The Toronto Blue Jays have been active on the free agent market in recent years and look poised to make a move in the competitive American League East. The only problem? Nobody wants to play on their turf.
The Jays sent infielder Brett Lawrie and three prospects to the Oakland Athletics last Friday in exchange for All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson. On his way out, Lawrie didn’t hold back his feelings about playing on the Rogers Centre’s artificial turf.
“It treats my body kind of silly and throws it off,” Lawrie said recently during a conference call with Oakland media, via Sportsnet Toronto. “I really do feel that turf has a lot to do with (all the injuries). I?m wound tight, my body is wound tight just being a high-energy guy and being a quick-twitch guy.”
The 24-year-old certainly struggled with injuries in Toronto, as an oblique strain and fractured finger limited him to just 70 games in 2014. He has yet to play more than 125 games in an MLB season, but he hopes to change that on O.co Coliseum’s fertile grass.
“I can only point the finger at it because it makes sense,” Lawrie added about Toronto’s turf. “I really do feel when I go on the road and I play on grass and dirt and whatnot, I feel better. Once you get back into five, six, seven games in a row on that stuff, your body just gets thrown through a bit of a loop. I feel like this is a big step forward for me into being healthy and staying on the field.”
The Jays are installing new turf at the Rogers Centre for the 2015 season and plan to switch to natural grass in 2018. Judging by Lawrie’s comments, that date couldn’t come soon enough.
Thumbnail photo via Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports Images