Brett Lawrie having trouble with grip, likely out until August


Bad news here for prospect lovers.

According to Shi Davidi of Canada’s Sportsnet, Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie is still having trouble gripping a bat in his once-fractured left hand and is not expected to resume playing in live minor league games until early August.

Lawrie was nearly called to the major leagues at the beginning of June, but he suffered a small fracture in his hand while playing for Triple-A Las Vegas and the promotion plans had to be scrapped. With the slow progress he’s made in his rehab, it’s feasible to wonder whether the Jays will hold off on adding the 21-year-old to the big league roster until late August or even September.

Lawrie was batting .354/.415/.677 with 15 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 52 games before the injury.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.