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Breaking: Brett Lawrie?

Ugh.

In his return to the lineup, something has happened to Brett Lawrie’s back — Gregor Chisholm was the first to tweet that it was “lower back tightness,” officially — and he did not come out to field in the top of the fourth inning. Danny Valencia took his place at third base.

Hey, but you know what’s more important than getting real grass for the Jays to play on? Being super nice to the Argos!

Doubly so after Danny Valencia butchered a high chopper from Delmon Young from an easy, and much needed, out into a run-scoring single.

Anywho, in his first and only at-bat of the night, Lawrie hit what might have been a double down the first base line, but he missed first base and had to quickly put on the brakes and go back — though, in all honesty, that may have had more to do with the arm of Nick Markakis. Before we knew the official explanation, Buck and Tabby thought the issue may have occurred then. I wondered for a time if maybe something happened with his still-sore finger when he slid back into first base. John Gibbons even suggested in a mid-telecast interview that something may have happened with him sitting on the flight from Florida.

Whatever the case, stop me if you’ve heard this before: Brett Lawrie is hurt. We’ll update as more becomes known, unless it’s just “day-to-day,” which it almost certainly is going to be. So… this is probably all you’ll get.

Update: Well, Lawrie is day-to-day, but here’s a little more context for you: Megan Robinson tweets that John Gibbons says Lawrie felt his back tighten up in batting practice, while Barry Davis adds that Lawrie himself says it was “grabbing at” him in BP, and that this is the first time he’s experienced a lower back problem, which… that can’t be right, can it? He’ll have an MRI tomorrow just to be safe, Davis tweets, but the hope is that he’ll only be out a day or two. Fun stuff, ain’t it? One more tweet from Barry tells us that Lawrie had treatment during the game and his back loosened up, but that he’s still going to to be cautious and get the MRI.

Welcome Back Kottaras

The Jays divested themselves of some of their catching depth when they moved Erik Kratz as part of the deal for Danny Valencia last week, and as much as the Valencia is a nice little fit for them, it left the rather thin in the catching department. A.J. Jimenez is the only non-MLB catcher on the roster, with Mike Nickeas the only one with big league experience at either Buffalo or New Hampshire.

In other words, they wouldn’t be in a great spot if Navarro or Thole were injured. Not that any team wouldn’t have a rough go if it lost both of its big league catchers, but Kratz was a nice little insurance policy — a good-receiving backup with a little bit of pop, and thank to his time in the big leagues, with some familiarity with the club’s pitchers, too.

I wasn’t terribly worried about the Jays being able to come up with a guy to take his place, if they ended up needing one in a pinch, and it turns out we didn’t — or at least may not — have to wait until then. To wit:

He’s certainly got the passport that will get people around here to take notice, but he’s actually a nifty little pickup, too.

Ewan Ross made the case for the Jays to pick up Kottaras back in November at Blue Jays Plus, citing his elite walk rate, his good ISO, that he’s a left-handed hitter (A.J. Jimenez hits right, FYI), and the fact that he’s caught a knuckleball before (he was Tim Wakefield’s personal catcher in 2009) as reasons. He hasn’t played much this season, or all that well — at least not in the overall, though he was hot in a very small big league sample of 33 plate appearances split between Cleveland and St. Louis — but the track record is actually pretty decent. He’s been worth over three wins per FanGraphs in less than a couple season’s worth of plate appearances (853 PA), partly based on defence, but partly also because he’s been a league average hitter by wRC+, thanks largely to the great walk rate, which has seen him post a career OBP of .327 — which is only, like, 50 points higher than Kratz’s, with a better SLG and ISO to boot.

That’ll play. Um… in Buffalo, ideally.

Comments (24)

  1. I wonder what the “wart” is with Kottaras. Seems so weird that he can’t hold down even a backup job. Perhaps his defense is awful?

  2. Also I think jiminez got hurt yesterday

  3. Might be stating the obvious, but dusty seems to be having issues with location. I’m not sure he has a single clue where anything he throws will end up.

    • Man the pen was so good last year and only janssen has been as good or better.
      Santos – shit the bed after a good 2013
      Delabar- up and down
      Wagner- went to the minors and got hurt?

  4. I like this pick up, I was arguing for us to sign him over the winter.

  5. Did Lawrie forget how to run the bases? Dude took that turn so poorly that of course he’d hurt himself. Ugh.

    • Well he did just miss a month. Gotta expect his timing to be a bit off.
      Or hell, maybe they were all hung over from OVO.

  6. Had my first lower back spasm when I was 24, so that seems about right for Lawrie. And I concur with his assessment that it was “alarming.”

  7. Stoeten, the Argos narrative is getting tired. As a big fan of the Boatmen too, believe me that both the team and the fanbase can’t wait to get out of the Rogers Centre. It’s finding a place to go that’s the problem – a big part of that has been the intractability of Argos ownership, and any Jays fans knows what having tone deaf ownership is like.

