Taking a look at some interesting position players in the Rule 5 draft

With teams finalizing their 40-man rosters last week, it’s time to look ahead to some players who were not protected by their teams and eligible for the Rule 5 Draft.

The Blue Jays protected five players (Riley Adams, Otto Lopez, Gabriel Moreno, Josh Palacios and Ty Tice) and their 40-man roster is now full. However lots can change between now and the draft on December 10th, the non-tender deadline is tomorrow, December 2nd, so the Blue Jays could free up a roster spot that way.
With no minor league season this year it makes it difficult to evaluate players. To get an idea of the more talented players eligible this season, I went through Roster Resource on Fangraphs and found every player eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. From there I sorted them by their prospect ranking. This will give us a pretty good indicator of who the more talented players are that are available.
I spilt the players into two groups, the first being those who are currently ranked in their teams top 10 and the second being a few notable players who were ranked in the top 10 but fell down on the lists for various reasons. 
We will focus on …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays add Gabriel Moreno, Riley Adams, Josh Palacios, Otto Lopez, and Ty Tice to 40-man roster

Friday was the deadline for teams to add players to their 40-man rosters ahead of the Rule 5 Draft in early-December.

The Blue Jays had 35 players on their 40-man roster, and they used all five open spots to add prospects in order to protect them from being exposed in the Rule 5 Draft…

#BlueJays add five players to their 40-man:• Riley Adams, C• Gabriel Moreno, C• Josh Palacios, OF• Otto Lopez, IF• Ty Tice, RHP
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) November 20, 2020

I wrote yesterday that Gabriel Moreno was an automatic because he’s one of the organization’s most highly-regarded prospects and Riley Adams also seemed like a very likely add because he’s near MLB-ready. But I also figured that the Blue Jays would only add three players, opting to leave a couple of 40-man roster spots open for free agents.
Instead, they added outfielder Josh Palacios, who was on the team’s 40-man playoff pool this year, young infielder Otto Lopez, who could have ended up in a similar situation to that of Elvis Luciano we had a couple of years ago, and Ty Tice, a reliever who has put up very good numbers in the upper minors.
My logic for the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

3 Toronto Maple Leafs players that are NHL ready right now

There could be training camps for NHL teams within the next month. That means there also could be some tough decisions looming for the Toronto Maple Leafs and some of their prospects. Especially for three of them, who I believe are ready to enter the NHL. Yet they may be roadblocked due to the crowded forward and defence group.
I believe these three players all have chances and are ready for the NHL. It’s just a matter of showing how good they are and whether or not they can play consistent minutes in the league.
If they don’t make it, the prospects would likely either be a part of the Maple Leafs’ possible taxi squad or get sent to play somewhere else (AHL for two, OHL or Europe for the other).
But if you don’t know who they are by now — here’s a video explaining why I, Nick Barden believe these three prospects are ready to take the next step in their professional careers:

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

The Toronto Raptors should look to trade up in the draft to select Isaac Okoro

With most teams now focused on the upcoming draft. Isaac Okoro is one player above everyone else who would fit perfectly with the Toronto Raptors. For the Toronto Raptors, the season ended in a slight disappointment. The team just didn’t have enough firepower to overcome the Boston Celtics. Regardless, after being written off by many […]
The Toronto Raptors should look to trade up in the draft to select Isaac Okoro – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mark Birdsell / Raptors HQ

Toronto Maple Leafs hire Sam Kim as video and coaching coordinator

The Toronto Maple Leafs have hired Sam Kim as the teams video and coaching coordinator.

The club also announced that former video coordinator Jordan Bean’s contract has been renewed while his title was changed to statistical analyst.
Kim, 35, has spent the last two years working for the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors as their video coordinator assisting in video breakdown, analysis and scouting, while also helping with team travel, transaction logistics and immigration.
The Flushing, N.Y. native joined the Condors after working with South Korea’s national men’s team as a video coach.
Prior to his time there, Kim worked one season with the AHL’s Springfield Falcons doing video work.
Believe it or not, Kim got his start working in hockey for the New York Islanders as their mascot between 2008-2011.
On Twitter: @zjlaing

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Three reasons the Boston Celtics are the scariest matchup for the Toronto Raptors

  The Toronto Raptors will be facing one of the few teams that gave them a hard time during the season in the second round, the Boston Celtics. After the Toronto Raptors first-ever sweep in history against the Brooklyn Nets, they’ll now be looking to carry that momentum into the next round against the only team […]
Three reasons the Boston Celtics are the scariest matchup for the Toronto Raptors – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Jacob Waguespack and Santiago Espinal got optioned to the Taxi Squad

Major League teams needed to snip their roster from 30 players to 28 today, so the Blue Jays optioned Jacob Waguespack and Santiago Espinal to the Taxi Squad.

