Results tagged ‘ Lawrie ’

Lawrie Trade and Alumni Birthdays – November 29

And another former Timber Rattler is traded in 2014:

The Brett Lawrie era in Toronto is over.

In a shocking late-night trade, the Blue Jays dealt the 24-year-old Canadian third baseman and three prospects to the Oakland A’s on Friday for all-star third baseman Josh Donaldson. The trade was officially announced by both clubs just before 10:30 p.m.

Lawrie, who hails from Langley, B.C., was once considered a future franchise cornerstone but the energetic infielder struggled to stay healthy, playing in little more than half the team’s games the last two seasons.

But while he was always an electric defender, Lawrie seemed to regress in the ensuing three seasons, which were marked by as many ups as downs while the high-octane and tightly wound player struggled to produce consistently at the plate. His fiery demeanour and quick-twitch intensity — which serve him well at the hot corner — worked against him at times, most notably when he was suspended for hitting an umpire with his batting helmet in 2012 and when he injured himself while diving into a 10-foot camera well at Yankee Stadium that same year.

[Jays general manager Alex] Anthopoulos described it as “a hard conversation” when he informed Lawrie he had been dealt. “He was a Toronto Blue Jay through and through and it was tough to see him go.”

“Brett is a very, very good player,” Anthopoulos said. “He’s still incredibly young. He absolutely has the ability to take it to another level and become an all-star. I don’t think the book is closed on him at all.”

Photo Credit: WM. Glasheen

Photo Credit: WM. Glasheen

Alumni Birthdays for November 29:
Chuck Lopez (’01) – 38
Chad Ehrnsberger (’03) – 37

A few links

Some older news:

Paxson named MWL Trainer of the year….again

Fang’s reading club opens registration for 2012

VIDEO: Nathan Adcock’s first MLB save

Some bad news for a former Timber Rattler:

Lawrie out for season with finger injury

Exciting Jays’ rookie third baseman Brett Lawrie suffered a fractured right middle finger taking ground balls during pre-game batting practice at the Rogers Centre on Wednesday and will be out for the remainder of the ‘11 season.

The 21-year-old native of Langley, B.C. was batting .293 with nine home runs and seven steals in 43 games since his recall on August 5. Lawrie has been placed on the 15-day disabled list and will not accompany the Jays on the final road trip to Tampa and Chicago.

Lawrie became the fourth player among active major-leaguers with at least nine homers and 25 RBIs in his first 43 games, joining Albert Pujols, Chris Davis, Adam Dunn and Jeff Francoeur.

Bob Brainerd has this story on TJ Mittelstaedt at the Sports32 website.

A future link!

Schedule for Baseball America’s Top 20 prospects  in every minor league.  Pioneer League (Helena) will be up later today.  The Midwest League is scheuled to go up on September 27.  See the rest of the schedule at the link.

Lawrie sent down, but….

From The National Post up in Canada:

After a month in the limelight, Brett Lawrie left the stage without fanfare.
The Toronto Blue Jays dispatched their blue-chip Canadian prospect to minor-league camp on Wednesday, announcing the move in their game notes before a night game against the New York Yankees in Tampa.

After spending his first two pro seasons at second base, Lawrie will start the season as the everyday third baseman at Triple-A Las Vegas. The move was expected, despite his strong spring showing.

But the 21-year-old from Langley, B.C., may advance to Toronto sooner than the Jays thought, manager John Farrell said.

“We still don’t know the exact date, but I think it might be shorter than what we first anticipated,” said Farrell, who gave Lawrie rave reviews throughout spring training.
Also…he’s on twitter (@blawrie13) and taking it well:

On his Twitter account Wednesday, Lawrie did not mention his move to the minors, but did write this: “Great mindset today, positive attitude and moving forward from here on out.”

Alumni Newsletter Vol. 2

The Brewers lost 9-8 to the Reds on Sunday.

Martin Maldonado (’09) was the only ex-Rattler to get in the game. He went 0-for-1.

Matt Tuiasosopo is willing to play anywhere to make the Mariners Opening Day roster.

This is one family battle where Matt Tuiasosopo has no intention of keeping the details in-house.

In fact, the Mariners infielder has made it a point to ensure that on-field showdowns between him and his future brother-in-law, pitcher Micah Owings of the Arizona Diamondbacks, don’t get mentioned at the spring training home they’ve rented together. So, Owings didn’t joke about getting him to fly out to shallow right with a runner on third Friday afternoon and Tuiasosopo has kept quiet about hitting a homer and single off the D-backs reliever during a Class AAA game in 2008.

The pair didn’t know each other that first time around, but, a year later in 2009, Tuiasosopo began dating Owings’ sister, Abi. They got engaged in December, meaning, in many ways, that Tuiasosopo’s off-field life has become far more stable than what he’s living on the field.

“If you look, I’ve played third base, then second base, then left field and now I’m at first base,” Tuiasosopo, hitting .292 this spring, said with a chuckle on Saturday. “I just go where they need me to play. That’s what they need me to do if I want to make the team, so I’ve just got to do it.”

Tuiasosopo was recently asked by the Mariners to shift his concentration away from third base and focus on first base and left field. To some, that was a sign that Tuiasosopo, a bit of a surprising opening-day member the past two seasons, was in danger of having that streak end this year.

In reality, Tuiasosopo’s chances of making the team have probably increased with the developments in left field. Milton Bradley stands a good chance of being the opening-day left fielder, meaning the team could send Michael Saunders to Class AAA to ensure he continues to get daily playing time.
His play has been so dazzling at times this spring that the lone question surrounding him has been not if he will make it to the big leagues, but when, and will it be April 1 of this season.

The ease in which Lawrie has settled into third has been one of the more pleasant developments of the spring for the Jays.

“He sure has,” Tony LaCava, the Jays assistant general manager and vice-president of baseball operations replied when asked if Lawrie is surprising people with how well he is adapting to the new position. “He’s showed the ability to make the above-average play, which is interesting. That gives him a chance to be better than average.

“An average fielder should make average plays. The work will come with him when he has to make the routine plays, when he gets to make all of them and makes them regularly and becomes consistent with that. He has also shown the ability to make the above-average play which is really exciting. So, he’s exceeding our expectations defensively so far.”

How so?

“He’s doing some things at third base that some guys never ever do,” LaCava said. “Some times when he’s deep and gets an in-between hop, he knows to play through it instead of laying back and getting eaten up. He’s aggressive by nature and at times that’s how you have to play third base. It’s a reactive position and I think he has the skill sets to do it.”

For his part, Lawrie said his goals for the spring were to get to befriend his new teammates, get established and have some fun.

“It’s just been an opportunity for me to open up some eyes,” he said. “The more you get to know your teammates the easier it is to play because your surroundings are so much better. That’s been the thing for me here, just go out and have some fun and play the game like I’ve always played it.”

And a note on Lawrie

This Richard Griffin mailbag column from March 10 at the Toronto Star included this exchange about former Rattlers second baseman Brett Lawrie.

Do you see the Jays giving Lawrie the third baseman gig? He’s done nothing but impress thus far at camp, and he looks like the hardest working guy on the roster.

Peter, Hamilton

A….As for Lawrie, I have a feeling there is a significant voice in the coaches room and front office that would love to see him in the majors sooner rather than later.

He is a pure athlete and so the transition to third base has seemed effortless. He makes that quick feed to second base as well as anyone I ‘ve seen in a while and has good baseball instincts. He works hard and prepares hard.

So what if one time somebody duct taped huge vats of liquor to his hand. Who hasn’t had that happen? My thinking is that will let him get his feet under him at AAA-Las Vegas and then bring him up and move Jose Bautista back to right.

Checking Lawrie’s stats in spring training this season: 10 games; 10-for-27 (.370); 2 homers, 5 RBI.

Learning the hard way

The Toronto Sun catches up with former Rattler Brett Lawrie.

Lawrie arrived from the Milwaukee Brewers in the Shaun Marcum trade, bringing with him some huge potential along with some baggage that he wants to put behind him.

There is, for example, the matter of some ill-advised Facebook pictures that surfaced after the trade, a faux pas he’s ready to own.

“That was a while ago and I take full responsibility for it,” the B.C. native said on Friday. “It’s just part of growing up and it was time for me to grow up a little bit.”

There was also some suggestion that Lawrie balked when the Brewers wanted to send him to the Arizona Fall League, a no-no for a kid less than two years into his career.

“When things aren’t going right, you can get frustrated and I learned that last year,” said Lawrie, not referring to that particular incident but to professional life in general.

“I had some frustrations. I had my good times and my bad times. It’s about trying to keep on that even plane, so that’s what I’m working on going forward — just keeping my head on straight.”

Lawrie is sounding like a kid trying to make the leap into adulthood. He’s already impressed by his new surroundings.

“I feel like I’ve already been welcomed here,” he said. “It seems like a good group of guys. I’m really excited to be here.

“The trade was a very good thing for me. I want the best opportunity for me to play major league baseball. Thankfully, I get to be back home. It’s good for me to get into a new organization and it’s kind of like a fresh start for me. I don’t think Milwaukee was the best fit for me. I wish them luck going forward but I’m happy to be here.”

10 questions with Brett Lawrie has a feature – similar to the ‘The Interrogation Room’, which will be returning soon – called 10 Questions.  This week, they caught up with former Rattlers second baseman Brett Lawrie.

Since there are only 10 questions, I am going to take one of them as an excerpt.  You’ll have to click the link to the other nine. You’re moving to an organization that has an established second baseman at the big league level in Aaron Hill. Has the idea of switching positions been discussed at all?

Lawrie: I’ve been working out at third — they’ve wanted me to play some third. I felt comfortable over there, I think I am going to go into Spring [Training], where third is where I’m going to be put at.

Lawrie in the Sun

The Toronto Sun has this story on former Timber Rattlers second baseman and current Blue Jays farmhand.

Lawrie, rated the 26th best prospect in the minors by Baseball America, plans on being with the Jays opening day.

“I’ve told Brett we think it’s best for him to play a season at triple-A Las Vegas,” said Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos. “We’ll bring him to spring training, see how he plays, hopefully, he makes it a difficult decision for us.”

One scout compared Lawrie’s hitting ability to former Houston Astros slugger Jeff Bagwell.

“Never mind he had eight homers last year,” said the scout. “Most high school drafts spend their first year in Rookie ball and the next at a low Class-A club. He’s two steps ahead of where he should be.”

Lawrie had 36 doubles, 16 triples and eight homers — 60 extra base hits — and 63 RBIs for a .797 OPS. He was 30-for-43 stealing bases at double-A Huntsville.

There are the other stories, how he complained about being called to big-league camp during spring training and “only getting one at-bat.”

The Jays aren’t concerned about his make-up after talking to teammates, roommates and former coaches.

“We didn’t pick one or two people to talk to,” Anthopoulos said. “He’s a guy who works hard. It’s very clear he’s a confident kid. His work ethic is off the charts. Same for the way he competes.

“At his very core, he is a good person.”


This is not about that story.  If you know what ‘that story’ is, you’ve already seen it.  If you don’t know, well, head over to the Toronto Star for this writeup…which is picture-free

I’ll just leave you with this quick lesson:

1.) Don’t put EVERYTHING you do on the internet.

The main thing that I wanted to pull out of that article is this:

On Monday, when making the announcement of the Shaun Marcum trade for
Lawrie, GM Alex Anthopoulos waxed enthusiastically about his admiration
for the young B.C. native’s combination of “confidence, swagger and
determination that all the great ones have.” On Tuesday, Anthopoulos
stuck to his guns, making no apologies, not backing off his admiration
for Lawrie.

“Hey, look, with respect to Brett, I know a lot’s been written and a
lot’s been said,” Anthopoulos commented. “We spent a lot of time working
on (the trade) and had a lot of long-time coaches and baseball people
that have been around him say that this guy plays the game hard.

“I had one guy tell me that in 30 years he’s never seen a guy play
harder and you’ll never have an issue with him between the lines. Is he
intense? Is he competitive? Yes. And he’s 20 years old. You’re not going
to get 25 players that are cut from the same cloth. But I know one
thing, his work ethic and the way he plays the game won’t be matched.
Jose Bautista’s got a lot of swagger.”

Here are a few other links from north of the border:

Hometown newspaper in Langley, BC.

While happy to be going to Toronto and the lone Canadian team in the Major Leagues, Lawrie said he would play anywhere which would afford him the chance to play in the big leagues.

“I am happy to go the Toronto Blue Jays,” he said, adding that the fact it is a Canadian team is a nice bonus, but he is just looking for the quickest route to the big leagues. “I just want to have that opportunity to play major league baseball.

“It could be anywhere; wherever I get the opportunity is good for me.”

The Calgary Herald has this plus a quote from Brett:

Lawrie has never lacked for confidence. In fact, rare is the story or
blog that doesn’t mention the words cocky, arrogant or attitude when
referencing the heavily tattooed 20-year-old from Langley, B.C.

it’s no surprise, then, that the newest member of the Toronto Blue
Jays organization, plucked out of the Milwaukee Brewers’ minor-league
system in exchange for right-hander Shaun Marcum, says he’s “done with
minor league baseball” after just two seasons.

“I’m ready (for
the major leagues), there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m ready,” the
powerfully built second baseman said Tuesday from Los Angeles, where
his fiancee is a senior on the UCLA soccer team.

It says that it is from their news services, but I can’t find the original article.  That “done with minor league baseball” quote has got to be out of context…doesn’t it?

Trading Lawrie

This story hit Twitter and the internet around 9:30 last night and there are plenty of reactions this morning.

This story:

After arriving a day early in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., for baseball’s
winter meetings, Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin wasted no
time addressing his team’s need for starting pitching.

Melvin worked out a trade with Toronto for right-hander Shaun Marcum
on Sunday night, not waiting for the official start of the meetings
Monday. Marcum, who turns 29 on Dec. 14, was 13-8 with a 3.64 earned run
average in 31 starts for the Blue Jays in 2010.

Because physical examinations are required to complete major-league trades, Melvin could not confirm the deal.

“I can’t say anything about it, really,” said Melvin when contacted via telephone. “It’s not completed yet.”

Marcum came
at a steep price. A source in Canada confirmed that the Brewers’ top
minor-league prospect, second baseman Brett Lawrie, was sent to Toronto
in exchange for the pitcher.

It was not known if the Brewers were sending any other players to Toronto.

Lawrie, who
will be 21 in January, was the Brewers’ first-round draft pick in 2008.
He is from British Columbia and it was no secret that the Blue Jays were
interested for some time in acquiring the Canadian native.

I saw a post that mentioned Nick Bucci (’10) was heading to Toronto, too.  But, an update at the top of the post at that link mentions that Bucci is not included and that it will just be Lawrie for Marcum.

A few reactions.  First, here is Drew Olson of ESPN540 in Milwaukee with a reaction that was up about an hour after the story broke.

Marcum, who missed the 2009 season while recovering from reconstructive
elbow surgery, took Roy Halladay’s spot at the top of the Blue Jays’
rotation and pitched well in 31 games. To check out Marcum’s big-league
stats, click here.

In 195 1/3 innings, he allowed 181 hits and 43 walks. He recorded 165
strikeouts and limited opponents to a .242 batting average. More
important, he recorded 22 quality starts in 31 outings.

Many pitchers who move from the American League to the National League
experience a drop in their earned run average. The Brewers are
undoubtedly banking on that with Marcum, a Kansas City native who made
$850,000 last year and will be eligible for free agency after 2012.

With Marcum in the mix behind Yovani Gallardo and lefty Randy Wolf, the
Brewers appear to have solidified the top of their rotation. But, there
is work to be done and Melvin and his staff will be working this week at
the Winter Meetings, which open Monday, to get more pitching depth.

Okay.  What about Jim over at Bernie’s Crew?

twitter exploded last night with various reactions to the trade.  They
ranged from being giddy over acquiring an above-average pitcher to
being enraged over trading the prospect that Baseball America ranked the best in the system last season.

This trade was very difficult for me to wrap my head around.  I found
myself being tugged from “in favor” of the trade to “highly skeptical”
of the trade almost minute to minute.  The gut feeling one normally gets
when learning of a trade was strangely absent, and I detemined that I
was firmly straddling the fence on this Marcum/Lawrie trade.

But why?

Neither player come to their new team without significant question
marks.  Risk is present when analyzing the deal from either side of the
equation, which makes the “winner” of this trade extremely difficult to
pinpoint — not that a winner can truly be determined until years later.

Click through for all of it, but…Here are the top good and bad possibilities for the Brewers according to Jim:

Shaun Marcum threw 195.1 innings last season and compiled a 3.64 ERA
with a 3.74 FIP, which suggests his ERA is sustainable based upon his
pitching performance.  The Brewers need that type of production in their

Shaun Marcum underwent Tommy John surgery and missed all of 2009 to
rehab the elbow.  He is a legitimate injury risk, and his delivery still
puts a high amount of stress on his elbow.  Glance at a few pictures,
and you will quickly see the dreaded “inverted W” that likely put him on
the DL in the first place.

There is much more.

Tom Haudricourt has a blog post titled Prospects can be currency.

For the second time in 2 1/2 years, the Brewers have traded their No. 1 minor-league prospect for badly needed pitching help.

In July 2008, the Brewers traded outfielder/first baseman Matt
LaPorta, their first-round draft pick in ’07, to Cleveland in a deal for
left-hander CC Sabathia. The deal worked exactly as the Brewers hoped,
with Sabathia leading them to their first playoff berth in 26 years.

On Sunday night, the Brewers traded second baseman Brett Lawrie,
their first-round draft pick in 2008, to Toronto for right-hander
Shaun Marcum. Soon to be 29, Marcum probably will plug into the Brewers’
rotation in the third spot behind Yovani Gallardo and Randy Wolf.

I know many folks think the Brewers gave up too much by trading
Lawrie for Marcum. But I think we can all agree that the team is going
nowhere in 2011 without upgrading its starting rotation after two dismal
seasons on that front.

Lawrie undeniably is an offensive talent, having done quite well at
age 20 in the Class AA Southern League in 2010. But he is still a
developing second baseman and needs considerable work defensively before
being big-league ready.

And the Brewers may not be done trading prospects.  Here is this from MLB Fanhouse.

Even after acquiring Shaun Marcum from the Blue Jays for their top prospect, the Brewers are still looking for starting pitching, and their top trade chip appears to be outfielder Lorenzo Cain.

A major league source said Milwaukee is interested in moving the
24-year-old Cain to help its rotation, which last season had a 4.65 ERA,
second-worst in the National League.

Cain may be moved for a major league starter.  We’ll see where this goes.

For a very complete roundup of the links with reaction to the Lawrie for Marcum trade head over to Brew Crew Ball for Monday’s Frosty Mug.

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