Brett Lawrie suffers broken middle finger, done for year

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Unfortunate news this evening out of Toronto.

According to John Lott of Canada’s National Post, Blue Jays rookie third baseman Brett Lawrie suffered a broken right middle finger Wednesday while taking pregame infield practice and has been shut down for the remainder of the 2011 season.

There are only a handful of games left on the Blue Jays’ regular season schedule, but Lawrie is one of the most talented and exciting young players in baseball and it’s a shame that his impressive first-year campaign must come to a premature close.

A 21-year-old native of British Columbia, Lawrie exploded onto the major league scene this year by posting a .293/.373/.580 batting line over his first 43 MLB games. He also slugged nine home runs and tallied 25 RBI in only 171 plate appearances. The kid has All-Star upside and a flair for the dramatic.

Padres, Mariners join list of teams to extend netting

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The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.

A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.