The Mockingbird

10 Reasons to call up Brett Lawrie NOW

with 31 comments

1) AAA is bunk.

Why do we even have all these stupid minor-league levels, anyway? Name me ONE hot Jays prospect not named Rios, Lind, or Snider that had any problems adapting to the majors after fast-tracking through AAA. Preparing for the major leagues via a carefully-planned and long-established series of steadily-increasing levels of difficulty is the worst idea Branch Rickey came up with other than the batting helmet.

2) 3B is easy.

From what I remember watching Scott Rolen, it’s the simplest position ever. The ball flies into your glove so fast you barely even have to move your feet. Lawrie should be able to adapt almost instantly as there’s no real difference between third and second other than the throw across the diamond, the speed of the ball, the angle off the bat, charging bunts, the hops, the dives, instincts and skills required. I flipped Lawrie across the diamond in my copy of MLB: The Show and in his first game he was laying out on shots ripped into the hot corner like he’d been doing it all his life. And that game isn’t just realistic — it’s ultra realistic.

3) The Jays are in contention.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH….ok, sorry. I’m really sorry. Tried to keep a straight face for that one, I really did. Alan Ashby is going to have to step in here for a second while I catch my breath and get rid of the giggles. Hee hee…in contention. Whoooooooo. Boy.

“Do you want to sit there and say, what if?” Ashby asks.

Ok, I’m good.

4) You can tell just about everything about a player’s level of readiness from 25 spring at-bats.

Some pitchers aren’t throwing anything but fastballs at this point of spring – and during the major-league season, there are more fastballs thrown than any other pitch. So it’s a truer test, really. Also, 25 at-bats is a small enough sample size that there’s not a lot of noise. I mean, has anyone ever had this Gross a spring training, only to have the hype fade almost instantly?

5) Scouts are stupid.

Raw talent? Needs some more time? Questionable hands? You morons. I have HIGH DEF on my TV, and I’m pretty sure I can tell when a swing is ready for the bigs. I haven’t actually seen him make any plays in the field yet, but they sounded all-star caliber over the radio. I don’t need some loser ex-player who has nothing better to do than follow baseball players around night and day, creeping around minor-league parks to see them first-hand so he can use his vast “experience” and extensive baseball “knowledge” to tell me what’s what.

6) Kid needs to be taken down a notch.

Lawrie comes with a certain cocky attitude, which is really the sort of thing you want to beat out of a player by putting them in over their head as soon as possible. There could be a long-term attitude benefit in crushing him mentally this year, and his kind of faux-bravado personality would almost certainly respond to failure and demotion well. An added bonus would be if Lawrie hit so poorly for the first month the team was forced to choose between “giving up” on him by sending him back to the minors, or platooning him with Encarnacion for a while. Part-time play is so frustrating and difficult that it teaches a player how much they want to avoid it at all costs. Which makes them try harder. Which makes them play better. Works every time.

7) Get that clock running!

Everyone knows that players typically have their best seasons in “contract” years, i.e. right before they hit the free agent market. The Jays need Lawrie at their best when they are ready to compete; can they really wait six whole years to get the best out of him? Best to get Lawrie’s clock running as soon as possible — he will be hitting his power years in 2016 and with a little financial motivation could slam the door hard on his way out of town.

8. The Jays don’t need contractual control anyway.

On the other hand, the Jays don’t have to let Lawrie walk when that time comes. Rogers has a gabillion dollars, and since they’re a publicly-traded company I’m pretty sure AA is free to spend as much of shareholder’s money as he wants (since most of them are from Toronto). Anyway…there’s no need to worry about being thrifty or careful in managing control of potential future stars, since the Jays can always keep them around. Again and again, management has shown a willingness to commit to signing home-grown players no matter the cost to long-term extensions in order to keep them in Toronto until it’s time to give them away to teams that can actually afford those contracts.

9) He’s done with the minors.

Players always know best when they’re ready. Especially super-young, comically-confident ones. Nobody knows better than Brett Lawrie if he’s ready for the majors. Except his coaches. And I’d give it to the professional evaluators, too. Ok, probably some other players with way more experience of what it’s really like. Maybe some really good stats guys. Ok, there are many, many, people who know better than Brett Lawrie if he’s ready for the majors. But that’s beyond the point. He’s a pure athlete.

10) Zero downside.

It’s not like there is anything to lose by rushing a young prospect. Offhand, I can’t think of a single third-base prospect who had his development completely retarded to the point of almost ruining his career by a team that threw him into the majors way too early, causing him to bounce around for years as a washout journeyman before finally getting the time and training he needed to break out long after his original team had given up on him and traded him for nothing. (Bautista came up as an outfielder, smartass).

