Brett Lawrie was seemingly days away from being called up in late May when a broken hand suffered at Triple-A sidelined him for two months.
Now he’s back and has resumed crushing the ball, leading to speculation that the Blue Jays are once again on the verge of calling up their top prospect.
When the call-up comes Lawrie will take over as Toronto’s starting third baseman, shifting Jose Bautista back to the outfield and likely sending a current regular to the minors (Travis Snider, Eric Thames) or waiver wire (Edwin Encarnacion).
Lawrie, a 2008 first-round pick acquired from the Brewers in a deal for Shaun Marcum this winter, is hitting .352 with 18 homers, 24 doubles, and 12 steals in 67 games at Triple-A as a 21-year-old.
There are questions about his defense at third base, but Lawrie projects as a middle-of-the-order impact bat and based on various articles in Toronto newspapers today he might be in the majors by week’s end.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.