    Thing is, even if the Argos left tomorrow, knowing Rogers it would still be years before there would be grass in the Dome.

    • Well if we don’t want you here and you don’t want you here then why the fuck are they still here.

      That whole League could close down for all I care… Can’t even make sure their Toronto team has a place to play, pathetic.

    • Not sure anyone here is going to care if you don’t like the narrative when the narrative seems to be pretty close to right.

      (Also, fuck the Argos and the CFL. Who needs third-rate football? Just watch the NFL and NCAA. The CFL is to football what the ECHLis to hockey and the Independent league is to baseball. It is full of aging players that were never good enough to make it to the top echelons of the sport).

      • Well, good to see preconceived notions are still out there.

        Like I said, a big part of the issue is that our ownership has been expecting too much for too little – something, AGAIN, that you think Jays fans would understand.

        And JL – you’d be surprised to learn people in the US like the CFL. They think the NFL is tops, no doubt, but they enjoy and follow the league, and think it’s a highly competitive brand of football, cemented by the fact that players frequently go between the two leagues.

        The only people who look down on the CFL are Canadians – people from Southern Ontario, specifically. Which says a lot about the Southern Ontario attitude.

        • Haha, speaking as someone who is a Canadian living in the states (first MI and now TX), this is definitely not the case. The CFL is much more likely to be a punchline than something they follow. Try to find any mention of it on a major sports network. You won’t even see the winner of the Grey Cup mentioned.

          • I lived in the US too, dude. You’ll see CFL games BROADCAST on ESPN and NBSN. Like, right now. Coverage of the CFL is a regular feature of NFL PrimeTime.

            SI.com just did a week on the CFL, and Peter King regularly sings its praises. So obviously you’re not looking very hard.

            I think you’re talking out yer behind.

            • I am a fan of the CFL. Torontonians tend to be a bit fucked in the head in regard to the CFL. Super butthurt they dont havr an NFL team, when a city so GRAND and splendid as Toronto DESERVES one. How DARE they have to resort to second rate football.

              If you are a fan of sports and drinking, the CFL is a goos time. Go Bombers.

              And Jays. Those guys too.

              • Really happy for Oshie and the Bombers this year. Winnipeg fans deserve a good team after what they’ve had to sit through.

                It’s a fun, affordable league and the atmosphere (outside of the fucking Dome) at a CFL game is terrific. It’s one of the few coast to coast Canadian institutions, and like you say, it ticks me off that Toronto seems to think its above it.

                I hope Braley comes to his senses and sells to MLSE. Move the Argos to BMO Field and the team will draw a more than healthy 25K regularly.

                • Oh, and FREE WILLY!

                  • :)

                  • + Billions and Billions Teddy and AG. I am a LONG time fan and agree with everything you said. (1st an Argo fan, then switched when I moved to Winnipeg)
                    I also think the problem with Toronto is that 50% of them were born outside of Canada and aren’t aware what great entertainment it can be.
                    I was doing some surfing a while ago and found that (IIRC) the forward pass was introduced to the American game by McGill in an exhibition series @ late 1800′s, early 1900′s.
                    Anyway, the CFL will survive, in spite of the negative BS, as it has all along. It would be nice to see Canadians support it though.

  8. Hey Stoeten you dumb fuck, if having Canadian ballplayers isn’t important, why not just sell this franchise to fucking New Jersey? After all, it doesn’t matter WHERE they play, because we’re all baseball fans and we should all think nothing of driving to those fucking panoramas of culture like Detroit and Cleveland, amiright? Fucking idiot.

    • Dumb. Stoeten cheers for a particular franchise. He wants that franchise to field a good team. He doesn’t care if the talent required to field that team is of a particular, race, ethnicity or nationality. He just wants the organization to choose players for good reasons.

      Not sure what that has to do with you idiot ranting regarding selling and moving the franchise.

      • Sycophant. If he doesn’t care what a player’s nationality is, why make such a fucking point about how someone’s Canadian and how it will play with the Jays’ audience? Fucktard has to bend over backwards to shit on people for wanting to see their own in the MLB. Try to understand the argument next time… champ.

        • I think you are failing to understand why he points it out. He mentions it because people seem to think that being Canadian in and of itself is a good making feature. People treat it as reason in and of itself to go after that player.

          Stoeten’s point is that the reasons for which the Jays should sign players is based on how good they are at playing baseball. For him, the end goal is a good jays team. Apparently for others (like yourself I take it), the end goal is less clear. It is something like a mix of the most talented team possible that includes a bunch of Canadians (who might not necessarily be the most talented available).

          Given that the media and fans celebrate Canadian born players as if they are somehow going to be some godsend to this team, it should not be hard to see why he thinks it is something worth pointing out as dumb.

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