And hey, if the Jays hurt his development by getting greedy in a meaningless season for a slight upgrade at a position we’re paying 2.5 million to fill already, who cares? They have plenty of other hot prospects, or can always just trade another front-line starter for one. Lawrie is expendable.

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Written by halejon

March 17, 2011 at 11:14 pm

31 Responses

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  1. To be fair, Keith Law has said his bat is ready, just not his glove. Completely agree with the premise, though.

    Peter Gentleman

    March 13, 2011 at 3:17 am

  2. Yeah, I agree with the consensus that his bat his much more developed and it’s ton more likely that his bat is ready. Don’t think it’s very likely it’s all the way there, though – he was good, and got better as the year went on, but didn’t exactly light up AA last year. For the hypeless, an .800 OPS says “that’s nice”, not “nothing left to learn”.

    halejon

    March 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm

  3. … that was a little soul crushing. But correct.

    Team Rocket

    March 13, 2011 at 8:30 pm

  4. Don’t forget the most important thing re: his contract. IT’S NOT YOUR MONEY!!!1!

    Drew

    March 14, 2011 at 9:08 am

    • I really hate when people say to fans, Why do you care, it’s not your money. You’re dumb. If you are a fan of a team, it does not matter if it is not your money. When the team with a fixed payroll spends big money on a player, you know that the amount of money spent hurts the chances of grabbing other players in the future. If you want your team to be successful (and as a fan you should), you definitely care where your team spends the money and how it is spent because it effects the team’s flexibility. Donkey.

      Eric

      March 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm

      • The other day I made an ironic comment in response to Parkes’ ironic Royals post on Getting Blanked, and someone took it literally. Now we’re leaping over each other to do the same thing…hee-haw!

        Disaffected youth #1: Here comes that cannonball guy. He’s cool.
        Disaffected youth #2: Are you being sarcastic, dude?
        Disaffected youth #1: I don’t even know anymore.

        halejon

        March 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm

      • Sorry “Eric”, my post was in jest. Thanks for the lesson though.

        Drew

        March 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm

      • Well you are sharp as a tack

        PJaysW

        March 15, 2011 at 11:17 am

  5. Not sure if we’re in irony land or not, but if they waste it, it’s still going to hurt me in the long run…

    halejon

    March 14, 2011 at 11:32 am

    • Sorry, my mind was a little foggy when I read that. Considering the source, I get the tone now. That should totally be part of #8. Why do we care if our team makes brilliant or incredibly stupid financial decisions since we only foot the bill in indirect ways, like 20 years of pain and suffering?

      halejon

      March 14, 2011 at 1:48 pm

  6. Send him to the show NOW! We all remember what happened when we took the slow-n-steady approach with Eddie Zosky.

    Dan

    March 14, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    • Straight up. He CLEARLY just got bored from all that mashing he was doing in AAA. That bird needed to fly…

      halejon

      March 14, 2011 at 1:55 pm

      • Never played a AAA game in his life.

        Eric

        March 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm

      • We’re talking about Eddie Zosky now…

        halejon

        March 14, 2011 at 2:33 pm

  7. Who is this Jon Hale fellow and why have I never heard of him? This is brilliant work. Seriously

    Chris Thompson

    March 14, 2011 at 9:05 pm

  8. I think a few weeks in AAA will only increase his confidence/skill set and make it less likely he’ll have to bounce back and forth for a while

    Robbie

    March 14, 2011 at 9:39 pm

  9. [...] 10 Reasons to call up Brett Lawrie NOWhalejon at the Mockingbird with 10 reasons…a little humour for a Monday morning. [...]

  10. We need to bring him up now, otherwise we will miss out on another great Mockingbird article when he crashes and burns

    paul

    March 15, 2011 at 3:40 pm

  11. that was really great – an article like this makes it worth the hundred moronic articles i read on my way to finding it – thanks

    rob norton

    March 16, 2011 at 12:16 am

  12. cant find anything to bookmark – do you have a blog or website ?

    rob norton

    March 16, 2011 at 12:21 am

    • Yah the homepage is: http://bjays.wordpress.com

      halejon

      March 16, 2011 at 10:08 am

      • in retrospect that seems obvious enough to make me seem a little thick – i’m just used to finding some kind of home tab – anyway looking forward to your next article – long as its not about BABIP…

        rob norton

        March 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      • Yeah, I hear yah. Used to be a fancy linky banner at the top of every post but I figured it was more pretentious to change it to the name in text.

