Surely you’ve caught wind of this by now, but just for the sake of being complete– because there are certainly not minor moves of the sort I don’t mind letting slip away into the ether– Brett Lawrie and his Red Bull (and blinged-to-fuck watch) have rejoined the Jays, with the reciprocal move from the club being to put Sergio Santos on the DL with a triceps strain.

The triceps is what had sidelined Santos for a good chunk of the spring, and is perhaps the reason why, while he’s been effective, he hasn’t looked quite as sharp as we’d hoped to see him thus far.

“It hit a point where I felt I wouldn’t be doing the team any service or helping them out if I wasn’t coming in and pitching effectively,” said Santos, according to a piece from Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. “So I’d rather nip it in the bud now and that’s what I think their thinking is as well, get back and hopefully it’s only two or three weeks and then I can be back.”

With the bullpen going well, the loss of Santos for a couple weeks doesn’t seem to suggest some kind of forthcoming doom– though I grant that it’s entirely possible I’ll end up eating those words.

As for Lawrie, thanks in part to the recent flare up of Jose Bautista’s back, the plans seem to have him at third base for now. That’s the case despite his having played at second while on his rehab assignment in Dunedin, which led to speculation about the possibility of keeping Bautista at third, and– somewhat nuttily– promoting Anthony Gose and, in order to snuff out the majority of his value (and put him ahead of better bats, Rajai Davis and Emilio Bonifacio), playing him in right field.

That never really made a whole lot of sense, and fortunately it seems as though the Jays aren’t actually dumb enough to be contemplating it as seriously as the local media seemed to be. Keith Law hits the nail on the head in his latest at (Insider Only):

Trying Lawrie out at second while he’s on a rehab assignment makes sense, as it’s a rare opportunity to see if the defensive improvements he’s made at third transfer to his old position. This would give the team substantially greater flexibility down the road. The team could upgrade at second or third or in right field, with Lawrie at second or third and Jose Bautista at third or in right. You don’t want to try a player out at a new spot in the middle of a major league season when you’re trying to win, so giving Lawrie a few reps there this week to see how it looks is a smart move.

It looks especially smart, in fact, because John Lott of the National Post tells us that ”the club’s scouts were impressed” with the transition back to second, according to Alex Anthopoulos. “It was almost to the point [where] they didn’t know defensively, is he stronger at third or second? But that’s just a credit to how good an athlete he is,” the GM added.

The flexibility is key, too, because as Shi Davidi wrote on Monday, the Jays have so far found that finding “that middle infield help from outside the organization for now appears unlikely because ‘of what the asks have been on some of the players.’ ”

There is also, of course, the possibility that the Jays’ thin infield ranks could be made thinner through an injury to Munenori Kawasaki or Maicer Izturis, as well, so having Lawrie get some reps in at his one-time position in a game that doesn’t mean anything, and having enough confidence to try him out there for real, in case of emergency, is a genuine bonus. With Reyes gone from the top of the lineup, the club needs to keep finding ways to keep their best bats off the bench, and this can only help. For now, with Kawasaki running hot, the issue seems to be moot, but sadly, history shows that will likely only last for so long.

Lawrie, for his part, seems to be just a liiiiiiiiiitle bit dimed to finally be taking part in the 2013 season:

There doesn’t seem to be any reason for him not to be in the lineup tonight, so I’m going to go ahead and expect that will be the case. Which is slightly fucking awesome. Finally.

Comments (49)

  1. Just wondering why no one has suggested putting the guy at short?

  2. Wow, I always thought Red Bull + Brett Lawrie was a caricature.

    • No caricature. That boy loves his Red Bull. I recall in an interview last season he confirmedt his weird pre-game ritual: He goes into then Sauna in his uniform and chugs drinks a Red Bull.

      MLB is worried about the example PED users set for kids? What about Lawrie and his Red Bull addiction.

  3. Is that tweet from the future?

  4. lawrie has become self aware. or he really is just the caricature we all make him out to be.

  5. Reyes plus Lawrie in July will be magic

    • I’m still totally deluding myself into thinking that the whole “three months” thing is an overly conservative ruse by management designed to:

      A) Prepare the team for the worst, so when he is rehabbing faster it’s a pleasant surprise
      B) Build chemistry for the team through adversity.

      Is it total BS? Yes! Do I still believe we’ll see Reyes on the field in mid to late June? Yes! Does that make any sense? No!

