Toronto Raptors draft: Kofi Cockburn could fit in Toronto after declaring

Toronto Raptors draft: Kofi Cockburn could fit in Toronto after declaring

The Toronto Raptors draft plans will likely include drafting a big man at some point, as signing Khem Birch and Freddie Gillespie, despite how effective they have been, in no way solves the cavernous hole that remains in this roster. If Masai Ujiri wants to add through the draft, look for him to target Illinois […]
Toronto Raptors draft: Kofi Cockburn could fit in Toronto after declaring – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Can the Leafs make it a 5-game win streak tonight against the Canadiens?

At 7:30pm tonight our beloved Maple Leafs will take on the storied rival Montreal Canadiens. Having won their last 4 games out in Alberta and Manitoba, they return home tonight to face Montreal at the start of a short 2-game home stand.
The Canadiens have held their own this year, but haven’t been the second-best team in Canada as seemingly everyone had projected. Instead, they sit in 4th in the division, but with a healthy lead over the faltering Canucks and Flames. The Leafs have cleared their way through the division so far, as expected, but a fair set of challenges still remain, including a race for the President’s Trophy, where they currently sit tied for 3rd with the Carolina Hurricanes behind the Florida Panthers and the Colorado Avalanche.
Tale of the Tape
Let’s see how Toronto and Montreal stack up against each other, using our own Mark Norman’s “Tale of the Tape” visualization:

The Habs are boasting a pretty solid set of 5-on-5 stats, but haven’t found that success translate to the winning column as much as Toronto has.
Toronto’s Lines
Here’s how Toronto’s team will look tonight:

LW
C
RW
Forwards



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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Over/Under Previewing the Blue Jays Bullpen using ZiPS projections

In the final part of this season preview we will look at the Blue Jays bullpen and their ZiPS projections. Losing Kirby Yates before the season even starts is a big loss, but there are still lots of good pitchers in the pen and this should be a sneaky good bullpen. 
As a reminder we are dealing with pitching so under in this case means I expect the player to beat their projections. 

Jordan Romano 

Innings
ERA
FIP
K/9
BB/9
HR/9
WAR

49.0
4.07
4.30
10.53
3.33
1.48
0.3

We will start with the bullpen ace Jordan Romano. The Blue Jays haven’t officially announced a closer replacement for Yates, but I think sooner rather than later this will be Romano’s job. He has the big fastball, running it up to 99 in Spring. He strikes batters out, striking out 36.8% of batters last season. The projections are low on Romano because of how poorly he pitched in 2019. The mechanical change he made last season was small but enough for him to have a breakout 2020 season even if it only was 14.2 innings. Per Baseball Savant, Romano added 200 revolutions per minute of spin to fastball in Spring and that will make his fastball that much harder to hit. Especially …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Over/Under: Previewing the Blue Jays Starting Pitchers using ZiPS projections

Part three of this season preview will look at starting pitching. The rotation for the Blue Jays has plenty of question marks after Hyun-Jin Ryu, so let’s get into the ZiPS projections and see how this rotation shakes out.
Since we are dealing with pitchers, the under means I expect them to do better than the projections. 

Hyun Jin Ryu

Innings
ERA
FIP
K/9
BB/9
HR/9
WAR

138.0
3.58
3.75
8.66
1.82
1.24
3.0

Ryu is the Blue Jays ace, and as long as he is healthy he will deal. Health has been an issue for Ryu in the past but he has been healthy the past two seasons and hopefully, that continues into this season. Health is the only reason he won’t hit these projections. Ryu has only had an era higher than these projections once in his career, so I’ll take the under on his ERA. His velocity was down at the start of spring but he ramped up pitching simulated games, and in his last start his fastball was hitting 90-91. Even if his velocity does decline he still keeps hitters off balance with his array of off-speed pitches. His change-up was sharp this spring, and was responsible for six of …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Despite poor start in Grapefruit finale, T.J. Zeuch has made the Blue Jays’ roster

T.J. Zeuch will be a member of the Blue Jays’ pitching staff when the team breaks camp.

