Which Buffalo Bisons players could help the Blue Jays this season?

It’s tough to admit, but so far this season, the team has not lived up to their lofty goals of contending for a World Series.

While it’s still very early in the season and things can change, in my eyes, moves would have to be made if they want to meet those expectations.
Yes, that means trades, but there are also internal options that are currently with the Buffalo Bisons. Let’s go through each of the Bisons that I believe could make an impact this season for the Jays.
Pitchers:
The bullpen has been okay, but all these one run games will tax the ‘pen as the season continues. For example, Mayza has already suffered an injury, meaning they’ve lost their set-up man.
That begs the question, which pitchers on the Bisons roster could help the Blue Jays pen if need be.
Adrian Hernandez:
Hernandez ranked as my #14 best Jays prospect heading into the 2022 season. He has not disappointed in his brief stint in the upper minors. 
He started the 2022 season in New Hampshire, pitching 4 innings in relief. During that time, he posted a 2.25 ERA and 2.66 FIP. Most impressively, his K/9 sat at 13.50, while his BB/9 sat at 6.75, which is rather high. However, context matters, as two of those walks were when it was raining fairly heavily.
It didn’t take long for Hernandez to be promoted to Triple A, where he’s improved his numbers, despite facing batters who have big league experience. In his 13 innings pitched, he has a K/9 of 14.54 and BB/9 of 4.15.

Let’s watch Adrian Hernandez absolutely bully some batters.#BlueJays #NextLevel pic.twitter.com/iEZKLlPojw
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) May 5, 2022

While 13 innings is a “small sample size” (although not so much for a reliever), it’s important to note that wherever he’s pitched, he’s alway …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Jays activate Danny Jansen, Hyun Jin Ryu, re-assign two

The Jays are getting healthy!

The team activated both C Danny Jansen and LHP Hyun Jin Ryu from the 10-day IL making them both active for this evening’s game. Jansen will catch today while batting eighth in the order, while Ryu will take the mound.
RHP Trent Thornton and C Tyler Heineman were both optioned to Triple-A.
Jansen played in the first three games of the year before suffering a left oblique strain, but in those games he hit .571 with two homers and two RBI.
Ryu, meanwhile, returns to the lineup after missing the last month with inflammation in his left forearm.
Worth noting on top of it all that George Springer is believed to have a mild ankle sprain and he hasn’t been placed on the IL. He crashed into the center-field wall last night in the Trop, and you could see his left ankle roll as he tried to regain his footing jumping for a ball.
It’s clearly a positive sign the club hasn’t moved him to the IL.
Toronto’s batting order has gotten all kinds of wonky with Springer out of the lineup.
Matt Chapman will lead off in the one position for the first time in his career, while Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hits second, Teoscar Hernandez hits third and Bo Bichette takes cleanup duty.
Game two against the T …

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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation

Report from the Rock: Local talent powers Growlers through first playoff series

With all eyes on the NHL playoffs, another team in the Maple Leafs organization has just punched their ticket to the second round.
It was a hard-fought battle that took the full seven games, but the ECHL’s Newfoundland Growlers ultimately emerged victorious in the opening round of the playoffs against their Canadian rivals from Quebec, the Trois-Rivieres Lions.
“Relieved,” said head coach Eric Wellwood when asked how he was feeling after Game 7. “It was nice to have those nerves again. But yeah, it’s a nice relief. I think the boys deserved that win.”
Home cooking rewards early and often
The series began at home on Friday, April 22, and defenceman Matt Hellickson (who recently re-signed with the Marlies for next season,) got the Growlers’ first goal of the playoffs, assisted by defenceman-turned-forward Riley McCourt.
Trois-Rivieres stormed back and took the lead with two quick goals before the first period ended, but an offensive outburst from the team’s top forward line, including a four-point night from alternate captain and team MVP Zach O’Brien, led the Growlers to a 7-4 victory.
“Every shift in every game means so much,” said O’Brien. “I always try and play well in the regular season as well. But when playoffs start, everyone just wants to elevate their game that much more. And this is why we play, this is the most fun part of the season.”
Wellwood had lots of praise for his team’s MVP after Game 1.
“He ca …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Pre-Series Notes: The New York Yankees roll into Toronto on a nine-game winning streak (all against weak opponents)

The Blue Jays are set to host the New York Yankees, the team with the best record in baseball.

At a glance, this should be viewed as yet another test for Toronto, a team that’s been grinding through a gauntlet of playoff-caliber opponents over the past few weeks. While that’s true, this is actually more of a test for the Yanks, who have had a fairly soft schedule over the first month of play.
New York opened their season by hosting the Red Sox and Blue Jays and came out of it with a 4-3 record. Since then, they’ve gone 12-3 and are currently riding a nine-game winning streak.
You can obviously never scoff at such a streak, but it’s important to note that the Yankees have played Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland, Baltimore again, and Kansas City during this stretch. Cleveland is the best of those teams and they boast a 10-12 record for the season.
Are the Yankees winning because they’re playing weak opponents? Or are they actually really good? We’ll have a better idea of what the answer is after this series is finished.
Worth mentioning…
Pitching has been the strength of the Yankees …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Pre-Series Notes: The New York Yankees roll into Toronto on a nine-game winning streak

The Blue Jays are set to host the New York Yankees, the team with the best record in baseball.

