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Blue Jays Trade Rowdy Tellez To Brewers – MLB Trade Rumors

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The Brewers have been baseball’s most active team on the trade front so far, and they’ve now struck up another deal to bring in some infield depth. Milwaukee is trading reliever Trevor Richards and minor league righty Bowden Francis to the Blue Jays in exchange for first baseman Rowdy Tellez, the two teams announced Tuesday.

Rowdy Tellez | Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Tellez, 26, brings another powerful left-handed bat to a Brewers club that recently lost first baseman Daniel Vogelbach to a hamstring injury. He’s shuffled between Triple-A and the big leagues with the Jays in recent seasons, at times looking like a possible long-term answer at first base/designated hitter for the Jays.

However, Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s shift across the diamond from third base to first base cut into Tellez’s opportunities, and the team’s signing of George Springer created a four-man carousel between the outfield and DH when everyone is at full strength; Springer, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Teoscar Hernandez and Randal Grichuk are all in line for regular at-bats when the lineup is healthy. That, coupled with the fact that Tellez hit just .209/.272/.338 in 151 plate appearances earlier in the year when Springer was on the injured list, likely prompted to the Jays’ willingness to move on from Tellez.

Those struggles notwithstanding, Tellez is an intriguing bat on which to buy low for Milwaukee. He mashed at a .283/.346/.540 clip with eight homers and five doubles in 127 plate appearances with the Jays in 2020 and belted 21 home runs for them in 2019. Entering the season, Tellez carried .250/.309/.488 batting line with 33 homers, 33 doubles, a 6.9 percent walk rate and a 25.7 percent strikeout rate in 609 trips to the plate.

Tellez struggled in his first exposure to Triple-A ball as a 22-year-old back in 2017, but his production at that level has steadily increased; he’s hitting .298/.400/.638 in 55 plate appearances there so far in 2021 and batted .366/.450/.688 in 26 games (109 plate appearances) there back in 2019 as well.

The hope for the Brewers is surely that Tellez can provide an immediate boost at a position that has been a point of frustration so far in 2021. Keston Hiura struggled with the move to first base and has twice been optioned to Triple-A Nashville, although to his credit, Hiura has been hitting quite well since his latest recall. Vogelbach was helping to solidify the position with a strong showing for the first few weeks of June, but the aforementioned hamstring injury came with a recovery timetable of at least six weeks.

It’s not clear just how the Brewers will divide the playing time up — particularly once Vogelbach is healthy — but Hiura and Tellez ostensibly form an intriguing platoon. Tellez can also be freely optioned for the remainder of the current season, so he could be an up-and-down piece in Milwaukee for now, just as he was with the Jays. Looking longer term, he’s under club control for three more years beyond the current campaign and will be eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter.

For the Blue Jays, this marks the second under-the-radar reliever they’ve picked up in the past week or so. They’re not even a week removed from acquiring Adam Cimber and injured outfielder Corey Dickerson (whose left-handed bat could potentially replace Tellez on the depth chart if he makes it back this season) in a trade that sent Joe Panik and minor league righty Andrew McInvale to the Marlins.

Trevor Richards

Trevor Richards

Richards, like Cimber, wasn’t an obvious trade candidate. He’d only just joined the Brewers in mid-May, coming over from the Rays as part of the Willy Adames trade, and is controllable through the 2024 campaign. So far in 2021, the 28-year-old has tallied 31 2/3 innings of 3.69 ERA ball while striking out 31.7 percent of his opponents against a 9.8 percent walk rate. He gives the Jays a pitcher with ample experience as both in the bullpen and in the rotation, having started 48 games between the Marlins and the Rays from 2018-19.

The 2020 season was a miserable one for Richards, who limped to a 5.91 ERA for Tampa Bay while posting career-worst strikeout and home-run rates. That came in a sample of just 32 innings, however, and he’s bounced back nicely through the season’s first three months. Overall, Richards owns a 4.34 ERA, 23.1 percent strikeout rate and 9.5 percent walk rate in 325 1/3 innings at the MLB level.

Francis, 25, was Milwaukee’s seventh-round pick in 2017 and has posted a solid season between Double-A and Triple-A thus far. He’s worked exclusively as a starter, tallying 59 2/3 innings with a 3.62 ERA, a 27.3 percent strikeout rate and a 7.1 percent walk rate. Francis is an extreme fly-ball pitcher who ranked 25th among Milwaukee farmhands on last week’s rankings from Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs. Longenhagen notes that a newly added slider quickly became the best of Francis’ four pitches in 2021 and calls him a potential back-of-the-rotation arm with a excellent feel for pitching but mostly fringe stuff on the mound.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported that Tellez was headed to the Brewers in exchange for Richards (Twitter link). Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi tweeted that Francis was also going to the Jays in the deal.

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Tokyo 2020: Canada wins first medal after swimming to silver in women's 4×100 freestyle relay – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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The Canadian Press


Published Saturday, July 24, 2021 10:55PM EDT


Last Updated Saturday, July 24, 2021 10:55PM EDT

TOKYO — Canada has its first medal of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after the women’s 4×100 freestyle relay team raced to silver.

