Top prospects for two teams — the Giants’ Brandon Belt and the Blue Jays’ Brett Lawrie — each had scares yesterday as they were each hit by pitches on the left wrist. Each of them also received good news: in both cases no bones were broken and the diagnosis was a mere bruise.
Lawrie’s little ordeal was more interesting inasmuch as it kind of unfolded in real time. Reader Rob Browne emailed me about his HBP right as it happened in the Las Vegas-Tucson game, I tweeted it and then the Internet went kind of wacko for a while. Understandable given how much Jays’ fans are anticipating Lawrie’s arrival in Toronto, most likely at the end of the week. Lawrie was rather anxious too, tweeting the following:
At hospital , pls be bruised .. #praying
Just a BRUISE !!! #yaaaaabudddddy
Belt’s news came in more traditional fashion, with Andrew Baggarly tweeting it.
Both guys will probably get a day or two off after which they can continue to serve as the repository for their respective fan bases’ hopes and dreams.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.