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Ugh. Well this should really keep the fucking freakouts to a minimum, eh? The Jays — while still holding a 1.5 game lead in the AL East, with plenty of time to play better, add pieces, get healthy, continue the fight, make the playoffs, etc. — lost again to Cincinnati today. The big stories, however, are their other losses. Brett Lawrie is headed to the DL after being hit on the hand – again — by a pitch in the top of the second inning and having to be replaced by Steve Tolleson for the bottom half of the frame. X-rays confirmed he’s fractured his finger, and Lawrie confirmed the obvious to reporters after the game, stating that he’ll be headed to the DL.

Not. Good.

Then we have the happy fact that Jose Bautista was also removed from this game, citing hamstring tightness. It’s an issue that has been bothering him for a couple of days, he later told reporters, per a tweet from Gregor Chisholm, though, according to a tweet from Barry Davis, the slugger doesn’t feel too bad, and hopes he won’t have to miss any time, but he wants to see the results of an MRI he’ll have once he returns to Toronto before determining what the next course of action is.

That could be worse, though I’m sure it wont stop the tinfoil hat brigade from being out in full force if it turns out something actually require time on the sidelines, but… well… they were going to find something to be fucking dumb about anyway, weren’t they? On the slightly more positive note, when Bautista came out of the game, Jose Reyes went in. This is positive because Reyes initially wasn’t in the lineup after having to leave yesterday’s game after fouling a ball off his knee.

Fingers crossed for both Jose. Lawrie, though. That’s a tough one.

Gregor Chisholm adds, via a tweet, that Brett’s comment on when he might return was simply, “I don’t even know. I’m trying to take it all in. It’s one of those things that’s going to get better when it gets better.”

Lawrie’s overall numbers don’t exactly look stupendous, but his ability to switch between third and second base has allowed the Jays to get the best out of the bats of Tolleson and Juan Francisco, shielding them from same sided pitching in a platoon setup that was mighty useful during the club’s hot month of May. And if you swallow hard and play the arbitrary endpoint game, you can take out a brutal first twelve games of season and find he has actually hit quite well for quite some time. Better than that, even! A .276/.326/.472 line since April 13th, which covers his last 233 plate appearances and is good for a 121 wRC+ and .350 wOBA.

Add in his excellent defence at two positions and… well… if you want to get a little nervous about anything right now, this is probably a reasonable place to start. No need to invent horseshit about the Jays somehow being oblivious to the obvious fact that they’ll need to acquire some kind of pitching help, or whatever other twaddle it is some would have us believe has already consigned this season to doom. Oh, does R.A. Dickey continue to be a disappointment? Thanks for fucking noticing.

Lawrie, though. He was, as quietly as a guy like him can be, a very, very important player for this club.

Time for Buffalo’s hottest hitter, Dan Johnson, to dig out his old third baseman’s glove? For Edwin? For Juanfran to keep his? Yeesh. I don’t even want to think about it all just yet.

Hey, but remember, nobody ever said this was going to be easy. All good teams face adversity. We’ll see how it goes. And for fuck sakes, don’t jump out of the roller coaster just because we’re going through a scary bit right now. Take a damn breath and try to enjoy the ride.

Comments (103)

  1. Never a dull moment in Blue Jays land….

    • Every fan base navel-gazes and thinks ‘why us?’
      Baseball + human nature = Chicken Little Syndrome.
      Thankfully, we’re lucky enough to be in first place.
      It eases the pain.

  2. If Jose has to miss only a few days,
    or even a 2 week stint on the DL,
    that will turn out better than it looked
    when he came off the field.
    We’ll hope for that.

  3. We’re DOOOMED!

  4. Hot tip for AA:
    Get EE to teach Lawrie how to recognize
    the inside pitch and turn his back to it.
    As Stoeten points out, Jays need this guy on the field,
    not on the DL…..and remember Overbay?
    He never was the same after breaking his hand.

    • Overbay broke 3 bones in his hand. Lawrie has just fractured a finger. Different. Note also that Overbay was out for a little over a month. That’s good news for Lawrie now, isn’t it? Not doom and gloom?

      Also, Overbay had one really good year in Toronto. His first, in ’06. 3.2 WAR in 640 PAs. He broke his hand in the middle of an off year the next year. He put up 2.8 WAR in 500 PAs in ’09.

