Archive for the ‘Brett Lawrie’ Category

lawrieyelling

In a somewhat surprising development, this morning the Jays announced that Brett Lawrie has been placed on the 60-day DL, ending his season.

This procedural move comes among a metric shit-tonne of changes made to the roster now that teams are allowed to activate anyone on their 40-man. To wit:

Brandon Morrow (who will pitch out of the bullpen) and Dan Johnson have been activated from the DL. Anthony Gose, Ryan Goins, Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin, and Dan Norris have officially been called up to the big league club. Dalton Pompey and George Kottaras have been added to the 40-man and promoted to the Jays as well. And in order to clear room for these moves, in addition to Lawrie being placed on the 60-day DL, Darin Mastroianni and Matt Hague have been D’d FA, and Neil Wagner has been released. Sergio Santos, you’ll remember, was DFA late last week, when Chad Jenkins was recalled.

I’ll have more on the youngsters being promoted in yet another Assorted Weekend Thoughts piece later today (or… maybe tomorrow?), but for this one we’ll focus on Brett Lawrie, who somehow finishes 2014 with the fewest games played of any full year in his young MLB career.

Lawrie played 125 games in 2012, 107 last year, and finishes this season with just 70. His numbers don’t look particularly exciting, either, though the hopeful side of Jays fans will have reason to look beyond the slash line of .247/.301/.421. For one, he posted the best ISO of his big league career (.174), save for the explosive late-season cameo he made in 2011. His exactly-league-average wRC+ of 100 was incrementally better than the previous two seasons, the defensive metrics liked him (naturally), and the big one: though it’s an egregious use of arbitrary end points, Lawrie heated up immensely after beginning the season in a funk, posting a 125 wRC+ and a terrific .290/.344/.460 line from April 25th until his season ended on August 5th (three innings into his first game back after breaking his finger on June 22nd).

So, there’s bad — his overall numbers are not encouraging, and he’s done absolutely nothing to shake the “injury prone” label — but there’s also good. He’s still young, he still takes up very little payroll (he’ll be eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter), after the cold start he showed there still can be a lot of potential in his bat, and his versatility and willingness to move to second base (not that he had any right to refuse, frankly) allowed John Gibbons to maximize the value he could get out of his roster. It’s a hopelessly misleading number — the bulk of Lawrie’s playing time this year was accrued before Juan Francisco turned into Pedro Cerrano — but the Jays were 39-31 in the games Lawrie played this season. His ability to move around the diamond and keep Francisco’s then-scorching bat in the lineup was a huge asset to the team — as was his defence at whichever position he was asked to play, not to mention his bat.

Despite the disappointing campaign, he certainly has earned another year as an unquestioned regular in the Blue Jays’ infield whenever he’s healthy. Let’s just hope it’s not another damn wasted one.

lawrieface

There are about seven weeks left in the season, and according to a statement to reporters today from Alex Anthopoulos, Brett Lawrie could miss as many as six of them. And that’s assuming the prognosis includes time for a rehab assignment, which it almost certainly doesn’t.

In other words, it’s not impossible that we’ve seen the last of Brett Lawrie in a Blue Jays uniform this season.

That’s getting ahead of ourselves a bit, though. What the GM said, according to a tweet from Barry Davis, is that the left oblique strain that has landed the oft-injured infielder on the Disabled List yet again will require a recovery time of “three to six weeks.”

While I generally roll my eyes — or worse — at the tinfoil hat wearing individuals who want to see a conspiracy in everything the Jays say about their players’ injuries, here they’re giving us a timeline that admits it may be tough for Lawrie to get back in time to finish the season. It may not! He may end up close to the three week side of things, but I think fans can be forgiven if they’re skeptical.

Other Injury Updates

In the tweet about the injury timeline, Davis notes that Anthopoulos says this latest oblique injury for Lawrie is unrelated to the previous ones he’s had. Which… great? I guess?

Another tweet from Davis says that Edwin Encarnacion has been running and may start rehab games on the weekend (yay!), and that Adam Lind went 2-for-3 today in his rehab assignment, and is on track to return when the club goes to Seattle early next week.

Encarnacion will return at the end of next week “at the latest,” says Anthopoulos, according to a tweet from Brendan Kennedy.

lawrieyelling

Trying something new with the Assorted Weekend Thoughts this week: it’ll come at you as a series of smaller posts on a mostly-single topic (i.e. what normally would have gone under one sub-heading), rather than one big slog through it all that I don’t publish until 4:45 PM. Let’s see how this works, shall we?

The Jays found themselves with something of a roster crunch last night, when it was learned that Brett Lawrie had finished his rehab assignment and was ready to return to the club. This, of course, was terrific news both offensively and defensively for the Jays, but it meant that someone currently on the 25-man roster had to go.

That someone, it turns out, was Steve Tolleson, who the club announced this morning had finally been placed on the paternity list, what seems like several months after we first learned his wife was about to give birth.

What won’t take several months, however, is Tolleson’s return. According to the club’s press release on the matter he’ll be away from the club for a minimum of one day and a maximum of three. What the hell happens after that? Well… it’s not entirely clear just yet, and the answer isn’t a particularly easy one — barring someone getting injured in the next couple of days, be it of the real or imagined variety.

Currently the club has seven relievers, and that likely isn’t to change — or, knowing the Jays, if it is, they’re more likely to go to eight — so we’re looking at a position player going down.

Lawrie doesn’t need a platoon partner — he’s actually been better against same-sided pitching both this year and over the course of his career — and because of his range and athleticism is obviously not going to sit for anyone, defensively. Juan Francisco surely gets to stay, at least until Adam Lind returns, as the club’s first baseman or DH against right-handed pitching. Danny Valencia, with his career 139 wRC+ against left-handers will have a spot in the lineup against them, perhaps at DH or first base, with Steve Tolleson (a 132 wRC+ in the split) likely playing second most of the time.

There is some flexibility in how those guys are used, but those four — Lawrie, Francisco, Valencia, Tolleson — would seem to be safe now. That means one of Ryan Goins, Munenori Kawasaki, Nolan Reimold, or Anthony Gose will need to go when Tolleson is back.

Against lefties, Reimold ought to get into the action as DH, with Valencia at first and Tolleson at second. Against right-handed pitching the club would likely be best with Francisco and Jose Bautista at either first or DH, Gose in right, and either Kawasaki or Goins at second base.

Reimold’s platoon splits are pretty even, so he could be in the lineup against right-handers instead of Gose, and Gose does have options, so he could be sent down. But so does Ryan Goins, and Kawasaki can definitely hold down his spot — though not with the same level of defence — until rosters expand in September.

If it’s even his spot, that is.

John Lott tweets a picture of the lineup card for tonight, and Brett Lawrie is indeed in at third base against O’s righty Bud Norris. Colby Rasmus is in the doghouse and in at DH, with Gose in centre, and Kawasaki playing second base. Perhaps an indication of the move to come? Despite chatter about Goins’ improvements since his return from Buffalo, after just two hits in Houston he’s down to a wRC+ of 70, with a .277/.277/.362 slash line over his 13 games back in the bigs.

The defence sure still looks good, but putting up that line and still having options left? I think John Gibbons is tipping the club’s hand with the lineup he’s put out there tonight. I think it’s the right move, too. (Plus, though he offers no power, and his wRC+ and wOBA suffer for it, Kawasaki has a .330 on-base against right-handers this year. I can live with that?)

yankeestadiumgraveyard

Has the Jays’ Yankee Stadium graveyard claimed yet another soul?

At least for the night is has, as Brett Lawrie left tonight’s Jays-Yankees game after taking a Chase Whitley pitch off the left hand — the same one he broke, in much the same fashion, while in the minors in 2011. He was replaced by Steve Tolleson at third base, but not immediately! Lawrie stayed in the game as a baserunner after the HBP, scoring the Jays’ second run of the game on a Colby Rasmus single, and played defence in the bottom of the fourth, as well.

