1. Brett Lawrie Looks Like He Belongs
We just stopped ourself here. We were going to talk about the apprehensions that some may have had about calling the kid from New Whereeverthehell, B.C., to the big leagues, when it came to us that we couldn't think of anyone (well, Dustin Parkes aside) who had any hesitation about bringing the lad up. So, never mind, really. Just to say that Lawrie looks as though he fits in, and doesn't seem trepidatious at all to be at this level.
2. Brett Lawrie Doesn't Look Like a Third Baseman
You know how people have said for years that Travis Snider looks like a fullback? Well, Brett Lawrie looks like a strong safety: Jacked up and ripped and wound tight. And that all seems to work fine when it comes to unleashing that sheer physicality in a swing or getting out of the box.
But playing the field (especially the infield) requires a level of relaxation, and the ability to remain physically loose. We're not sure that Lawrie has it in him to be either of those things (which is what y'all seem to love about him anyhow, so don't get upset.) When watching Lawrie transition from fielding a ball to throwing it, you can visually see the effort that he requires in order to quiet himself and get the ball across the diamond without throwing it into the second deck.
And here's the thing about Lawrie's impending fielding struggles: Fans are going to have all sorts of patience with these sorts of errors, because it will look like HE'S TRYING SO DAMN HARD TO MAKE THE PLAY. But an E5 is an E5, no matter how it comes to be.
3. Henderson Alvarez Is Finally Here
Okay, so maybe there are more people expressing their concern that the young Venezuelan hurler has made it to the big leagues before he's ready. But as for us: This is a long time coming. We remember the first time that we saw the strikeout-to-walk ratio that Alvarez posted in Low-A Lansing in 2009 - which finished at 92/19, but was even more brilliant early in the season - and we pondered how long we might have to wait to see that arm in the big leagues. We figured the end of 2012 would be the earliest that the occasion would come along. Now that it appears that he'll get his first kick at the rubber this week, we couldn't be more thrilled.
We're not entirely sure that this means that Alvarez will stick, though given the choice between sending him to Las Vegas next year to refine his game or bringing him directly to Toronto, we'd choose the latter. (Which speaks to the pressing need to get the hell out of the PCL, but that's another post for another day.)