      So “never was the same” and trying to foretell doom and gloom for Lawrie is a bit of a stretch, isn’t it?

      • Lawrie’s approach at the plate puts him in harm’s way.

        If you live in tornado alley, you might never get hit by one.
        But your chances are a lot better than if you live here.

        I believe it was a broken hand from a hit by pitch
        that delayed his original call-up.
        And he’s been hit in the hands twice in a week.
        I’d say that’s sufficient cause to take corrective action,
        but that’s just me.

  5. If Dickey could pitch like he did today all the time, that would be more than fine. Three earned runs and one of them likely wouldn’t have happened had they had a real outfielder instead of Steve Tolleson (which reminds me…the Jays should probably consider calling up another one of those and ending the whole three catcher thing).

  6. Disappointing loss to finish tough road trip at 3-7 but made worse by the injuries to Lawrie and Joey Bats.

    It appears that AA is making the rounds through the minor league system? Names like Sanchez, Norris, Dean and Pompey are amongst the coveted and shiny prospects that are being checked out.

    Does AA do a blockbuster or does he try to pull off something more ninja- like?

    Hopefully Bautista’s injury is only minor and that he’ll miss only a couple or few games.

    Let’s remember that the Yankees have lost CC, Nova and Pineda and are keeping pace thanks to Tanaka’s hot start. Their infield situation isn’t bright either.

    And The Orioles have lost Weiters for the season to TJ and Machado has been hurt.

    Injuries are a bitch.

    Fat Juan doesn’t inspire a great deal of confidence at the hot corner. Any way the Jays can find say an Aaron Hill or even better, a Zobrist? Add an infielder to the shopping list for AA. To go with a starter and some BP help.

    It’s gonna be an interesting trade deadline season. AA saved most of his bullets so let’s hope can can fire off a few accurate rounds.

  7. Welcome to you’re “doom”

  8. Brad Glen is the best hitter in triple A for the Bisons right now and he has a little pop . If Bautista is out for a bit he should get a look

  9. Big Papi being Big Papi in the 10th.
    His 17th puts the Massholes up by i again.

  10. What’s with all these hamstring injuries?!?! Fie-errrr Gobbonnns!!!!

    (sorry, the sarcasm font wasn’t working)

  11. On the bright side, now that Happ has found his level as a decent 5th starter, hopefully the 3 catcher experiment can end and a legit bench OF can be called up.

    The Jays might not run away with the division like it looked they could have a couple of weeks ago.

    But nobody else looks like they are going to, either.

  12. Ugh
    Bautista has been freaking me out for awhile with all the little stretches he’s constantly doing in between pitches at the plate and in the outfield. I know these guys have amazing access to therapists and trainers but fuck – I just hope his legs are ok

  13. Martin Prado.

  14. Also, Ben Zobrist and Alexei Ramirez. These are the names of some middle infielders.

  15. Most of the opinions in the comments section as well as Strotens piece all seem to fixate on fans negative reaction to the Jays play.

    I don’t get it.

    It’s almost as if getting swept by the Yankees and going 3-7 in the past 10 are kind of annoying but someone over-reacting to it is REALLY annoying.

    The team has been playing poorly for the last little while. We haven’t won in 20 years. Some people over-react. Get used to it.

    • I agree, this team wasn’t good enough last year, and didn’t get much better, there was no real reason to expect a first place team this year, the division is weak, they went on a run, and maybe, just maybe things are normalizing. I want them to win, i want them to make the playoffs, but when their own management says that they weren’t nearly good enough and then accomplishes little to remedy that and now hey, they look a lot like last years team, it isn’t negative to take note of it. It is just reality, sure, everyone else might continue to suck, and the Jays might be good enough to pull it off, but that doesn’t mean it was ever likely.

      They are what they were, it could still work out, but that doesn’t mean this is a great team, far from it. Why does it seem that every other team they play has at least one pitcher that is better than any pitcher the jays have, or is it just that the jays hitters are recently doing a fine job of making some of these guys look way better than they are? The lack of offense and the suddenly poor approach at the plate in most recent games has been really tiresome.

      • Guys, the issue that Stoeten alludes to in regards to the negative fan-base is that these people only look at the negative and never the positive. If you make the mistake of reading the comments section on Sportsnet’s Jays articles for example, you get 3x more comments when they lose a game than when they win, and it seems that optimistic Jays articles are often met with “well, you’re an employee of the team owner”. I think a lot of it is to justify a decision to not go to games; people in Toronto seem to think the Jays owe them something and they won’t even spend $11 on a 500 level seat when the team is in first place, but will give up their left nut and first-born for Leafs tickets, regardless of how bad that team is.

        And, even die-hard fans still get frustrated. Stoeten has been very vocal about his displeasure with ownership this past off-season, and with the questionable lineup decisions the front office made early in the season that contributed to a 13-17 start. You can’t just focus on the valleys of a long baseball season. Enjoy the upswings and good times as well.

        • We did enjoy it. Ownership doesn’t owe me squat for the $11 but I do feel they owe me for 20 years of relative futility. You can fuck off now. Thank you.

    • Or get over being a pissing and moaning baby and enjoy some success and positivity.

      It must be miserable to be that negative all the time…

    • when you’ve wandered the desert for 20 years with no results people forget what it means to have confidence in their team.

    • @Hankey Exactly. That was bugs me the most, is the vile directed at the vile. While Stoeten is a great writer, and I enjoy being a constant reader, when he spends his energy being shitty about the shit comments, I’m always like, “Why does he even bother with that sort of stuff? Who cares about an opinion you don’t like? Ignore it, and talk about relevant Jay centric things”

      It really is only lowering yourself to the common denominator, when you acknowledge and engage the negativity with your negative verbal blast. Ugh, hate it.

      Though, everything else is GREAT! Keep it up.

  16. A win today would have helped for sure but the Jays are in first and it’s June 22. There is plenty of strength left even if Jose needs a break. The time has come for Reyes to step up. What happened to the guy who finds holes and tears up the base paths ? Rushed at bats and a continued pout. This team will not be altered by anything trade wise for at least two weeks. Hopefully .500 anything else is a bonus right now.

    We are in 1st. Yankees coming in. Two of 3 builds our lead. Meaningful baseball in late June. I will take it. 26 degrees tomorrow, drag ass through work fire up BBQ and cheer on the Jays. The 1st place Jays

  17. Just because they stumble, doesn’t mean they are lost forever.

  18. Buck said today when he was catching he took a foul on the hand in the same place as Brett. He said it happened in July and that ended up being the end of his season.

    Come Buck, you’re supposed to make us feel better.

  19. Just took a look at the Lawrie HBP, I’d be emotional too if I just fractured my finger throwing my hand into a 92 mph fastball.

    Bring the hands in next time. It’s not like he’s going to hit that pitch. Hoping for a speedy recovery

  20. FWIW Reyes was sitting due to a scheduled day off according to Wilmer and Buck

  21. Not game related but what’s with ugly protective pitchers hats? Why not just wear something similar to a batters helmet?

  22. Andy Martino of NY daily news reports jays inquiring on Daniel Murphy…I could totally handle that.

  23. Lawrie’s swing is all hands so it’s no wonder he’s been hit 3 times this past road tour. Brett, incorporate your arms and take those inside pitches on the tricep or back.

  24. Well fuck.

  25. Man, imagine picking up Daniel Murphy and a quality SP. That would be great.

    In the meantime Tollesons and Kawasakis and Hendricks and fucking Goses and Johnsons and 3 catchers to scrap out a series win over the Yankees would be nice.

    AA has GOT to do SOMETHING. ITS ALL OR NOTHING.

    (He reads this blog every morning over coffee, right?)

  26. In terms of trade targets, how about Cubs’ Luis Valbuena? He’s not great, but can play 3b/2b/ss and is a upgrade offensively, cubs are certainly sellers, and he shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.

    • Yeah, I noticed a couple of weeks ago that Valbuena doesn’t suck anymore. I’d take him in a heartbeat.

  27. Oh for a baseball magic wand to produce a perfect fit 2nd baseman.

  28. Despite everything, Blue Jays still have 2nd most Wins in the American League!

  29. Looking forward to random, no-hope, average players leading the Jays to a comfortable victory tonight.

  30. Knobler says that the Rays might be willing to deal Price within division, would want Sanchez from us:

    https://twitter.com/DannyKnobler/status/481097234545528832

    • If all it took was Sanchez + some other low level but high ceiling guys, sure.