So… it at least wasn’t such a nasty injury that it was immediately apparent. Which… is good? I don’t know, but evidently young Brett was in enough pain that he regretted his meat head comment about a World Cup player being stretchered off couldn’t continue. I’ve heard better news than that, in other words.

We’ll keep our eyes on it for when an official diagnosis is made… meaning I’ll keep my eye on it. Which… I actually might just go back to the bar, to be honest. So I’ll update it at some point, I’m sure. In the meantime, just don’t assume the worst like you’re a fucking negative moron — can we at least agree to that?

Update

On the broadcast Buck says that the x-rays on Lawrie’s hand came back negative! So… that’s good. Because as underwhelming as Lawrie’s bat can be, I don’t even want to think about what the hell this team is going to have to do if they’re without him for an extended period, if that’s what it actually comes to. Which, of course, nobody should yet believe that it will.

OK?

OK.

 

Image via.

lawrieshifteatingrin

Ugh.

In the top of the fourth inning tonight Brett Lawrie bounced a 1-2 pitch up the middle to Phillies shorstop Freddy Galvis, and though it looked like the kind of play he would normally make close, Lawrie didn’t cross first base like he was blasting across the alkali flats in a jet-powered, monkey-navigated… [consults notecards] … and it goes on like this.

Replays showed Lawrie grimace and slow down while running down the line. He gingerly walked off, and when the club returned to the field for the bottom half of the inning it was Chris Getz who was manning second base (with Juan Francisco at third, of course).

The club has since officially listed the hot-hitting Lawrie — who hasn’t been nearly as abysmal as his totals look since around mid-April, having batted a tasty .319/.359/.569 over 18 games stretching back to April 13th – as day-to-day with right hamstring tightness.

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lawriesmirk

Great catch from Dan Toman, who was quick to throw the following Vine out into the digital ether, while the Blue Jay Hunter’s Tumblr had another part of the… um… festivities?

I don’t even want to know.

Hard to fault young Brett for feeling good on a night when he broke a 3-3 tie with a three-run bomb — or any of the Jays, really, after what looked like it might be yet another disaster for R.A. Dickey, who cruised through five innings before a Steve Lombardozzi pop up double (not taken by either Melky Cabrera or Jose Reyes) was followed by a Nick Markakis walk and a Nelson Cruz blast to open the scoring. Shit, it looked like it might get worse when Dickey managed to walk (and HBP) the bases loaded before getting out of that inning. Or when a single and a ground rule double from Markakis created a gigantic jam as Dickey finally, mercifully was pulled in the seventh — a jam that nearly erased all the good of Edwin Encarnacion’s game-tying three-run blast in the bottom of the sixth, but was spectacularly worked out of by Neil Wagner and (mostly) Brett Cecil, setting the stage for Lawrie’s eighth-inning heroics (and another three-run blast off the bat of Melky Cabrera, to boot).

Or, at least, so I heard from Twitter while watching the basketball game.

Anyway… yeah… you be you, Brett Lawrie. You be you. Whatever the hell you are.

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lawriemlbtheshow

This one’s been around for a few days now, and has over 20,000 views, but it’s certainly new to me, um… save for having shown up in an email from awesomely-named commenter Macho Man Randy Travis a few days ago, which I just got around to opening now. But enough about my utter laziness, it’s Brett Lawrie interacting with kids, everybody!

He’s doing so, as you’ll see, because as the cover boy for this year’s Canadian version of MLB The Show, evidently he gets his own commercial He even kind of nailed some of the lines.

Actually… you know what? The whole damn thing might be a little bit endearing, even, what with the playing up of the whole Brett Lawrie stereotype thing. Now all he has to do is stop hitting everything into the damn ground and maybe he’ll get a chance to make another one of these next year.

I’m sure you all know how to use Google and can figure out how to read more about the latest incarnation of MLB The Show, so I won’t bother linking to that noise. Let’s just check out the video — after the jump (at least for those of you reading on the home page, I mean)…

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