Raptors: Pass or pursue on 4 proposed Malachi Flynn trades

Raptors: Pass or pursue on 4 proposed Malachi Flynn trades

The Toronto Raptors are still undecided on the fate of former first-round pick Malachi Flynn. While he was taken very high and expected to integrate into the roster as Fred vanVleet’s backup, Flynn has been so poor that he was excommunicated entirely from the rotation. Flynn is on the books next year, but he could […]
Raptors: Pass or pursue on 4 proposed Malachi Flynn trades – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Maple Leafs say Michael Bunting ‘feeling better’, will know more about his injury when they return home

WASHINGTON — The Toronto Maple Leafs still don’t know the severity of Michael Bunting’s injury, but head coach Sheldon Keefe said the forward woke up on Sunday feeling better than the team had expected.
“It’s a really good sign for us,” Keefe said. “But we won’t know more until we get home and a chance to get it looked at.”
Bunting’s injury is undisclosed but the Scarborough native left the in the first period of the Maple Leafs’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers on Saturday shaking out his right leg. Following the game, Keefe said they expected the player to “miss some time.”
“He was playing really good hockey for us, so hopefully he’ll be ok,” teammate David Kampf said on Sunday.
The Leafs finish off a their three-game road trip in Washington on Sunday. It’s their last road game of the regular season before finishing out the season with two games at home against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday and Boston Bruins on Friday.
Bunting has been a good find for the Maple Leafs. Signed to a two-year, $1.9 million contract this past summer, the forward found a home on the team’s top line alongside stars Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.
The 26-year-old has 23 goals and 40 assists in 79 game …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

The case against trading Alejandro Kirk

The Blue Jays are still interested in Jose Ramirez.

Would you not be? The 29-year-old is a fantastic player and honestly, I’d give my first born to Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins if they were to trade for Jose Ramirez.
What does this have to do with Alejandro Kirk:
You may be wondering what this has to do with Alejandro Kirk. Well, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, there were scouts “following” Kirk around at the complex. It remains to be seen if they were literally following Kirk around, but this means that the Guardians are clearly interested in the 23-year-old catcher.

“There was a scout that was following Alejandro Kirk around at the complex, and we’re led to believe it was a Guardians scout.”
21 minshttps://t.co/OjiAViOy84
— pivoting to model trains (@glenallenchill) March 17, 2022

With that being said, I do not think the Toronto Blue Jays should trade Alejandro Kirk.
Kirk’s hitting ability is insane:
When I ask the question “what does Kirk excel at”, there’s a good chance that you just thought of the 5 ‘8 catchers’ hitting ability.
Despite only playing in 69 games (nice) and appearing at the plate only 214 times, Kirk has shown a great ability at the plate. His MLB career slashline sits at .259/.336/.791 with nine homers and 10 doubles. While some may chalk this up to a small sample size, I completely disagree.
In his short time in the MLB, he has walked 20 times (or 9.3%) while only striking out 26 times (or 12.1%). This has been a trend in his professional career dating back to his two seasons in the minor leagues.
Level (year, age)
Age
Plate Appearances
Walk percentage (BB%)
Strikeout Percentage (K%)
Rookie Ball (2018)
19
244
13.5%
8.6%
A Ball (2019)
20
96
18.8%
8.3%
A+ Ball (2019)
20
276
13.8%
11.2%
You likely know that Alejandro Kirk made his MLB debut in 2020. Due to the pandemic, that season was canceled for the minor leagues. Kirk was assigned to the alternate camp, but impressed so much that he got the call up to a playo …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays have signed infielder Eric Stamets to a minor-league contract

Thankfully we still have minor-league transactions.

According to Ben Nicholson-Smith, the Blue Jays have signed right-handed hitting shortstop Eric Stamets to a minor-league contract.
Stamets was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the sixth round of the 2012 draft and was acquired by the Cleveland Baseball Team in July of 2015 in exchange for David Murphy. So, of course, this is a player that was with Cleveland when Mark Shapiro was in charge of the organization.
Stamets has just a short cup of coffee at the Major League level. In 2019, he played 15 games for Cleveland, going 2-for-41 with 24 strikeouts and five walks. Yikes!
His minor-league numbers aren’t exactly awe-inspiring either. In 2021 with the Colorado Rockies Triple-A affiliate, Samets slashed a .168/.283/.319 line with four home runs, 29 strikeouts, and 16 walks. The best results he had in the minors came in 2017, when he posted a .798 OPS between Cleveland’s Double- and Triple-A affiliates.
This is ultimately just a depth move for the organization, as Stamets will be the veteran, glove-first infielder for the Buffalo Bisons in the event that a 40-man roster guy like Kevin Smith or Otto Lopez gets called up to the big league roster. That role was filled last year by Richard Urena, who inked a minor league deal with the Wash …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Potential Raptors buyout target now off the market, joining Wizards

Potential Raptors buyout target now off the market, joining Wizards

The Toronto Raptors still have one open roster spot after dealing away Goran Dragic and waiving Drew Eubanks, and many expect Masai Ujiri to use that slot on either converting Justin Champagnie’s two-way deal or signing a win-now veteran. If he is opting for the latter path, point guard Tomas Satoransky would’ve made sense. After […]
Potential Raptors buyout target now off the market, joining Wizards – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

