Okay, let’s get this overused metaphor out of the way, so that I can carry on with the rest of the post: Fans of the Toronto Blue Jays were awaiting super prospect Brett Lawrie’s promotion from Triple A like a child attempting to fall asleep on Christmas Eve.
Merry Christmas, everybody!
Following a disastrously maddening conclusion to the Blue Jays series in Tampa Bay, the team announced that Lawrie would be joining the big club in time for its weekend series with the Baltimore Orioles beginning Friday night. He will take the roster place of the oft moved Travis Snider who once again will be sent on an odyssey to Triple A Las Vegas in the hope that he can finally find himself.
It’s expected that Lawrie will slot in at third base, allowing Jose Bautista to move back to right field, a position that the slugger prefers playing, and one that I, personally, prefer watching him play. Here’s some of the fancy footwork and natural defensive ability that we have to look forward to at the hot corner.
While his defensive pedigree may be up for some criticism, it’s difficult to find any negatives to his offensive approach. In 324 plate appearances at Triple A this season, Lawrie has accumulated an astounding weighted on base average of .460 in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League. He’s hit 18 home runs and gotten on base more than 36% of the time while slugging an ominous .666.
As previously mentioned, the move comes at Travis Snider’s expense.
In an ongoing narrative of mishandling, the once highly touted prospect is again being sent down after struggling during his limited action since being promoted back to the big leagues at the beginning of July. Snider, who has yet to spend a full season receiving consistent at bats at the Major League level, has now been demoted twice this season, each time after only a hundred plate appearances.
I don’t necessarily agree with calling Lawrie up at this point in the season and starting the clock on his service time, but I understand the thinking behind it, and I don’t think it’s a horribly atrocious move by any means. What I don’t understand is the motivation or rationale behind sending Snider back down once again.
Doesn’t it come across as a bit of a contradiction or at least a mixed message that the Blue Jays organization prides itself on the way that it gave Jose Bautista playing time when no one else would, along with enough breathing room to grow into the player that he has become? Or how about the team’s transaction history which is riddled with multiple examples of the team acquiring problem players at a discounted price and giving them the room to grow and succeed? Why is it so easy to do this for other teams’ troubled players but Travis Snider isn’t given enough rope to last longer than a month on this team, despite showing the type of elite potential that general manager Alex Anthopoulos claims to desire.
In many ways, I think Travis Snider is exactly the type of player that the Blue Jays would make a well-praised deal for if he weren’t already on this team.
In other roster moves, the Jays have placed reliever turned starter Carlos Villanueva on the Disabled List and called up starter turned reliever Luis Perez.