  6. Stoeten,

    I know everyone’s said it, but what is it exactly that has everyone writing Kawasaki so quickly? He got 100 PA last year.

    Is it that he’s 31 and slaps the ball like a girl?

    • My take on it would be his final full season in JAPAN was rather shitty. So the small sample size of continued shittiness in Seattle only went further to solidify his apparent decline…at least on offense.

      Defensively, he’s a keeper. ..and he honestly is a better player overall than McCoy.

      The irony of it all. Poor Mikey finally gets to play AAA ball very close to Toronto….and ironically now when injury requires a call up. ITS NOT HIM.

    • @ Sam…”like a girl”???? What YOU said!!!

      I understood his hero was/is Ichiro and if you’ll notice, he swings with his upper half while his lower half starts running…just like Ichiro.

  7. Blair said today that he expects AA to make a trade to help out the lineup soon if it doesn’t improve. And, like Law said, having flexibility with Lawrie widens their net. He thought the Casper Wells pickup may have happened bc AA thought he was close to moving someone.

    Blair seems pretty plugged in so… Who knows.

  8. “Is it that he’s 31 and slaps the ball like a girl?”

  9. I was really expecting him to be drinking the 16oz resbull not the little one.

  10. Fully agree with Law – that trying him at 2nd in the minors on rehab is a good move – just to have a look at his general ability at the position. Lawrie’s bat certainly plays like crazy at 2nd – and the ability to add either a 3b or RF makes it easier to get good value in a trade. Then when Reyes comes back you’ve added to the lineup instead of creating a roster problem that necessitates another move.

    But all of that goes out the window when you call him up to MLB – or at the very least makes it a risky move to try him out at 2B when you’re trying to win games. Still, I’m not entirely sure that trotting out Boneface or Kawasaki is ultimately THAT much more risky than playing Lawrie there. Kawasaki has been a pleasant surprise – but we shouldn’t be expecting him to play like this over the long haul. And Lawrie at 2B would have to go VERY badly to be worse than Boneface (though his struggles may be a little overstated at this point).

    Either way. I’m relieved that Brett is back and at least gives the Jays a valuable bat to add back into the lineup whatever happens going through Reyes’ injury.

    • His struggles haven’t been overstated. Bonifacio is literally that bad at infield defense.

      • I mentioned Boni’s lack of D about 4 or 5 games into ST when he fumbled a couple of fairly easy ground balls. It was perhaps too early to judge then but now I’m satisfied I was right. He’s had enough games to get into “game shape” and the guy (in the words of another poster here) just isnt a MLB level 2B.

  11. Stop saying Bone-face.

  12. Something tells me this will not be the last time Lawrie is on the DL this year.

    He plays like a fuckin nut.

  13. I think the bigger concern is the shititude shown by the bottom of the lineup. Rasmus is hitting 0.067 when he’s behind in the count. I know small sampe size, but for his career he’s below .200. JPA and Lind aren’t much better.

    • But JPA is a #3 hitter now.

      • yes, that is scary. He’s hitting .056 when behind in the count, which has been 18 times in 48 ABs. small sample size, but only .181 in his career. I realize a hitters number will suck when behind, but that seems low. I could’t find ML avg.

    • You said it, ‘small sample size’. It is not like Rasmus bats second anymore.

      I will take him in my bottom third of the lineup against all RH and some LH.

      • NAILED IT!!! Solid walk rate. Solid ISO. AWESOME Defense.

        BABIP and K% will normalize, should have decent — 2, 2.5 win — year.

  14. What the Fuck…maybe we should just stop trading for pitchers with the White Sox, Mike Sirotka and Esteban Loaiza certainly didnt do us any good and now Santo’s…Will be great to finally have Lawrie in the lineup and I for one would leave him at 3rd and keep Bautista in right. I personally dont see a problem with Kawasaki playing until Reyes is back…I know he cant hit worth shit but fuck..Rasmus and Lind cant hit fuck but there still here..

    • I’m guessing the point is they cant afford any more of those types. What I’d really like to see is improvement from JPA Rasmus and Lind in fouling off pitches so their walk % improves. I hope they’re spending a lot of time with Mottola.

    • Santos, provided he doesnt suffer a recurrence of his labrum difficulties, will be fine. When Janssen returned from his labrum surgery he only pitched 40 innings and had an ERA north of 5.50 for the entire season. The DL is as much to give him a rest as it is to make room. Santos will be unconcious next year.

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