INF Santiago Espinal and RHP Jacob Waguespack have been optioned to our alternate training site and added to the Taxi Squad. pic.twitter.com/VnplfK2Oyi
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) August 6, 2020

These decisions weren’t surprising at all. As I wrote earlier today, it was inevitable that players with options would end up being sent down because having depth in a season like this is so important. So many teams are dealing with an array of injuries so sneaking a guy like Joe Panik or A.J. Cole through waivers would be impossible. The Blue Jays already lost reliever Brian Moran to waivers as the Miami Marlins desperately search for more veteran depth.
While Waguespack and Espinal didn’t really do anything wrong in order to warrant being sent down — the former had been a very solid pitcher in relief and the latter is the best backup infielder on the roster — they simply got caught in a numbers game.
Next up, the Jays will have to clear …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Take a Knee: The NHL and Fan Response to Black Lives Matter

Hockey is back. As of today, all 24 teams participating in the qualifier and round robin games have played an official, yes it counts, hockey game. During the week leading up to the official restart of NHL hockey, teams participated in “exhibition” style games. Many fans wondered how, if at all, the league and the players would acknowledge the Black Lives Matter movement. After watching players walk into training camp practices in Black Lives Matter t-shirts, there was some hope for more robust support for the movement once the games were underway. Specifically, fans were hopeful that some players would take a knee or raise a fist during the anthems, as this is the most universally recognized physical demonstration of support for BLM.
Unsurprisingly, those fans were disappointed, as the only acknowledgement most teams gave at all was to stand “together” on the blue line, or in a circle. 

Stronger Together. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/JU199kGChr
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 29, 2020

The Toronto Maple Leafs were one of the few teams to use the words Black Lives Matter in their tweet, but the actual “demonstration” was the same across the league: the …

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Author: MerOutLoud / The Leafs Nation

Breaking Down Columbus’ Goaltending

For as much as we hear about how teams need to Grind It Out and Dig Deep © in order to win in the playoffs, more often than not, series are won and lost on the backs of goaltending. Run into a hot goaltender (Jaroslav Halak with the Habs in 2010 against the Capitals being the most famous example) and your time in the playoffs may come to a frustratingly quick end, regardless of how well you may have played.  For the Toronto Maple Leafs, the question of who to start for the postseason is a no brainer. Despite his struggles this season, Toronto’s net belongs to Frederik Andersen, just as it has for the previous three postseasons. Unlike those postseasons however, there is no clear indicator who will oppose him.
After four seasons of minimal playing time, the Columbus Blue Jackets started the year with Joonas Korpisalo as the heir apparent to Sergei Bobrovsky, after the two-time Vezina Trophy winner opted to leave for Florida in free agency. Korpisalo performed admirably in his first season as a starter, posting a .913 save percentage in his first 32 games (31 of them starts) before he was forced to undergo knee surgery …

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Author: briancrd / The Leafs Nation

It looks like Sam Gaviglio has been optioned to the Blue Jays’ Alternate Training Site

According to the team’s official website, the Blue Jays optioned pitcher Sam Gaviglio to the Alternate Training Site on Friday.

According to the Blue Jays transactions page, Sam Gaviglio was optioned to the Alternate Training Site today. https://t.co/ItsAtXH9rE
— Minor Leaguer (@Minor_Leaguer) August 1, 2020

Gaviglio has had a rough start to the 2020 season. Due to not wanting to overwork other late-inning relievers, Charlie Montoyo has opted to use Gaviglio in a couple of different high-leverage situations, which has pretty clearly left the veteran long-inning guy out of his depth. Through two outings, Gaviglio has recorded three outs while surrendering three earned runs on three hits and three walks.
I had originally figured that this could mean that Chase Anderson, who suffered an oblique injury back during the team’s Summer Camp, could be ready to return, but that isn’t the case, as he’s scheduled to throw a simulated game on Wednesday.
It also won’t be Ken Giles returning, as he was placed on the 10-day Injured List back on Monday. The Blue Jays are optimistic that Giles won’t miss a significant amount of time, as …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation