Brett Lawrie

Call-up on hold: Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie placed on minor league DL

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General manager Alex Anthopoulos hinted last week that the Blue Jays were close to calling up top prospect Brett Lawrie, with speculation swirling that he could debut over the weekend, but those plans are now on hold thanks to a wrist injury.

Lawrie avoided a serious injury after being hit on the wrist by a pitch Wednesday, excitedly taking to Twitter to tell his followers it was merely a bruise, but he’s been placed on the minor league disabled list anyway.

Because the minor league DL is only seven days, rather than 15 days, Lawrie’s development may not be stalled much at all, but the injury does likely push back his call up to Toronto.

Or as Blue Jays manager John Farrell told Todd Karpovich of MLB.com: “”We just have to be sure we take every precaution with him and make sure he’s completely healthy before he gets back in the game.”

Lawrie, a 2008 first-round pick who was acquired from the Brewers in the Shaun Marcum trade, is hitting .354 with 15 homers and a 1.092 OPS in 52 games at Triple-A as a 21-year-old after Baseball America ranked him as their 40th-best prospect going into the season.

Twins’ minor league pitcher Landa dies in Venezuela

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 05:  Yorman Landa #81 of the Minnesota Twins makes a throw to first base during the fourth inning of a spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles at Hammond Stadium on March 5, 2016 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.

The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.

Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.

Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.

Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.

Orioles are eying Welington Castillo as their primary catcher target

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Welington Castillo #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks warms up prior to taking an at bat against the Baltimore Orioles in the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 25, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
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A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.

Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.

For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.