Nate Pearson has a good outing, Kevin Kiermaier makes baseball fun, and more, as the Blue Jays tie the Pittsburgh Pirates

Will the Blue Jays rue the day where they had the bases loaded, no outs, and a 3-2 count, only for the game to end in a tie?

No, because it’s just spring training, and game results don’t really matter.
That said, it is a bit disappointing, as even a win in spring training makes the fanbase happy.
Let’s look at the player of the game, as well as other notes worth mentioning.
Blue Jays Nation’s player of the game:
Today’s player of the game belongs to the train himself, Nate Pearson.
Did he walk in a run when he came into the game with the bases loaded and two outs? Sure. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t have quite an impressive outing. It’s also worth mentioning that the walk came on eight pitches; at that point, you just tip your cap to the batter.
His second inning of work was fantastic. Pearson blew a 101 mph fastball by the poor Pirate hitter and his secondary stuff was absolutely nasty. His knuckle-curve sits in the low 80’s and has a sharp, late break. His slider also generated two whiffs as well.

In this outing, Nate Pearson showed why he’s more than just a flame throwing pitcher.
Yes, he hit 101 mph to get his only strikeout, but look at the knuckle curve (second clip), or even his two sliders for whiffs.
If he can stay healthy, he’ll be fantastic.#BlueJays
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) March 2, 2023

Moreover, Pearson threw 15 strikes of his 28 pitches, which is …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

“Just win a round”: The hot seats of Kyle Dubas and Sheldon Keefe

It is abundantly clear where the bar is set for the Leafs this season. It’s really in the same spot as last season, the season before that, and the season before that. We’ve already established that the Leafs are a pretty good regular season team, dominant even at times, but with a playoff drought that is older than their top pick in this summer’s draft, the bar that needs to be cleared is erasing almost two decades of embarrassment before saying you are focusing on winning the cup.

Dubas on if it’s a make or break year and what the betting lines about Keefe’s job: “Our goal is not to win one round, our goal is to win four; I don’t worry about what the betting line says about Sheldon or any regard.”
— David Alter (@dalter) September 21, 2022

Dubas was playing the hits again yesterday when talking about his job security as well as Sheldon Keefe’s and while I’d generally give high grades to Dubas’ tenure in Toronto and say in many ways he has brought in a roster that I can support, there is no ignoring the obvious failure. Dubas is essentially a very good skimmer that can’t stick his face in the water, wait that’s not fair, it’s the team at large in that situation. The Leafs are a good skimmer that just can’t stick their face in the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Shut it down. Patrick Kane to the Leafs would be a disaster

It’s definitely at the point in the summer where people are looking for something to talk about, and it seems that Patrick Kane rumours are how the hockey world is going to pass the time. Unfortunately when it comes to ways to make sure there is enough gasoline on the fire to make a topic stick you need to include Toronto as part of the rumour. As a fanbase Leafs are a dog on a bone that won’t let go and that’s why we probably need to bow out of the Kane talk early.
The narrative around the idea of Kane coming to Toronto seems to be largely Auston Matthews driven. Bringing in Kane shows a commitment to winning, bringing in Kane would allow the torch to be passed from one of the top producing American forwards to the next one. And my personal favourite is about how Kane would take a discount to continue to play in Toronto because he’d want to continue to play with Auston and that would help Auston get re-signed as well. It’s a fun little story for someone but doesn’t seem to …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

As free agency dwindles, try-outs come to the forefront: some good PTO fits for the Leafs

There’s a certain point each August where the well of news and excitement in the NHL offseason almost completely dries up. We are at that point. The well begins to refill as prospect camps and full team training camps approach, but we’re not quite there yet. We’re in this weird, quiet dead of the summer for hockey. Some resort to watching baseball or spending time outside with loved ones, but me, I choose to look at what remaining free agents could be good choices to bring to Leafs training camp on a Professional Try-Out (PTO) agreement.
It’s quite common for the Leafs to bring in PTO players. Last year, they brought notable forward Joshua Ho-Sang in on an AHL contract and a PTO for the NHL training camp, however he ended up remaining just with the Marlies without an NHL deal. They also brought in another small playmaking forward in Nikita Gusev, both of whom did sign with the Leafs or anywhere else. With their skill levels, if some chemistry or a really good fit developed in training camp, then a contract could easily have materialized for either of them. Over the last 3 years, over 40% of players who signed PTOs went on to …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Teoscar Hernandez’s late homer sends Blue Jays to 5-3 win

In a series where Jays fans were hoping to face Tigers pitchers who will be Blue Jays in the near future, it was the performance against former Blue Jays that stole the headlines in today’s 5-3 win over Detroit.