The Blue Jays reportedly told Zeuch before he took the mound in Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit finale that was the case.
He then went ahead and laid an egg against the Phillies, allowing five earned runs on nine hits and a walk over the course of three innings. Let’s hope he’s just getting all of the bad out now before pitching in an actual game later this week!
Jokes aside, I would imagine that the Blue Jays told Zeuch before the game that he didn’t have to go out there and prove anything on the mound today so he took it a bit easy and that played into the ugly outing. I don’t know. Maybe that’s optimistic and he just isn’t that good.
Regardless, Zeuch is going to start the season with the team, and I would assume he’s taking Robbie Ray’s spot in the starting rotation for now. It’s either that or he’s going to be in the team’s bullpen as a guy who can munch innings in the event …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Six debut season ends tonight, but overall there’s so much to celebrate

Unfortunately, the Toronto Six will not be battling for the Isobel Cup in the finals tomorrow. They lost this evening’s game to the Boston Pride 6-2. And while that’s obviously not an ideal outcome, there’s so much for this team to be proud of over the last few months, and so much to look forward to.
Before we dive into that, a quick look at tonight’s matchup. While the final score was 6-2 Boston, the SOG were equal at 25 apiece. Neither team converted on the power play, and Toronto had a slight edge with faceoffs, winning 56% of them. It felt like it took both teams a little bit to get their legs under them, but in the end the Pride was able to start generating offense earlier, and once they started the onslaught never let up.
Toronto battled until the very end, with a late goal from Grant-Mentis to give them two goals in the game, but were unable to narrow the gap that had widened early in the third period. Later this weekend, we’ll have a post up reflecting on what this season and the NWHL in general has meant to fans, so look …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Joe Panik will be on the Blue Jays’ Opening Day roster

To the surprise of nobody, Joe Panik will be travelling north remaining in Dunedin with the Blue Jays when the team breaks camp.

The #BlueJays have told Joe Panik he’s made the team, but won’t make roster move to get him on 40-man until opening day roster is set, team says
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) March 26, 2021

Panik, who is currently at spring training on a minor-league deal as a non-roster invite, will reportedly be added to the 40-man roster within the next few days.
There’s no word yet on Francisco Liriano, who’s also at camp as a non-roster invitee. Both players have opt-outs on their minor-league deals before the end of spring training so they can have a chance to stick elsewhere if they don’t crack the Blue Jays roster.
Again, it’s no surprise that Panik has made the team, given the Blue Jays seemed to like him in the backup infielder, utility role last year. Santiago Espinal might be the better player but he’s better off playing every day in Buffalo while Panik’s long-term development as a player isn’t a priority for the organization. I would imagine that Breyvic Valera gets designated for …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors draft: Is Greg Brown or Kai Jones the better prospect?

Toronto Raptors draft: Is Greg Brown or Kai Jones the better prospect?

The March 25th trade deadline will arrive Thursday, and the Toronto Raptors appear closer to selling than ever before. While they could make the postseason, the Raptors’ draft plans are starting to kick into high gear, as they have to be getting a head start on scouting stars like Cade Cunningham and potential diamonds in […]
Toronto Raptors draft: Is Greg Brown or Kai Jones the better prospect? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: The faces in the background of this unique season

Toronto Raptors: The faces in the background of this unique season

As of March 19th, the Toronto Raptors will begin welcoming a limited number of fans back to their home games at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay. While playing to a couple thousand mask-wearing Floridians in Tampa hardly counts as ‘business as usual’ for the Raptors, it might end the strangeness of plying their trade in […]
Toronto Raptors: The faces in the background of this unique season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ben Fisher / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Multiple teams calling Toronto about Norman Powell trade

Toronto Raptors: Multiple teams calling Toronto about Norman Powell trade

The Toronto Raptors are still figuring out if they will be buyers or sellers at the deadline, as their quality roster has been let down by the fact that several star players have missed time due to the league’s health and safety protocols. While they could be buyers and trade for someone like Tristan Thompson, […]
Toronto Raptors: Multiple teams calling Toronto about Norman Powell trade – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