      If they trade him to Toronto, it’s not like the Rays have to worry about facing him for years. The Jays will never spend the money required to sign someone like Price.

    • Knobler is wasting his time wasting our time

      • I did however like the scenario , (not sure if it was Bowden or Cafardo) that sent prospects to the Rays for Price and trading him after this season to replenish the supply. Whoever gets him (Dodgers?) would pay prospects and would also be able to pay him the $30 MM/5 years he probably wants.

  31. Totally looking forward to Stoeten taking on this weeks Griff Bag, above all for this gem:

    “Given that the Jays are now again showing their true colours and coming back to the pack (soon to be back in 3rd place), shouldn’t AA be looking at moving some pieces for prospects? Specifically Reyes and Dickey? My thinking is that moving $12 million for a .500 pitcher, who does not fare well in the Dome and the AL East, and $15 million for a .260 shortstop with average defense could free up $27 million next year to go after a true #1 starter and a younger lead-off hitter.

    At this point I would just accept that the trades of 2012 were busts and move forwards.”

    BECAUSE THE TIME TO REBUILD IS ALWAYS WHEN YOU’RE IN FIRST PLACE.

    • Can you imagine the reaction to a GM actually trying to do this?!? Jeebus.

    • How much do you think they have to change the spelling and grammar on the originally submitted questions for griff’s mailbag? I think this question was probably submitted by someone whose education ended at 16…… when they completed Grade 5.

    • Isn’t $12 million the going rate for .500 starters who eat lots of innings?

  32. Price and Zobrist would be make me very happy. But whoever we get, I don’t think the deal gets done just with prospects. Problem is I think AA is gonna have to overpay for whoever. It’s not like our (reasonably desperate) needs are a secret.

  33. I know Baltimore has a bunch of good young arms in their system it could pick from to swap for another starter.

    However, it seems the Yankees are more challenged in this arena. What exactly do they use to acquire starting pitching? Lou Gehrig memorabilia? One of Babe Ruth’s flasks?

    • Hats with the Yankee logo on them that are not the team colors. They’re are considered legal tender amongst douchebags

    • Don’t count out the Yankees too quickly.

      The one thing they always have at their disposal is money. That is an obvious advantage when talking about free agents, but it helps in trades too. For example, if a team DESPERATELY wanted to rid itself of a terrible contract, the Yankees can offer to take on that contract in a package deal with the player they actually need.

    • They have a couple of highly touted catchers in their system. Probably overrated (Jesus Montero says hello).

  34. Wonder if Jose has changed his approach a little bit this year, which would explain the power drop despite making great contact.

    • my uneducated opinion is he’s waiting on something that he’s just not getting,
      like fastballs middle in and he’s just not getting them.
      he leads the universe in walks

    • He (was) still on pace for >30 bombs. Nothing to worry about there methinks. He only looks weaker when next to EE, not against mortals.

      • I’m not worried at all. I just wondered because the drop in power has been offset by a marked increase in AVG, OBP and BABIP. I’m just wondering if the two things might be related – i.e. focusing more on making solid contact all over the field rather than swinging for the fences.

        Obviously the batting eye has always been there and remains.

        • I think Seitzers got him going the other way a LOT, which confounds the defensive shifts and hopefully gets him better pitches. ( and standard defenses)

  35. Price + Zobrist for anything that Tampa wants. You heard it here first.

  36. Everyone gets their wise, Kratz down, Gose and Pillar up for him and Lawrie

  37. I like Kratz, too bad. He’s worked very hard for this but I get the move was necessary.

    Lawrie being down fucking blows, like REALLY blows… heart and soul player. I hope he’s not out long.

    Lots of rumours swirling about the Jays and trades, Pretty sure if AA makes moves theyll be for dark horse lesser mentioned players, I look forward to those moves.

    Freak outs aside I am more than happy with the season so far given the fact that the rotation that got the Jays to where they are now is pretty rag tag after Dickey and Buehrle. Think about what happens if they bring in an ace. Nice happy thought that is.

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