At a glance, this should be viewed as yet another test for Toronto, a team that’s been grinding through a gauntlet of playoff-caliber opponents over the past few weeks. While that’s true, this is actually more of a test for the Yanks, who have had a fairly soft schedule over the first month of play.
New York opened their season by hosting the Red Sox and Blue Jays and came out of it with a 4-3 record. Since then, they’ve gone 12-3 and are currently riding a nine-game winning streak.
You can obviously never scoff at such a streak, but it’s important to note that the Yankees have played Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland, Baltimore again, and Kansas City during this stretch. Cleveland is the best of those teams and they boast a 10-12 record for the season.
Are the Yankees winning because they’re playing weak opponents? Or are they actually really good? We’ll have a better idea of what the answer is after this series is finished.
Worth mentioning…
It’s the beginning of May so teams needed to trim their rosters from 2 …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Santiago Espinal is quickly becoming an integral piece of the Blue Jays’ lineup

On a team loaded with all-star talent, sometimes it can be difficult to stand out amongst the crowd. Though, that hasn’t been the case for infielder Santiago Espinal in 2022.
So far this month, Espinal has proven you don’t have to be a superstar to play a key role on the Toronto Blue Jays. As a former 10th-round selection from 2016, he’s already forced his way into the starting line-up regularly. And that wasn’t the original plan heading into this season.
Before spring training concluded, the Blue Jays were expected to platoon Espinal and Cavan Biggio at second base as the organization attempted to fill the void created by Marcus Semien’s departure. Since both players are extremely versatile as well, they each were expected to fill in around the diamond, too. But plans change.
For Biggio, who landed on the COVID-19 injured list Monday, he started the first two games of the season at second base, however, his offensive woes quickly shifted him to a reserve role. Prior to this latest injury stint, the 27-year-old was largely being utilized in the outfield, at first base or as a pinch hitter/runner.
Espinal, on the other hand, has rapidly grown up in front of everyone’s eyes. When he was first acquired from the …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

If you’re not cheering for the Maple Leafs this postseason, you’re being difficult

Generally, the Toronto Maple Leafs are an easy team to hate. This is no secret, and fans of opposing teams make sure to embrace that opportunity with every chance they get. Toronto is the league’s richest franchise and has the largest fanbase which means not only the most media attention but also the most social media users behaving belligerently on their behalf. Combine all that with a history of disappointment alongside catastrophic failure and it’s easy to sit back and cheer for further demise.
However, despite all that, this year’s roster might be one of the most easy to support NHL squads in recent memory, and it’s getting increasingly more difficult for any hockey fan to not at least sort of be cheering them on in secret when no one’s looking.
Take a moment to think about what sort of team fans are most likely to hop on the bandwagon for and support once their favourites have been eliminated. Underdogs, teams that play an exciting game, supporting a particular superstar, or cheering for a beloved veteran seeking their first ever championship. The Toronto Maple Leafs check all these boxes in som …

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

Bluelines: Beating up on Buffalo

It will be interesting to see what Leafs team shows up tonight. The Leafs are locked into a playoff spot, and have had a history of phoning it in against some of the weaker teams in the league. That being said, they’ve also had a bizarre run of success on Tuesday nights this season.
Maple Leafs to win -470
Okay, so unless you are looking to include a Leafs win as part of your parlay, this isn’t a huge moneymaker. The Sabres on the other hand are paying +345, so if you think the post clinch hangover is real, go against Toronto. Kallgren will be in net, Liljegren is back with Rielly, and we’re getting our first look at the Giordano-Lyubushkin pairing too. Anything could happen.
Matthews hitting 60 +260
If you are down for Auston taking advantage of a not-so-great Buffalo team, and getting to the 60 mark as soon as possible, you can bet on a two goal night at +260. A single goal only pays at -162, but if you expect him to come out guns blazing, Matthews getting the first goal pays at +650.
Bunting busts his goalless streak +170
His streak can’t go on forever, right? Tonight against underwhelming goaltending and a bad Buffalo team is …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Why Greg Moore is the right head coach for this Marlies team

The Marlies are a development team now and I believe everyone should understand that.
When Kyle Dubas was hired as the Maple Leafs GM, he left his Assistant GM role with a different plan in mind — to make the Toronto Marlies a team solely focused on producing NHL caliber players.
That meant the departures of many veterans last summer.
More changes happened at that time, as Dubas promoted Laurence Gilman to Senior Vice-President and Governor. At the same moment, he brought in Ryan Hardy to manage both the Marlies and Newfoundland Growlers.
Hardy is someone that Marlies head coach Greg Moore worked alongside with the Chicago Steel of the USHL a few years back. These two are very good at developing prospects, especially when they’re working together.
“We’re here to develop players for the Toronto Maple Leafs,” said Hardy of the Marlies back in October. “I’m sure there’ll be some ups and downs as we get acclimated here and putting younger players, first-year pro, in some new spots.”
Throughout this season and last, there’s been a lot of criticism over Moore, specifically, as a coach. Whether it be lineup decisions or on-ice choices, a lot of Marlies fans aren’t happy.
Looking back at some moments, there was one instance where Moore left Nick Robertson off a 6- …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Celtics Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Mar. 28

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Celtics Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Mar. 28

The Toronto Raptors went from a team that appeared to be locked into the play-in tournament to the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference in a matter of weeks. In their most pivotal game of the season to date, the latest Raptors odds have them positioned to come out on top against a contender. […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Celtics Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Mar. 28 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