Posted tagged ‘lawrie’

Yes, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is a gift from the heavens….but could we take a breath?

March 11, 2019

I’m really excited about Vladdy Jr.

The kid is a total stud. I don’t need to tell you how he tore it up in New Hampshire and Buffalo in 2018. His production made us all salivate.

We saw the videos. We constantly checked for updates. We all soiled ourselves when he hurt his leg last year and again this past Sunday when the Blue Jays announced the oblique injury.

That walk-off homerun he hit in Montreal against St. Louis last year was incredible! Not even Hollywood’s greatest script writers could have written a better moment. And that was only a spring training game!

Yes, Vladdy Jr. is a gift from the heavens. But while I’m eager to see him in the big leagues, a part of me is also very hesitant.

To be honest, I’m uncomfortable with all the hype. Part of me drools when I think about his potential and wants him on the 25-player roster yesterday. But there’s also a part of me that channels my inner Russ Atkins and prefers a little a more seasoning; Vladdy being “Major League ready.”

So collectively, maybe we all need to take a breath.

I’ve never liked the word, nor the concept of “prospects.” Anyone in the minor leagues system has a chance to have a successful career at the major league level.

I know, I know. It’s not as simple as that. Apologies for generalizing.

But seriously, why value certain talent over others? Sure, some talent are better and show signs of being “ready” earlier than others. But at its very core, it’s a crapshoot. Why else would the MLB draft require 40 rounds? It’s for teams to hedge their bets.

Again, I’m really sorry for generalizing.

Like anyone else in the farm system, Vladdy will either make it or he won’t. Putting him on such a high pedestal and placing grand expectations on him is concerning. I’m all for being optimistic, but can’t we do it cautiously? He’s only turning 20 in a few days!

The demand and expectations make me shudder a tiny bit. It reminds me of a time when some were screaming for Brett Lawrie to be called up.

Remember all of that excitement? Years later, Lawrie is under 30, has been out of baseball for a few years – I really hope his tryout with Milwaukee works out – and his biggest claim to fame was having Red Bull inspired energy and being part of the Josh Donaldson trade.

So let me pose this question: Is it really terrible if we wait until after the regular season starts for Vladdy to be called up?

The second he makes his MLB debut, the 29 others club will start penning – if they haven’t already – journal entries called “How to get Vladdy out.” I don’t see anything wrong in delaying or slowing down that process. And wouldn’t it be nice if Vladdy becomes a terrific infielder, in addition to being a superstar slugger? Baseball America acknoweleges it.

Okay….enough of this bullshit. This isn’t about being Major League ready or working on his defence. Vladdy’s arrival is about one thing: SERVICE TIME!

This is what some refer to as the “business of baseball.” Call him up after the regular season starts and the Jays get additional team control before he tastes free agency.

Some scream “service time be damned! Give the fans what they want.”

I’d love it if Vladdy got called up last year or – if he wasn’t injured – made this season’s opening day roster. But assuming he chooses to sign with another team years from now – hello, inferriority complex – wouldn’t it be beneficial to get as many years and as much out of him as possible? Squeeze those lemons, dammit!!! Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Yes, manipulated service time is ugly and benefits the front office more than the player and fans. There is a reason why the MLBPA is keeping thier eye on the Jays. That’s also why this oblique injury – in a sick and twisted way – creates better optics. Now there’s an excuse to delay his big league promotion, even though no one is fooled.

Just know this:

Eventually, Vladdy will be called up. We’re just going to have to be – I’m sure you’ll start eye-rolling – patient.

When he does make his big league debut, let’s not rush judgement. Let’s also not overreact about – and I can’t stress this enough – his size and weight. You just can’t expect a young man like Vladdy to be perfect or know how to conduct himself right away. He’s technically still a teenager.

Above all else, PLEASE put aside your need for instant gratification and let the story organically play out.

ER

Episode 50: Getting It Done

June 11, 2015

The Blue Jays have been playing an exciting brand of baseball lately. They’re looking like a team that plays in the “Get It Done” league.

Nick Hansen stops by to chat about pitching, Jose Reyes, Josh Donaldson and more.

Episode 50 Direct MP3 Download

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Everything is beautiful these days ;)

Everything is beautiful these days 😉

Hello Josh Donaldson, Goodbye Brett Lawrie

November 29, 2014

So much for a quiet Friday night.

It’s hard to imagine Brett Lawrie wearing an Oakland uniform. He was the Canadian kid playing for Canada’s team. But that marketing ploy went out the window once Russell Martin joined the team.

Of course, Lawrie’s nationality had nothing to do with the trade.

