Raptors season Review

The Toronto Raptors playoff run came up short on Sunday, as they fell to the Brooklyn Nets 104-103. Toronto over came the odds this season and will look to the offseason, in need of a backup center, sixth man, a swing man, and most importantly resigning Kyle Lowry. With a weak eastern conference the Raptors finished 1st in the Atlantic division with a record of 48-34 advancing to the playoffs. Toronto had only reached the playoffs 6 times but also set a franchise record in wins. Even with an early first round exit the future looks very bright for the Raptors.

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The start of Jurassic Park!

 During the offseason the Raptors signed NBA Executive of the year Masai UJiri to a 5 year contract who made his first move by trading away 2006 1st overall pick Andea Bargnani to the New York Knicks for Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson, a future first round draft pick, and two future second round picks, Camby and Richardson were both waived after the trade. After starting the season 6-12 Misai Ujiri made a change by trading all star forward Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for swing man John Salmons, point guard Greives Vasquez, forward Patrick Patterson, and 6’6 canter Chuck Hayes. After the trade Toronto played extremely well as they kept their lead in the division, and went above .500 for the first time in almost three years. The Raptors entered the All-Star break with a 28–24 record, and DeRozan was selected to play in the All-Star game, being the fourth Raptor to do so. To finish the season Toronto went 42-22 after the Gay trade.

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Kyle Lowry?

Two years ago the Toronto Raptors acquired 6’0 point guard Kyle Lowry who was an above average point guard in his time with Huston and Memphis. Once Rudy Gay was traded Lowry looked like the next man out as Greives Vasquez was coming in. Lowry then received a larger role and put up big numbers with career highs in points per game, rebounds, assists, and 3pt percentage. The 28 year old guard became good friends with Demar DeRozan and was the leader of a very young Raptors team. Lowry is set to a free agent this offseason and I’m sure Toronto will resign the Raptors MVP.

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Offseason needs?

This offseason will be a lot of work for Ujiri. The team is in need of a 6th man, a swing man, a back up center and the contracts of guard Nando De Colo, Kyle Lowry, Patrick Patterson, and Grieves Vasquez are up. Some possible targets could be center Spencer Hawes who can back up Valanciunas and provide a bit of offence with the ability to shoot the three. Hawes is a free agent this off season and has a lot of size at 7’1 also averaging 8 rebounds per game. The Raptors also need a player who can play forward and the guard, but Misai Ujiri could start by looking at the open market. Vince Carter is available but it would be idle if the Raptors sign free agent swing man Shawn Marion who is a veteran and plays tremendous defence, which is coach Casey’s game plan. Marion is also former Raptor and played under Casey in Dallas.

Biggest Surprise and disappointment this season?

Dante De Caria, All day sportz news

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Blue Jays April Review.

The first month of the season has had its ups and downs for Toronto. The team is currently 3rd in the Al east with a record of 12-13 having lost 6 of their last 10 games. Toronto’s pitching set aside Mark Beuhrle has been disappointing. Ranking 25th in the league with a team ERA of 4.45 and 2nd in walks. The Blue Jays offence has continued to be their strength averaging 4.28 runs per game and 30 home runs.

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When will Stroman get his chance?

Marcus Stroman’s first MLB appearance is coming. Stroman will most likely take Dustin McGowen’s spot as the Blue Jays 5 starter. McGowen recently said that he is getting fatigued at the 60 pitch mark and is 1-1 with a 6.88 ERA in 17 innings pitched allowing 24 hits, looking to be the odd one out as he struggles with his control. This opens the door for Stroman who has been absolutely dominant in AAA, currently 1-2 with a 2.18 ERA and 26 strike outs in 20 2/3 innings. Stroman should make his first start in Kansas City but McGowen could buy him self more time with a solid start.

Why was Neil Wagner sent to the Minor Leagues?

Wagner was arguably Toronto’s best pitcher out of the bullpen this April. He gave John Gibbons another hard throwing righty that could enter in middle relief and let Cecil or Delabar pitch the 8th. Wagner pitched well and surrendered only three runs over 8 2/3 innings. Forget all that, Wagner was sent to Triple -A Buffalo because he still had options on his contract. As other pitchers can not be sent down with out clearing wavers.

When will the Moises Sierra saga end? 

Sierra is off to a bad start this season, but how long can the Blue Jays afford to keep him around. The problem comes up again as Sierra is out of options and cant be sent down with out clearing waivers. In the best situation, Sierra would be starting every day for Triple-A Buffalo. The 25 year old needs at bats to continue his development, but that’s not possible with Toronto. Sierra mostly sits on the bench and will get a start when Bautista or Rasmus needs a day off. Last season veteran Mark DeRossa was a perfect fit as he could play out field and infield. If the Jays are looking for a veteran utility man after parting ways with Sierra, I would start by looking in Triple-A Buffalo. Andy LaRoche the brother of Adam LaRoche would be a perfect fit as he can play the infield and out field or signing free agent out fielder Andres Torres.

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Who has been the Blue Jays biggest surprise and biggest disappointment?