2022 NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Can the Toronto Raptors make a move?

2022 NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Can the Toronto Raptors make a move?

NBA Mock Draft season is still in full swing, as fans of teams rebuilding teams are waiting patiently to see if they can land their next franchise player. Solid teams like the Toronto Raptors are still watching this class with great interest, as they could snag their next great role player. In addition to the […]
2022 NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Can the Toronto Raptors make a move? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Goran Dragic showing up at Heat game is an insult to Raptors

Goran Dragic showing up at Heat game is an insult to Raptors

The Toronto Raptors still have to reckon with the Goran Dragic dilemma as the trade deadline gets closer. The former Miami Heat veteran is currently away from the team as both sides try to find some way to get him in a situation he actually wants to be in. Dragic never seemed to be comfortable […]
Goran Dragic showing up at Heat game is an insult to Raptors – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Gabe Moreno, Jordan Groshans, Orelvis Martinez, and Nate Pearson make Baseball Prospectus’ Top 101 Prospectus list

While the stupid lockout is still ongoing, it’s that time of year when prospect lovers like myself get to be angry about sites underrating our prospects. Let’s talk about Baseball Prospectus’ list and how they underrated Gabriel Moreno massively.

Here are the four Blue Jays prospects that rank in the Top 101…
Gabriel Moreno #22
Jordan Groshans #60
Orelvis Martinez #62
Nate Pearson #73
My immediate reaction is, “why the heck is Gabriel Moreno so low?”. Regardless of where the soon-to-be 22-year-old catcher played in the 2021 season, he had success. Before a hand injury, Moreno hit .280/.337/1.092 with 8 home runs in Double-A. Furthermore, the converted shortstop threw out 43.75% of runners in 32 stolen base attempts. He profiles as a good hitter with power with an excellent arm. 
He didn’t play much to end the minor league season, but he was key to Mesa winning the Arizona Fall League. In 100 plate appearances, Moreno slashed .329/.410/.904, had 11 doubles and 18 RBIs, and added a homer for good measure. Furthermore, Moreno had as many walks as strikeouts, as he had thirteen each. No one even attempted to run on him. 
His success continued in the Venezuelan Winter League as he slashed .297/.397/.758. While his slash line decreased, it is important to remember that he was -7.3 years younger than the average catcher. Even with the injury, he had an incredibly successful 2021 and he should be much higher than 22nd.
Mar 13, 2021; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Toronto …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Gabe Moreno, Jordan Groshans, Orelvis Martinez, and Nate Pearson make Baseball Prospects’ Top 101 Prospects list

While the stupid lockout is still ongoing, it’s that time of year when prospect lovers like myself get to be angry about sites underrating our prospects. Let’s talk about Baseball Prospectus’ list and how they underrated Gabriel Moreno massively.

Here are the four Blue Jays prospects that rank in the Top 101…
Gabriel Moreno #22
Jordan Groshans #60
Orelvis Martinez #62
Nate Pearson #73
My immediate reaction is, “why the heck is Gabriel Moreno so low?”. Regardless of where the soon-to-be 22-year-old catcher played in the 2021 season, he had success. Before a hand injury, Moreno hit .280/.337/1.092 with 8 home runs in Double-A. Furthermore, the converted shortstop threw out 43.75% of runners in 32 stolen base attempts. He profiles as a good hitter with power with an excellent arm. 
He didn’t play much to end the minor league season, but he was key to Mesa winning the Arizona Fall League. In 100 plate appearances, Moreno slashed .329/.410/.904, had 11 doubles and 18 RBIs, and added a homer for good measure. Furthermore, Moreno had as many walks as strikeouts, as he had thirteen each. No one even attempted to run on him. 
His success continued in the Venezuelan Winter League as he slashed .297/.397/.758. While his slash line decreased, it is important to remember that he was -7.3 years younger than the average catcher. Even with the injury, he had an incredibly successful 2021 and he should be much higher than 22nd.
Mar 13, 2021; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Toronto …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Ontario government announces when Maple Leafs fans can return to Scotiabank Arena

Ontario government announces when Maple Leafs fans can return to Scotiabank Arena

Omicron is still surging strong in Ontario, but there was a glimmer of hope on Thursday morning as the Ontario government announced that they would be easing restrictions.

As per Ontario government, OTT/TOR will be allowed 50 per cent capacity on Feb. 21 and full on March 14.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 20, 2022

As of February 21st, the Maple Leafs and Senators will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity, which in Scotiabank Arena is 9900 fans. Then, if cases stay down and everything stays the course, Toronto can have a full building on March 14th.
However, if cases rise during this reopening plan, the Ontario government will pause it for a few days, says Premier Doug Ford.

Premier Doug Ford says if his reopening schedule triggered an increase in cases the gov’t will pause by “a few extra days”#onpoli
— Colin D’Mello CTVNews (@ColinDMello) January 20, 2022

This announcement comes just a day after the NHL released a new schedule for the Maple Leafs, which will see them have four home games in February.

The revised Maple Leafs schedule is about as friendly as it can be

In terms of the number of home games until a full reopening, Toronto has ten.
For the sake of everyone, I hope this plan stays in place. Everyone in Ontario needs a glimmer of hope right now, and this could be it. Fingers crossed.
Are you excited to return to watch live sports? …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation