Toronto Blue Jays fans can be excited about the Brett Lawrie promotion if not for any other reason than it ensures that Getty Images will have more pictures of him in a Blue Jays uniform, and we won’t have to keep trotting out one of the two photos available whenever a story on the third base prospect gets written.
Of course, Lawrie’s Major League debut tonight in Baltimore offers fans a whole lot more than a better selection of photographs. There’s little doubt in my mind that it’s the beginning of a new era for the Blue Jays. As the season progresses and the final turn emerges, the club will have its core in place for what most fans are anticipating not only to be a competitive season next year, but the year after, and the year after that, and so on. Lawrie is a big part of that, as are Yunel Escobar, Colby Rasmus, Jose Bautista and Adam Lind.
Travis Snider, on the other hand, maybe not so much. The young left fielder’s demotion once again to Triple A signifies yet another down in his yo-yo’ed career thus far. But hopefully by now, you know how I feel about that and my thoughts on why the Blue Jays might have considered keeping Lawrie down in Triple A a little bit longer.
However, the purpose of a collection of morning links isn’t to give you, the dear readers, a review of my own opinions, it’s to offer up a cavalcade of discourse, and so here is what the interwebs are saying about the beginning of Brett Lawrie’s Major League Baseball career.
My esteemed colleague Andrew Stoeten over at DJF focused his attention on what Lawrie’s call up means to Snider:
With the Jays slowly heading towards being competitive– especially if another playoff team is added, as many believe there will be– it’s hard to envision them sticking a rapidly-tarnishing prospect in left field and telling him that the job is his for the whole season. If the club has any pretense of contending– as they should– if Snider stumbles out of the gate as terribly as he has during each of his big league stints this year (and, let’s be honest, every other fucking year), there’s going to be pressure on the club to find someone to play left field whose bat won’t be a giant fucking suck-hole.
John Lott of The National Post was one of the first on the scene with an article about the promotion:
The call finally came – not a moment too soon for ardent Jays fans – on Thursday. Meet the team in Baltimore on Friday, Anthopoulos said. You’re our new third baseman. Lawrie’s waiting and wishing were over. At 21, he was going to the major leagues to play for his country’s team. With that single act – calling up their top prospect, and a Canadian to boot – the Jays emphatically turned a page in their latest reconstruction project.
Tom Dakers of Bluebird Banter was hoping to calm some of the expectations on the young player with an ironic piece of advice:
It’s about time they got Lawrie up here. No pressure though Brett.
Also attempting to temper expectations was the FAN 590′s Mike Wilner:
Something that I feel needs to be said is this, given all the hype and all the excitement surrounding Lawrie: He can’t walk on water. He’s not going to be the American League Rookie of the Year. He will probably struggle, as most young players do, and will likely have to head back down to the minors at some point. All that said, it’s exciting to have him on the team and he’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.
MLB Trade Rumours gives us the practical side of things:
If his stay in the big leagues is permanent, Lawrie will be eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2014 season, and he projects to hit free agency after 2017.
Matthew Sekeres of The Globe & Mail writes about Lawrie’s attitude:
The Toronto Blue Jays’ third baseman, who is expected to make his major-league debut Friday night in Baltimore, is a unique Canadian ballplayer in many respects, foremost attitude. The country’s highest drafted position player isn’t a meek interloper in America’s national pastime. He’s more a self-assured superathlete who feels he belongs on the biggest stage.
Sekeres’ colleague Jeff Blair wonders if the beginning of Lawrie’s time in Toronto doesn’t mark the end of Snider’s:
Like the stock market, Travis Snider’s career fell into “official correction territory” on Thursday. Never mind being sacrificed for Brett Lawrie, who is nothing less than this city’s Own Personal Baseball Moses ®, or Eric Thames. But Edwin Encarnacion? Old E-5 himself? What’s up with that?
Rogers Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi has this to say:
The expectations will be sky-high for Lawrie, who will also need to cope with the pressure of being a high-profile Canadian on Canada’s team. Those who have known him for years have no doubt that he will succeed.
His potential to be a complete player is what has so many excited about his ascension to the majors. It may or may not happen right away for Lawrie at the big-league level, but it’s going to be entertaining.
The Toronto Sun’s Ken Fidlin writes about the humour in Lawrie replacing Snider on the active roster:
Nobody had been anticipating Brett Lawrie’s arrival to the big leagues more than Travis Snider. The two have become best of friends in the short time that Lawrie has been in the Toronto Blue Jays family. They shared a condo in Florida with J.P. Arencibia in spring training and commiserated earlier this season when Snider was sent back to Las Vegas. Now in one of those cruel twists of fate, Lawrie will join the Blue Jays Friday in Baltimore and the spot he’ll be taking on the roster is Snider’s.
I think Andy Behrens, writing for Yahoo! Sports from a fantasy baseball perspective gets the sentiment right:
This obviously gives the Jays a realistic shot to close that 13-game gap with the Red Sox, probably within a week. But, alas, Lawrie has been called up too late for his team to reach the single-season record for wins (116). Next year it’s basically a lock.
And here was our initial reaction after hearing the news live on our post game live stream: