Blue Jays top prospect Brett Lawrie on verge of call up

26 Comments

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.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

3 Comments

As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

Getty Images
8 Comments

The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.