In retrospect, Brett Lawrie was a great infielder and an inconsistent hitter. I admired his energy and passion, although that same energy and passion got him into trouble sometimes; not to mention some stints on the DL. Perhaps he’ll find some consistency at the O.Co Coliseum.

I realize some fans are upset about losing Lawrie, but here’s the important item to remember: Josh Donaldson is a major upgrade.

Donaldson’s stats on Baseball-Reference.com do not lie. Over the last two seasons, he’s hit 20-plus homeruns and collected 90-plus RBIs per year. In addition, his batting average for 2013 and 2014 was above the .250 mark.

Another crucial stat from Baseball-Reference.com: Donaldson played 158 games each season. That’s something Lawrie could not do (107 in 2013, just 70 in 2014).

Obviously, this is a good trade for the Blue Jays. They get a talented third baseman in exchange for a third baseman who may or may not reach his full potential. Oakland also picks up three players (Nolin, Graveman and Berreto) who may or may not have productive big league careers.

Say what you want about AA. At least he’s rolling the dice and making an effort this offseason.

It’s funny. Back in 2010-2011, I was excited about the core group of young players on the Jays’ roster: JPA, Lawrie, Travis Snider, Ricky Romero, etc.

With the exception of Romero, who’s still toiling in AAA, all those young players are no longer with the team.

ER

Re. The Danny Valencia Trade

July 29, 2014

1. Erik Kratz was a serviceable back up. He was also a bridge between the present (Navarro, Thole) and future (A.J. Jimenez, Max Pentecost). I’ll never forget the 2-run bomb he hit on opening day (March 31). It was the only highlight for the Jays that afternoon.

2. Liam Hendriks started three games and looked good in two of them. He was also putting up great numbers in Buffalo. There’s potential, which means it’s 50/50 as to whether he will actually meet that potential. Therefore, he’s worth the sacrifice.

3. As noted by Bob Elliot, Danny Valencia has great numbers against left-handed pitchers. That’s something the Blue Jays desperately need. Elliot also says Valencia will platoon with Juan Francisco at third base. Although’s he’s spent the majority of his professional career at third, Baseball-Reference.com shows that Valencia has seen time at second and first.

Overall, it’s definitely not a blockbuster. Valencia’s sole purpose is to provide an additional right-handed bat. Depending where Brett Lawrie plays upon his return from the DL, Valencia could continue his platoon with Francisco at third; or, platoon at second with either Munenori Kawasaki or Ryan Goins. I prefer the latter option.

Eric aka @TheHek

So, I have a crazy idea…

July 8, 2014

Going forward:

C – Navarro
1B – EE (when he comes off the DL)
2B – Lawrie (ditto)
SS – Reyes
3B – Joey Bats
LF – Melky
CF – Colby
RF – Alfonso Soriano

DH/Back-up Catcher/Bench – Lind, Thole, Francisco, Tolleson, Kratz

Wait! Before you start throwing spoiled fruit and veggies at me, let me explain.

1. Bautista has played third in the past. Not ideal, but until AA acquires a quality second or third baseman, this is a suitable option. If the hamstring is an issue, have Bats DH and Francisco play 3B.

2. Facing a right hander, both Lind and Francisco are suitable at DH and could also be used as left-hitting pinch hitters late in a game.

3. Facing a left hander, Kratz could DH or be that right-hitting pinch hitter late. Plus, he’s a better option as the back-up catcher than Thole.

4. As long as RAD is on the roster, so is Thole (for now). Just accept it and move on.

5. Tolleson can play infield and outfield. That gives him the edge over Kawasaki.

6. Yes, Soriano’s number aren’t great. However, as noted by Baseball-Reference.com, he’s managed to keep his OPS at .700 or better since 2001. To me, that makes him a better option than Cole Gillespie and Nolan Reimold. Of course, if Reimold turns into his 2009 form, this is all a moot point.

NOW…If the Blue Jays do pick up a quality second or third baseman, then Bautista goes back to right field, Lawrie goes where he’s needed, Soriano can DH and/or PH and Kratz gets sent down.

Not perfect, but it could help.

Eric aka @TheHek

Episode 34: Buehrle-esque

May 22, 2014

Joanna Cornish of HumandChuck.com shares her thoughts on Mark Buehrle’s great start to the season, who will replace Dustin McGowan in the starting rotation, Casey Janssen’s return from the DL, Brett Lawrie playing second base and Steve Tolleson’s recent pitching performance.

Episode 34 Direct MP3 Download

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Episode 32: Good, Bad and Ugly

April 24, 2014

Early on, the Blue Jays have given their fans plenty to cheer and groan about.

Andrew Hendriks of the Canadian Baseball Network discusses the good and bad (and ugly) parts of the Jays’ season thus far.

Episode 32 Direct MP3 Download

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