BJN Radio – Ep. 60: The “Deadline” has passed!

Baseball, it’s designed to break your heart.

Just like watching a late-game blown lead, the negotiation sessions between Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association broke our hearts, as there was momentum towards a deal until there wasn’t.
Rob Manfred announced that Opening Day on March 31 has been canceled along with the first week of the 2022 MLB season. It shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise given the way this lockout has gone, but, still, seeing the news become official was depressing.
We talked about Monday and Tuesday’s negotiations, the key issues that separate the two sides, the game being played by the owners, and what to expect moving forward. We also looked at how the lockout affects the Blue Jays specifically, as this will very likely be the third consecutive year that the team has lost home dates right as their contention window is opening up.
So, is there anything to be optimistic about as baseball-less spring arrives?
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

That was awful

Sometimes baseball sucks. Especially when your favourite team loses by a score of 13-4. Personally, what I love about baseball is that there are 162 games, meaning that one loss, no matter the score, only counts as one loss.
The Jays won their games handily versus the Rangers, the last one being 10-0. Even with the blowout tonight, they’re still 3-1 over their last four games. This article will mainly be focused on the pitching and relief as the offence was fine tonight.
Things worth mentioning…
Ross Stripling
Stripling didn’t have a good game. He recorded one out and gave six earned runs, two were homers. Did Ross decide to Pumpkin during the All-Star break? In my honest opinion, no. His last two games weren’t good, but since May 19th, he has pitched well.
I believe the Red Sox have something on him. Since May 19th against the Red Sox, he’s pitched 9.2 innings and has given up 16 earned runs. In the other 44 innings pitched, he’s only allowed 12 earned runs. If you are reading this Stripling, Pete Walker or anyone from the Blue Jays organization, I think this needs to be fixed.
After finishing writing this article, …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Robbie Ray, Hyun Jin Ryu, and Steven Matz will face Texas out of the All-Star Break

Come out of the All-Star break with your ace on the mound.

That’s what the Blue Jays are doing, as Robbie Ray will start for the team on Friday in Buffalo against the Texas Rangers. After Ray will be Hyun Jin Ryu and Steven Matz.

The #BlueJays rotation will come out of the All-Star break with:
Robbie RayHyun Jin RyuSteven Matz
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) July 15, 2021

Having Ray as the first starter out was really a no-brainer as he’s been Toronto’s best starter thus far. Ray starting on Friday means that he’ll also be in line to make his next two starts against the Boston Red Sox, which are key games in the team’s pursuit of the American League East crown.
The other interesting thing here is the plan to roll with three lefties against Texas. I would assume this is because Joey Gallo, a lefty, is Texas’ only good hitter, and it also leaves the Blue Jays with a pair of righties, Alek Manoah and Ross Stripling, going up against Boston’s righty-heavy lineup with J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts.
Many had been hoping that we would see Thomas Hatch called up in place …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

A fully healthy lineup results in an explosion from the Blue Jays bats

Getting your $150 million leadoff guy and your Silver Slugger clean-up hitter is probably a good thing, right? Clearly!

The Blue Jays, loaded with their first fully healthy lineup of the season, kicked the shit out of the Braves on Friday night by a score of 13-5.
Things worth mentioning…

That was the first offensive explosion we had seen from the Blue Jays in quite some time. Back a few weeks ago, they smacked the Angels around in a 15-1 win, but, for the most part, the bats have been fairly silent this year. But, as I said, getting George Springer and Teoscar Hernandez back is quite the game changer and both players played a role in Friday’s win. Springer was on base four times and Toescar smashed a three-run homer. Having both of them in the mix makes the top of the lineup insanely potent.

Here’s some analysis: The Blue Jays having a fully healthy lineup is Very Good
— Blue Jays Nation (@thejaysnation) May 1, 2021

There were quite a few performances from up and down the lineup to like. Bo got things going with a two-run homer, Vladdy walked three times, Randal Grichuk and Lourdes Gurriel each hit a solo …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Page 6ix Wednesday, December 2nd: Kane You Believe It?

Hello there drama fiends. I won’t lie, your author took a Twitter break and wasn’t super aware of the latest happenings until last night, when our TLN blog daddy Jon told me to check out what had been happening with Evander Kane the last few days. So, everyone, while there are a few other little tidbits to touch on first, we will of course be diving deep into the Kane situation(s).
But first, as is custom, we check in on how our Leafs lads are doing.
Leafs Lads (and Ladies)
Mitch Marner and the Marner Assist Fund will be hosting a stream-a-thon later this month raising money for families in need this winter. I caught a screengrab on Instagram, so be sure to check that out!

Elsewhere, Tessa Virtue and Morgan Rielly are preparing for the holidays, which includes a stocking for each of them and their adorable pup:

Doggie Christmas stockings for the win! #TessaVirtue
— Ann Ice2 (@icetalking2) December 2, 2020

To be honest our Leafs have been a bit quiet this week, so I’m sure they’re all resting up to prepare for the upcoming holiday season and possible training camp. Speaking …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Trent Thornton was placed on the Injured List with elbow inflammation

If you like roster moves, today’s your day.

First, the Blue Jays trimmed their roster from 30 players down to 28 players by sending Santiago Espinal and Jacob Waguespack to the Taxi Squad. A few hours later Waguespack was called back up to the Blue Jays as Trent Thornton got placed on the Injured List with elbow inflammation.
The team doesn’t have any plans for Thornton to have an MRI, so it doesn’t look like anything serious. Thornton said that he felt funny during a bullpen session, so the Jays are ultimately just deciding to be cautious with the young righty.
Having Thornton on the IL could also answer the question of where Chase Anderson is going to play when he returns. It’s expected that Anderson will be activated in the coming days, so he could just grab Thornton’s spot in the rotation. We could also see Thomas Hatch and Anthony Kay in a piggyback role again, though that does weaken Charlie Montoyo’s bullpen options.
We’ll see on Sunday what happens as Tanner Roark is scheduled to start in Boston on Friday and Matt Shoemaker will go on …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

How good is a team made up entirely of players the Leafs traded away?

“Someone once told me the definition of hell; on your last day on earth, the person you could have become will meet the person you became.” – Anonymous
This chilling quote was almost certainly never made in reference to pro-sports franchises, but as a hockey writer, it’s my job to find a way to shoehorn anything I find into a narrative about the Leafs. If there’s one thing sports fans love to do more than pay $12 for beer it’s complaining about the trades their team has made. Whether it’s shipping off a fan favourite or trading away a 7th round pick that will surely become the next Pavel Datsyuk, every move the GM makes gets scrutinized.
But how bad is it really? Sure teams make bad trades, but they also make some good ones. So here’s a question to ask ourselves. Could the Leafs beat a team made up entirely of players they’ve traded away?
The Team
Let’s set some rules.

Only players still playing in the NHL can be used. This team won’t feature Wendel Clark, Tomas Kaberle, or whoever else …

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

Woah, look, something happened! (It’s Joe Panik getting added to the 40-man roster)

Losing your mind without sports to talk about? No need to Panik!

The Blue Jays have selected the contract of Joe Panik, thus adding him to the 40-man roster for whenever the season gets up and rolling. In a corresponding roster move, pitcher Yennsy Diaz has been placed on the 60-day Injured List with some undisclosed injury.
Panik, of course, was in camp as a non-roster invitee on a minor-league deal. He had an opt-out clause on his deal for March 15 that would have allowed him to test the open market again, so the Jays unsurprisingly added him to the roster.
So, yeah. That’s the news. It isn’t overly exciting, but it’s something! It’s really not surprising at all that Panik was added to the 40-man. He had a very good spring, going 8-for-21 with a couple of homers. Had the Jays not added him to the 40-man, I’m sure that performance would have been good enough to earn him a gig somewhere.
I think if once the season gets going, we’ll see him used as more than just a backup infielder off the bench. If …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Announcing the Absolutely, the Leaf’s Madness” bracket

In case you were wondering what your favourite Leafs blog was going to do for content during this hiatus, look no further. Well, keep looking, we’ll have other stuff too, but also look at this. It’s our official March Bracket…
Okay, so you aren’t particularly excited about this yet, but hopefully you will become very invested in this because you have absolutely nothing else to going on regarding sports outcomes.
We’re starting off by asking you, our valued reader to submit your 5 favourite Leafs from 5 distinct eras of the team that will make up our regions. It’s going to be those votes that influence who winds up on the bracket and establish the seeding. And you know because it’s the Leafs, we can’t just go with 64 player bracket, IT’S 67, BABY!!! WOOOOOOO!!!! There will be three play-ins so we can do this right.
Here are the regions:
Your Grandpa’s Leafs region: This covers off everything 1967 and earlier. The glory years when a team didn’t really need to be good, you just needed …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Shapkins Defender – I Want My MLB TV

Welcome to The Shapkins Defender, where I inhale your toxic screeds and spit out the fresh oxygen of optimism, like a tree that kind of understands WAR. (Just don’t ask me to explain it.)
This time, I really wanted to be writing about projections again. In a previous post, I had talked about projections and how the Jays were the kind of team that could wind up ahead of their projections. And I was going to tie that into this similarly-bullish piece at FanGraphs.
And I was also going to talk about Baseball America still having the Jays in the number 6 slot on their organization talent rankings in spite of graduating so many prospects last year. And I was going to talk about the FanGraphs top 100 prospects having four Jays on the list. And then there’s Keith Law’s list also having four Jays on it, but in a slightly different way. And it was all going to be sunshine, lollipops and rainbows about the coming season and the even rosier picture beyond that and so on and so on.
Unfortunately, I have to talk about this MLB TV bullshit.
Sigh. Defeated sigh.
This is …

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Author: Darragh / Blue Jays Nation