The biggest surprise for me has been Melky Cabrera. There was always a possibility that he would bounce back after having a tumor removed from his spine last year, but i never thought he would be this good. This year he has hit for power and average, looking like the Melky we all saw in Kansas City. This season he leads the Majors in hits and has 2 more home runs than he did last year. Put in a .925 OPS, nine RBI, 17 runs and 3 stolen bases.                                                                                                                                     The biggest disappointment has been bullpen. Last season the team had one of the better bullpens in the league with the likes of all star’s Brett Cecil and Steve Delabar. The starting pitching of the Jays in 2013 was horrible as the team ERA was above 4 and this season has not got any better. With Toronto having an awful staff and bullpen this season, the future doesn’t look too bright for the Blue Jays

Dante Decaria, All Day Sportz

Are the Brewers for real?

The Milwaukee Brewers are off to the best start in baseball with a 17-6 record, but are they for real? The teams strength this season has been the pitching. Milwaukee is 2nd in the league with a solid 2.50 ERA, and 10th with an average 4.91 runs per game.

Brewers

Last season the Brewers finished with a 74-88 record ranking 4th in there division, unable to make the playoffs for the 2nd consecutive year, but the team also suffered a great loss this off season when right fielder Cory Hart signed with the Seattle Mariners. Soon after the Brewers traded speedy Japanese out fielder Nori Aoki to the Kansas city Royals for 24 year old reliever Will Smith, who pitched with a 3.24 ERA in 33 innings pitched last season. The 6’5 power lefty has not allowed a run in 10.1 innings, striking out 13. After freeing up some cap space the Brewers were able to sign starting pitcher Matt Garza and Mark Reynolds, a power hitting first basemen but with the tendency to strike out allot.

Yes, the Brewers have a good of chance at making the postseason.

If you look at Milwaukee’s line up from top to bottom you see power, leadership, speed and youth. The Brewers have many weapons to get you, with 2011 MVP Ryan Braun, all star center fielder Carlos Gomez who can hit for power and average, speedy short stop Jean Segura, elite catcher Jonathan Lucroy, up and coming second basemen Scooter Gennet and most importantly veteran third baseman Aramis Ramirez. The two time all star has consistently put up power numbers each and every year and brings allot of leadership to a very young team, being in the playoffs 3 times with the Cubs.

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Brewers pitching staff is the key to wining

With the resigning of 4 time all star closer Francisco Rodriguez and signing Matt Garza this off season the Brewers pitching staff looked average to most teams. Milwaukee’s staff consists of 2010 all star Yovani Gallardo, 16 game winner Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza,  young Wily Peralta  and Marco Estrada. If all these pitchers live up to there potential then there will be no reason to doubt the Milwaukee Brewers.

Zach Duke?

My final reason to not doubt the Milwaukee Brewers this season is Zach Duke. In 2004 Duke was ranked the number 4 best prospect according to Baseball America. This season the 2009 all star is pitching with a 1.74 ERA in 10.1 innings pitched, playing in the Brewers long relief position as he used to be a starter. In order for the Brewers to win, Zack Duke is the key to success.

The Brewers will look to extend the wining streak to 3 games tonight against Chicago Cubs as Marco Estrada will take the hill.

Dante DeCaria, All day sportz

 

Pineda 10 game pine tar suspension.

On Thursday Major League Baseball handed down a 10 game suspension to Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda for “possessing a foreign substance, Pineda had a big blob of pine tar on his neck and it was a violation of baseball rule 8.02, which states, “The pitcher shall not apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball.
This was the second time Pineda has used pine tar on the mound. He was seen with pine tar on the wrist of his pitching hand in a game against the Red Sox on April 10.

Why did Pineda use pine tar?

First I think Pineda deserved a 10 game suspension, what he did was very dumb. Who would ever think of putting pine tar on their neck in a major league stadium, with cameras every where. I mean I knew every one would be watching him as he got out of using pine tar the other game against the Red Sox.
More over, Pineda used the pine tar because he couldn’t grip the baseball in the cold weather. Do you know that feeling when you are in the cold and your hands are dry and numb. It is very difficult to grip a baseball when that happens. In that inning Pineda could not control his pitches, all though pine tar doesn’t allow the pitcher the make the ball move in weird ways, just ordinary ways.

Dante DeCaria all day sportz

Mark Buehrles perfect season comes to an end.

Mark Buehrle has been the Blue jays most valuable pitcher this season.
Buehrle and Bluejays catcher Navarro have had great chemistry, as he prefers when the catcher calls his pitches.
In tonight’s Blue jays loss to the Boston Red sox Buehrle surrendered 6 earned runs over 5 innings allowing 12 hits, walking 3 and striking out none.

After the game Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said “That’s baseball, you’re not going to be perfect every time out there. “He’ll bounce back. He was just off tonight, it’s that simple, like anybody else can be.”
Buehrle entered the game 4-0 and had allowed only two earned runs in 28 innings. He was looking to become the first pitcher in franchise history to win his first five starts.
The 4 time all star will look to bounce back in his next scheduled start on May 1st, against the Kansas City royals at Kauffman stadium.

Dante DeCaria, All day sportz