Last year we waited in breathless anticipation for Keith Law to release a project that had first been pitched to him during a September appearance on Bill Simmons’ podcast, bringing to us in early December the top 50 players in the game who had exhausted their rookie eligibility, but had yet to complete their age 25 season. And it was worth the wait, with a top ten ranking for Brett Lawrie, a nice write-up on Colby Rasmus (43), and an admission in the chat that followed that he still wasn’t ready to give up on Travis Snider, and had briefly considered putting him at the bottom of the list as well.
Yeah… about all that…
This year’s version of KLaw’s list hit ESPN.com (Insider Only) today, and it’s been stripped of most of its Jays content, partly by the fact that it’s now been shortened to a top 25, but mostly because, apart from Brett Lawrie, all of the best talent on the club’s big league roster has plenty of experience.
They may not always do it on the record, but Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun sure is a wizard when it comes to getting people to talk– especially scouts and executives with juicy, interesting things to say about the Toronto Blue Jays.
I don’t know if it’s just because he’s got so many connections he can simply print a source’s title– even including the league he works in!– and still no one will be able work backwards to figure out who’s dishing him the goods, but it’s a pretty remarkable trick he pulls, and at a big conference like the Winter Meetings, he lands some invaluable stuff.
I’ve already pulled some from his latest to us in the Escobar piece below, but there’s much more in there, and two things, in particular that stand out…
It’s a Friday morning (well, afternoon now), and normally I probably wouldn’t bother digging around in whatever newfangled stat FanGraphs has decided to roll out, but it’s also October, and there’s not a whole lot going on, and the new stat in question relates entirely one of the Jays biggest, most noticeable issues during the 2012 season: stolen bases.
In an announcement this morning, FanGraphs revealed that they have split baserunning contributions out from wOBA, wRAA, wRC, and wRC+, giving us a fancy new number to digest– wSB– that tells us “how many runs above or below average a player is at stealing bases.”
Remember like three weeks ago when Brett Lawrie tumbled headlong into a concrete pit in New York? Remember how we all thought he was dead and/or broke his leg? Turns out he was fine and, after a single day off, he was right back into the lineup.
Seemingly broken bones might not stop Brett Lawrie but strained obliques do, as Brett Lawrie is officially headed to the Disabled List. Lawrie hasn’t played since Friday so the team can backdate his DL stint if he’s ready to play again in a few weeks. No corresponding move announced but Shi Davidi thinks it could be another pitcher. More pitchers, throw them on the pile!
Brett Lawrie, while not quite the .550 slugging percentage animal he was in 2011, he having a fine season in 2012. Nine home runs, 13 steals and league-average offense to go with his superlative glove and stellar baserunning make him a fine addition to any team, especially when we note he is still just 22.
At least this gives us all a good, long look at Adeiny Hechavarria, right? If there is one thing this season needs more of, it is unrealistic hopes taking a savage beating at the hand of reality.
Evidently thanks to some kind of campaign for SportCheck, Brett Lawrie is responding, via video, to questions tweeted at @BLawrie13. And while I’m kinda loathe to give them the publicity they crave (especially since they’re ripping off something Old Spice did two years ago), the results are… um… interesting.
And by interesting, I mean mostly kinda dull, sometimes better executed than you’d expect, and occasionally unintentionally hilarious.
Take this response to the “accusation” that Lawrie and his ever-increasing media presence (thanks, Rogers!) is giving Canadians more swagger:
If you haven’t seen it, Brett Lawrie dove over a short fence in an attempt to catch a foul ball at Yankee Stadium and had to leave the game after missing the ball and taking a scary looking fall down some kind of pit of death in the bottom on the third inning.
He was removed from the game with a “right calf injury” and will receive precautionary x-rays, according to the team.
Update: The club’s official Twitter account gives us some good news: the x-rays came back negative, and the injury is being called a right calf contusion. Lawrie is day-to-day.