The Lawrie fallout
Brett Lawrie will make his Major League debut tonight in Baltimore but unfortunately I won’t be there to see it. I’ll be back in Toronto attending the wedding reception for my good friend and former roommate. Unfortunate timing but have no fear http://bluejays.com will still have all the news covered.
Lawrie will be having a press conference later this afternoon so check back Friday evening to see his reaction and expectations for the rest of the season. Also, don’t forget there’s plenty of coverage from yesterday on the site in what might have been my busiest day on the job to date.
There was Travis Snider’s reaction to the news and Carlos Villanueva going on the DL in an extended notebook. There’s also a sidebar on Alex Anthopoulos talking about the decision to bring Lawrie up. Finally, there’s the game story on the 12-inning affair that went down as another tough loss for the bullpen. You can also find me on twitter @gregorMLB
I’ll be back in action on Monday. In the meantime, here are some of the quotes from yesterday’s events:
On his reaction to the move…
“It’s a business and a decision had to be made. Brett Lawrie is well deserving of the opportunity to come up here and I’m excited for him to get it. But at the same time, personally, you want to be on the other end and be the guy that gets to stay.
“But those are the decisions that aren’t in my control and I just look to keep getting better.”
On his season so far…
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t frustrated when these kind of things happen. But when you put it all in perspective, it’s not a decision that I control. I can play better and that’s the bottom line so moving forward that’s the mindset I’ve got to keep.”
On possibly being back when rosters expand in September…
“I’d like to think so but nothing is guaranteed. My focus is going to be going home for a couple of days and getting my mind right then going to Vegas with the right attitude and doing what I got to do to continue to progress as a player and a person.”
On what he has to work on…
“I think it’s getting back to the routine I had established when I first got here. I think the last week or two it has been off and on, inconsistent, and the guy to staying here is being consistent.”
On this being the fourth time he has been optioned…
“I don’t say it gets easier. As a competitor, you never want to hear somebody tell you you’re not good enough to be on a team when I feel like I’ve helped this team win some ballgames. But at the same time I try to keep it all in perspective, as a young man it’s part of maturing, understandign what you can control and what you can’t.”
On deciding who got sent down…
“Player performance is really what it came down to. Both players we see as having a chance to be here long term and have a chance to be part of this core. Ultimately, either decision we would have made neither player would have been happy or want to be sent down. But when you look at the numbers and the performances to date they both haven’t done all that great the last week or so … on the season, overall, Eric has played a littlebit better than Travis and again we had to make a decision but we could have gone the other way as well.
“This isn’t about giving playing time to someone who isn’t going to be here for the long term whether it was a Juan Rivera before or a Corey Patterson. Eric Thames is going to continue to get the at-bats and Edwin Encarnacion will continue to get bats at DH and he has a club option on next year that we still have two months of the season, want to continue to evaluate him.
“It was very close. This isn’t about going down and making adjustments, or swing changes, or anything like that at all. In a lot of ways it’s a good problem to have that you have two young players that are good.
“If Edwin Encarnacion hadn’t turned around and played the way he has the month of June and July … then I think he would have lost the playing time and been back on the bench like he was really a lot of May. That would have opened up the DH spot.”
On Brett Lawrie…
“We wanted to find out about Brett Lawrie sooner rather than later. We wanted to get him some August at-bats to get a little bit more of a read on him so he deserved to be up here.
“We didn’t have a predetermined number (of games) at all. When he first came back from the injury, he was a little bit slow in terms of getting his timing back swinging the bat. Even defensively, he had gotten into some bad habits that he had earlier in the year so we sent Mike Mordecai in to get some work with him.
“We try to put these players in the best position to have success when they come up here. You know you’re not going to be 100 percent sure. Like I always say, the likelihood, with all players they’re likely going to have to go back down but at least you want to do the best you can developmentally you can to prepare them for being up here.
“Hopefully now it’s one of those things with Brad where he can stay up here for the entire year.”
On his club not having been able to go on an extending winning streak this season…
“The depth of the rotation, if you’re to point to one area, that’s where the inconsistencies have come from maybe more than other areas of our club. That’s not to be critical of any one individual that’s just to say that that’s the area that allows you to sustain any kind of winning streak and give you the opportunity to win on days your offense might not be clicking.
“With respect to the young players it’s still not only about educating but creating an expectation of winning and building a culture that this is what we expect to do inside of a game and execute what the game is telling us at the moment. But I wouldn’t put it on just youth as being the reason we’re sitting here two games above .500.”