The Tigers sent former Jays starter Drew Hutchison to the mound, and with the exception of the first inning, he was in total command. Hutchison threw 5 innings in all, allowing only two hits, one run, three walks, and three strikeouts. After Hutchison, it was Derek Law, who was a Blue Jay in 2019. Some Jays fans may not remember Law, but he was part of the return in the Kevin Pillar trade. Law served as a set-up man/closer for the team for the majority of the season.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. got the scoring started in the 1st inning, driving in Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with an RBI single. The beneficiary of the RBI was Guerrero stealing second base during Gurriel’s at-bat. Aggressiveness on the base paths is something we have seen a lot more of during John Scnheider’s short tenure as the Blue Jays skipper, and it has been paying off as the Jays are adding a run here or there with good baserunning.
As mentioned earlier, Hutchison kept the bats quiet, b …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

MLB Draft Day 2, live article – Blue Jays selections, analysis, and more!

Hey y’all, welcome to the second day of the draft, where teams will be selecting round 3 through round 10.

If you missed the articles last night, you can click on these four links to learn about each of the picks:
The Toronto Blue Jays select Brandon Barriera with the 23rd overall pick
The Toronto Blue Jays select Josh Kasevich with the 60th overall pick
The Toronto Blue Jays select Tucker Toman with the 77th overall pick
The Toronto Blue Jays select Cade Doughty with the 78th overall pick
The Jays first pick of the day comes with the 98th overall, 18 picks into the day. After that, they will pick every 30 picks.
Some names still on the board include Trey Dombroski, Ben Joyce, Nazier Mule, Cameron Smith and quite a few others.
It’s likely that they Jays won’t pick big names, as they’ll have to under slot quite a few players due to Tucker Toman picked 77th overall.
If I had top give a grade for their Day 1 drafting, it would have to be at the very least and A. The lowest ranked prospect they drafted yesterday according to MLB Pipeline was the 67th ranked prospect, so definitely expect a lot of “small” named players (who the Jays do well with.

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Where would the Blue Jays be without Adam Cimber?

Where would the Toronto Blue Jays be without reliever Adams Cimber? Given the shallow depth of the Blue Jays bullpen, I can only shudder to imagine.

He has been able to keep his place as a go-to arm in high leverage situations since establishing himself in that role after being acquired from the Marlins last season. Crucially, he has also remained steady in this role while offseason signing Yimi Garcia and closer Jordan Romano have struggled physically with the heavy workload the Blue Jays have required of them.
Cimber goes about his business by missing barrels instead of outright missing bats. The Blue Jays’ resident submarine reliever, throwing the ball below his shoulder, does not wow you with strikeouts. He makes good use of his sinker, fastball, and slider mix to induce groundballs and other forms of weak contact. He simply gets a lot of outs without necessarily blowing anyone away. This can be stressful in high leverage situations or when there are runners on base. However, an improved infield defence buoyed by third-baseman Matt Chapman and second-baseman Santiago Espinal has allowed Cimber to continue to flourish. Despite only throwing his fastball in the upper 80s, Cimber is able to avoid barrels (a batted ball with the perfect combination of con …

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Author: Noah Vande / Blue Jays Nation

The Jays have four Top 100 prospects according to MLB Pipeline

It’s that time of year where new prospects are drafted and some are moved for rentals at the deadline.

MLB Pipeline released an updated version of their top 100 prospects, and there are some interesting tidbits from the list.
Gabriel Moreno ranks 6th:
While he’s on the cusp of becoming a full-time major leaguer, he hasn’t quite made it off of the prospect list yet. The 22-year-old backstop is slashing .280/.308/.300 with the big league club in 52 plate appearances.

Running on Gabriel Moreno is very, very dumb.#BlueJays #NextLevel
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) June 28, 2022

His inclusion this high on the list is well deserved. However, he isn’t the highest ranked catcher, even with Adley Rutschman graduating. The 20-year-old Francisco Alvarez has been making waves in the Mets organization. This season, he has hit 18 homers in just 296 plate appearances, to go along with his .277/.368/.553 slash line in Double A.
Will Alvarez develop into a better catcher than Moreno? Only time will tell. However,  with how quickly he’s risen up the minors as well as his age, Alvarez definitely deserves to be ranked higher than Moreno.
Orelvis Martinez ranks 38th:
Fun fact, Orelvis Martinez and Francisco Alvarez were both born on November 19th, 2001.

Saves two runs for Fraze.#BlueJays #NextLevel
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) June 28, 2022

Like Alvarez, Martinez is a 20-year-old who started his 2022 season in Double A. Unlike Alvarez, Martinez is still with the Fisher Cats and hasn’t put together the same season as the catcher.
In 270 plate appearances, the shortstop/third baseman has posted a .217/.289/.471 slash line, for a wRC+ of 105. It seems like it’s power or nothing for Martinez, as he’s hit an impressive 17 homers. However, he also has a K% of 30.7%, while only walking 6.3% of the time.
Orelvis had a rough April where he posted a .188/.224/.516 slash line with 6 homers in 67 plate appearances. However, his 1.5% BB% and 35.8% was a startling …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation