Lawrie's banging on the door
By MIKE THOMAS, Special to QMI Agency
|Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie tries to leg out a ground ball against the Tigers during Grapefruit League action in Florida last March. Lawrie currently leads the triple-A Las Vegas 51s in homers, RBIs and runs scored. (MIKE CASSESE/Reuters)
TORONTO - When asked whom he considered his everyday third baseman before Friday’s game, Jays manager John Farrell was quick to bring up a name not on the current roster.
“We’ve got three options there,” said Farrell, listing Jayson Nix, John McDonald and Edwin Encarnacion. “And when Brett Lawrie comes up, there’s another one,” he added without being prompted.
Since being acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers organization for starting pitcher Shaun Marcum last December, Lawrie’s arrival to the show has been highly anticipated by fans and media alike.
Lawrie, a native of Burnaby, B.C, is currently hitting .335 with the Jays’ triple-A Las Vegas 51’s, and leads the team with nine home runs, 32 runs batted in and 105 total bases.
General manager Alex Anthopoulos is pleased with Lawrie’s numbers but even more impressed with some of the recent adjustments he’s made.
“I’m very pleased with how he’s responded to us asking him to be a little more selective in his at bats,” said Anthopoulos. “I’m more excited about him today than I was in April when he was hitting .430.”
Anthopoulos stressed that Lawrie’s improved patience has made him a better player and brought him closer to being major league ready.
“When I look at a game report for Lawrie the first thing I look at is the number of pitches seen per plate appearance,” said Anthopoulos. “When they’re not going to give him a lot to hit we need to see that he’s made the adjustment, and he’s starting to do that.”
Another thing the Blue Jays brass has watched is Lawrie’s defence. Primarily a second baseman before this season, he’s had to learn third base this year in Las Vegas.
Lawrie’s made nine errors at the hot corner thus far but as the season’s progressed he’s improved defensively.
Neither Farrell nor Anthopoulos would say when Lawrie might join the Jays.