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.

Twins designate Phil Hughes for assignment

AP Photo/Ron Schwane
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Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.

Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.

Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.

Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.