        And sorry, but I’m planning on going all BABIP all the time from here on in. Gonna launch a 162-part series on how it doesn’t really apply in any useful way to fielders, managers, coaches, ballboys, mascots, the concession staff, Olympic athletes, etc, etc, etc. Because that’s what an incredibly small percentage of the fans has a passing interest in.

        halejon

        March 16, 2011 at 3:57 pm

  13. I’m a little late to the party, but good to have you back Jon!

    Another reason to call Lawrie up now – he could develop a strange fascination with Cirque de Soleil if he spends the year in Las Vegas.

    Ian

    March 22, 2011 at 10:38 am

  14. I’ve seen Lawrie in every spring training game he’s played. Yes he’s intnense. Yes he’s a superb athlete. Yes he’s Canadian. Yes he can hit. Yes he has good days and bad one’s too. But he’s still a 20 year old who has never played a pitch above AA and when he made it to Huntsville he had 25 errors at second base. Lawrie is a good kid from a nice family, but another year in the minors will be the best thing for both him and the Blue Jays.

    Mamboon

    March 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    • Uhm, Lawrie is a good kid? Comes from a nice family? Do you know him personally? I’ve been around this kid since he was 13 years old and all him or his family have ever cared about is themselves. He is beyond arrogant and selfish. More people in his hometown wish him to fail rather then succeed, which we all know is wrong, but he doesn’t deserve support from anyone but his messed up family. A father who will sit in the stands and bad mouth team mates to other parents and talk up his kid like he is a God! Lawrie is a joke..yes, kid can hit…no doubt about that. He can’t and will never be able to play a position, mark my words. Touted as a catcher? He tried to catch in high school here but was terrible. A 2nd baseman? couldn’t pick up routine ground balls and many times couldn’t make the accurate throw. Brett only worked on hitting when the defense was what he really needed to work on. Bretts one of those cage rats who during pre game batting, wouldn’t go to the infield after “his” group was done hitting, he would just hop in with the next group, and repeat with group after that. As you can tell I”m not a fan. Sorry you are stuck with him Blue Jays.

      slidepiece

      March 24, 2011 at 5:12 pm

  15. [...] halejon of The Mockingbird – Provides us with the top 10 reasons to bring Brett Lawrie up NOW here. [...]

  16. Lawrie knows what he has to do down in AAA, which is work his defense, which is still kinda shoddy. He’s basically having the kind of year Arencibia had, and we didn’t call him up at all last year.

    Some blind fans cry, “but we’re in contention and we need his bat and the other 3B guys suck”, but let me remind everyone that even though the Jays are playing above where they should be with the injuries they’ve sustained this year, they’re not really in contention.

    The front of the rotation pales compared to the better teams in the East, the back-end is weaker than those same teams, our closer situation is pretty bad with Dotel and Francisco sucking up valuable payroll (when are the Jays going to finally stop doling out money for other teams rejects in the closer posish? i.e. Myers, Ryan, etc).

    This is the turning point of the season, when Tampa, Boston and NY wake up and start winning pretty much every series they play from now until the end of the year, and I’m sorry, but we’re just not good enough or deep enough to compete on their levels this year, and if anyone thinks otherwise they’re deluding themselves. I love Romero and I can see Drabek being the next Hentgen/Morris/Stieb-like guy with all that hunger he’s got, but not this year.

    We have a delightful team and a scrappy one, but not a fearsome team that can win consistently, whether we promote Lawrie now or next year.

    Jason Marcel

    May 31, 2011 at 12:00 am

    • Possibly the best written/well thought-out comment of all time. I kind of want to just copy and paste it as my latest update/teaser post. You sir, I would watch baseball with gladly.

      I basically nodded through the whole thing, but went total bobblehead over the bit on closers — they are generally wastes of money, and these second-rate ones are terrible deals as well. When the pockets finally open, it would be absolutely criminal if AP wastes it on getting a premium closer, as JP did. I have a post half-written about the top 10 things to avoid as we go from deconstructing the team to putting the final touches on it with FA help, and that’s number one.

      And the delusion/contention, oh yes…it’s just a fact that the Jays young arms are going to run out of gas, and they just don’t have the depth yet to compete over a full season. And for what? To limp into the playoffs and go out in the first round? Every single move should be made right now with an eye on when this team could be potentially GREAT, not just in contention. I think the reason this post turned out sarcastic is I find it frustrating how impatient people can be, both in terms of ‘call this guy up now!” and “try to contend now!” with so much recent evidence in Toronto of how badly those strategies turn out in the AL East.

      halejon

      May 31, 2011 at 4:49 pm


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