Whatever the Toronto Blue Jays did with Adam Lind when he was demoted to Triple A last season it worked.
Lind hit well after coming back up to the big leagues last season.
It’s continued this season as evidenced by his gaudy slash line of 322/386/542
He’s already hit 11 homeruns after hitting just 11 in 2012. He’s already put up a 1.5 WAR. That’s more than he put up from 2010 – 2012 combined!
We all know this isn’t the first time Lind’s been an elite hitter. In 2009 he won a Silver Slugger Award for DH. So he had it in him even if it really didn’t show the last few years.
That brings us to everybody’s favorite Canadian Blue Jays player Brett Lawrie.
In 43 games in 2011 Brett Lawrie had 4 triples, 9 homeruns, 16 walks and 7 stolen bases with a 373 on base percentage while putting up a 2.5 WAR.
It’s a small sample size sure but the fact that Lawrie has just barely outperformed those numbers in 162 games between 2012 and 2013 is strange.
So while Lawrie starts his rehab now the Blue Jays should apply whatever they did with Lind last year in the minors to Lawrie.
If the Jays have to keep him in the minors a week or even 2 after his rehab assignment do it.
I know the Blue Jays are trying to win this season and his defense is super important to the team’s success.
But there’s also the little matter of HE DIDN’T HAVE A SPRING TRAINING, HE’S ONLY PLAYED IN 37 MLB GAMES THIS SEASON, AND HE BATTLED INJURIES DURING 2012.
You would think fixing Lawrie might be less complicated than fixing Lind since Lind had been way more unproductive for way longer then Lawrie ever slumped.
I’m no expert on what Lawrie would need fixed as you’ve probably figured out by my rambling until now.
But I do know that when the Jays first acquired Lawrie they kept him in the minor leagues for an extended time before his big league debut during the 2011 season to get his plate recognition and swing in check.
Plate recognition could go a long way with Lawrie.
When he had his big 2011 cameo he had a 9.4 walk rate. In 2012 it was just 6.2 and in his brief 2013 season it was just 5.9. His strikeout rate in 2011 was 18.1, it went down to 16 in 2012 but it was way up at 23.5 this season.
If working with Lawrie a little longer in the minors a little longer is what it takes for Lawrie to start taking walks, gaining plate recognition then do it. When he starts doing that and the Jays feel like he’s hitting well enough to be called up call him up.
Kind of like what they did with Adam Lind last season and with Edwin Encarnacion in 2010.
And you’ve seen how it’s worked out for those guys.
I can live with Izturis, Derosa, Edwin sharing 3rd base a little longer if necessary.
Brett Lawrie got to the big leagues at 21 because of his bat. We’ve seen glimpses of him becoming a good hitter.
The Jays just have to work with Lawrie on being consistent in the minors and it’ll be a huge boost to the team.
Adding another consistent big bat from the 5-7 spot in the Blue Jays lineup would make them a much more dangerous team.
Working on things in the minor leagues worked for Encarnacion, it’s worked for Lind, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t help Lawrie.