Penny Oleksiak and Kayla Sanchez of Toronto, Margaret Mac Neil of London, Ont., and Rebecca Smith of Red Deer, Alta., finished in a time of three minutes 32.78 seconds as Canada picked up a medal in the event for a second straight Games.

Australia won gold in a world-record time of 3:29.69, while the United States finished third in 3:32.81.

Oleksiak swam the anchor leg and narrowly beat out American Simone Manuel at the wall.

Canada’s women are looking to duplicate the success they had in the pool at the 2016 Rio Games, where they picked up six medals.

Earlier on Sunday, Mac Neil also advanced to Monday morning’s 100-metre butterfly final. The 21-year-old world champion in the event posted the sixth-fastest time in the semifinals.

An hour after qualifying for the butterfly final, Mac Neil drew into the relay lineup for Taylor Ruck who swam the heat for Canada. The women posted the third-fastest time in the preliminaries.

Sanchez led off the final followed by Mac Neil and Smith with Oleksiak bringing the team home.

Oleksiak and Ruck won a pair of freestyle relay bronze medals as 16-year-olds in Rio de Janeiro five years ago.

They teamed with Sandrine Mainville and Chantal Van Landeghem in the 4 x 100 to win Canada’s first medal of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Oleksiak also swam the anchor leg in Rio.

Canada’s women aim for the podium in all three relays in Tokyo after earning three bronze at the world championship in Gwangju, South Korea two years ago.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 24, 2021.

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The Edmonton Oilers select big German defender Luca Munzenberger at #90 overall – Edmonton Journal

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The Edmonton Oilers trading down on Day #1 of the NHL draft was converted not 24 hours later into Defenceman Luca Munzenbeger.

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Gotta love the name! Munzenberger is an 18-year old out of Dusseldorf, Germany. He has a late (November) 2002 birth date.

He’s a big, left-handed shot at 6’3, 194 LBS.

Munzenberger spent the majority of 2020-21 with Kolner Junghaie of the DNL U20. In 6 games he went 1-2-3 and served as Team Captain. His time in junior versus pro left open the door for him to play in college. Munzenberger also played for Team Germany at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Edmonton (0-0-0 in 5GP). More on that in a minute…

Munzenberger is considered to be an excellent PK man, but possesses a big shot which makes him a threat from the point as well. Scouts say he has a soft set of hands and makes an effective first-pass out of his own zone. Those who have seen him play, namely amateur scout Brock Otten, describe the kid as a “suffocating physical defender” with a mean streak. He’s an above-average skater for his size with a massive stride and a big wingspan. He’s effective at clearing the slot and his reach helps him get to pucks ahead of attackers. In my own viewing of his highlights from the WJC’s, Munzenberger closes quickly and effectively on the opposition along the walls. The foot-speed, reach and size are visibly key tools in his ability to break up the cycle.

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A side note from that tournament that may indicate the quality of his intangibles: Munzenberger was in COVID quarantine at the very beginning ot the WJ’s, but emerged from that status prior to Christmas and rebounded with a strong performance. That would seem to speak to the kid’s resilience. The young man in a foreign country responded to a stressful situation and considerable uncertainty extremely well.

Draft analyst Steve Kournianos says of him: “A big bodied vacuum cleaner on defence… He has ideal size but the mobility and agility to cover faster players… He plays a mean, physical brand of hockey and can be considered a throwback… He has soft hands and delivers clean passes to any area in the offensive zone, but what makes Munzenberger dangerous is his lethal shot — he owns a bomb of a shot, not only for its velocity but for the sheer power he generates with little backswing. His wrister is just as nasty.”

It is fair to consider this pick as somewhat “off the board”. Elite Prospects had him at #214. No other service had him listed at all. One wonders if fellow countryman Leon Draisaitl had and offered any insight on the player to the Oilers draft team? He and his father surely know of every sharp prospect in that nation.

Munzenberger is committed to NCAA University of Vermont in 2022-23 which offers another interesting tidbit. Todd Woodcroft is the coach of that program, the brother of Bakersfield Condors bench boss Jay Woodcroft.  So, there may well be some added insight from that connection.

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Montreal Canadiens select Joe Vrbetic with 214th pick – Habs Eyes on the Prize

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After a very long day, the Montreal Canadiens final picks are finally upon us, with 214th overall being up first. The Habs acquired this pick after trading out of an earlier round, and with this pick the team selected Joe Vrbetic from OHL’s North Bay Battalion.

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Unfortunately like many other prospects in the OHL, Vrbetic was not able to play this year due to the Covid pandemic. In his last full season he posted a 4.23 goals against, an .881 save percentage along with a 14-25-1 record on a dreadful North Bay team that won just 17 out of 62 games.

The Habs have the penultimate pick in the draft at 223rd overall this year coming up.

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