s the case on both sides.
The only major Royal left from that World Series team is Sal Perez. Jarrod Dyson left for a few years and is now back, the same goes for Wade Davis. Danny Duffy is also still around, though he wasn’t a big part of the 2015 team. Nobody from the 2015 Blue Jays is still around, but one player on the roster faced Kansas City in the playoffs. I’ll let you guess who it is.
Anyways, enough about the 2015 Royals, let’s talk about the 2021 Royals, a team in purgatory.
Kansas City is 6-4 this season and there aren’t really any real expectations for them to compete with Minnesota and Chicago for the American League Central. They have OK pitching and a ho-hum offence. The Royals rank above league-average in terms of runs …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Teoscar Hernandez has tested positive for COVID-19, George Springer won’t join Blue Jays on upcoming road trip

There was some good Blue Jays-related injury news earlier today in regards to Nate Pearson, but Charlie Montoyo provided us with some more not-so-good news later on.

First up, Teoscar Hernandez has tested positive for COVID-19. He had been quarantining after coming into contact with somebody who had a positive test last week. Montoyo said that Hernandez started feeling symptoms on Monday but is feeling better today. He’ll be out for at least 10 days, per MLB’s COVID protocol.
The hope, Montoyo says, is that since Hernandez has been isolated from the team since Friday, this situation is limited to just him and that it hasn’t spread to anybody else on the team. We don’t know yet if that’s the case, though.
Next up, George Springer took batting practice on Monday but won’t join the team on their upcoming road trip. After the New York series ends tomorrow, the Blue Jays hit the road to Kansas City, Boston, and Tampa Bay, and don’t play at home again until they face the Nationals on April 27. This would indicate that Springer won’t join the team until then, at the earliest.
Finally, in more positive news, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Ross Atkins: Nate Pearson is pain-free and now the focus is getting him ramped up

Here’s some good news from the mouth of Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins…

While talking to Mad Dog Chris Russo on MLB Network, Atkins said that Nate Pearson is feeling incredible and he’s 100% pain-free. The focus for Pearson now is building him up so that he can handle a starter’s workload. Atkins also went on to say that, based on the way Pearson is throwing, he looks like he has a very successful year ahead of him.
As Keegan Matheson reported last week, though, it’ll still take some time for Pearson to make his way back to the Blue Jays. Remember, Pearson only had one outing in Grapefruit play and it was one inning long, so he’s basically working his way back up from scratch and going through his own spring training now.
Barring any setbacks, it would seem that mid-May is a realistic target for Pearson’s return.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Minor Leaguers: Do They Even Exist?

We were told, some time ago, that the minor leaguers would be staggered so as to come to spring training after the Blue jays broke camp. Certainly, in the case of the jays, there was some mild fuzziness because the complex is just five miles across town and the non-roster invitees to major league camp just continue on when the rest of the system arrives. All this in preparation for the opening of the minor league season currently set for May 4. So in theory all those many wonderful prospects are there, now, as you are reading this, going through their paces – and have been for over a week so. . . why is it so quiet?

Seriously, as far as a quick Google search can reveal, not one whisper published this month about Austin Martin or Jordan Groshans or Alek Manoah and what kind of impression they, or anyone else, might be making. For someone who’s generally as fascinated with this side of the organization as I am the major league club, it makes one feel a bit deprived. Moreso when you feel obliged to generate some content as the season approaches.
So here’s what little I’ve got: a …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet and DeAndre’ Bembry suspended for role in Lakers brawl

Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet and DeAndre’ Bembry suspended for role in Lakers brawl

The Toronto Raptors might have made some fun, interesting moves over the last few days given the signing of Freddie Gillespie and expected addition of former Magic big man Khem Birch, but Fred VanVleet, DeAndre’ Bembry, and the rest of the squad will only have a handful of players active for their game against the […]
Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet and DeAndre’ Bembry suspended for role in Lakers brawl – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Both Reese McGuire and Breyvic Valera have cleared waivers

Here’s some good news from an Asset Management perspective…

The Blue Jays announced on Sunday that Reese McGuire and Breyvic Valera have cleared waivers and have been reassigned to the Alternate Training site. McGuire and Valera were designated for assignment earlier this week in order to open up room on the 40-man roster for Joe Panik and Tim Mayza.
Valera getting through waivers isn’t really much of a surprise as he’s a 29-year-old middle infielder with a ho-hum glove and a .592 OPS over 54 games at the big-league level. But McGuire, a pretty solid young backup catcher, getting through is a bit more surprising. I thought that somebody out there would take a flyer on him.
Anyway, that’s good news for the Blue Jays as it keeps them with a backup middle infielder and a third-string catcher in the minors in the event of an injury. The team went out and acquired Juan Grateol from the Anaheim Angels last week as insurance in case McGuire got claimed but now they’ll be able to instead just bring a familiar player in McGuire back if necessary.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation