Matt Stroup

Baseball Daily Dose

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Toronto Hiring A Lawrie?

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Prepare for a slew of mediocre law/lawyer-related puns like the one in the headline above, because it appears that Blue Jays' third base prospect Brett Lawrie could be on the verge of arriving in the big leagues.

As reported by Shi Davidi of, the 21-year-old could make his major league debut as early as Friday, news that should cause a significant ripple in mixed leagues given Lawrie's .354/.415/.677 line at Triple-A to go with 15 homers, 49 RBI, 51 runs and 11 steals.

The only potential wrinkle would be injury. Lawrie caused some concern when he left Tuesday's game early after being hit in the wrist with a pitch, but tweeted the following late Tuesday night: "Just a BRUISE !!! #yaaaaabudddddy."

Echo that emphatic "yaaaaabudddddy" from mixed league owners, who should be preparing to make an immediate add in anticipation of Lawrie's arrival. It was unclear as of Wednesday morning how his timetable would be affected by the injury, but it's hard to imagine a bruise altering Toronto's plans too significantly.

  • Hanley Ramirez (back, leg) reported some improvement Tuesday and could potentially return as soon as Wednesday, according to beat writer Joe Capozzi. Before anyone gets too excited, it's more likely that Ramirez would return on Friday (or possibly after that), but the positive news is that it appears he may avoid a trip to the DL.

  • Joakim Soria (6.55 ERA on the season) has been demoted to middle relief for the time being. He's expected to close again as soon as he shows he's ready, but Aaron Crow takes over in the meantime and is worth a look in most leagues.

  • Speaking of struggling closers, Tuesday evening was not a hilarious one for Carlos Marmol, who saw his ERA rise from 1.17 to 3.47 after allowing six earned runs in the ninth inning while recording just one out. It's probably not cause for panic given that Marmol hadn't allowed a run since April 20, but that doesn't reverse the damage done to ERAs and WHIPs across the globe on Tuesday.

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  • Justin Morneau said that he expects a pinched nerve in his neck to continue to be an issue for the remainder of the season, then promptly went out and blasted his third and fourth homers of the season (which will hopefully launch a hot streak that makes everyone forget that he had a neck problem in the first place).

  • In other Twins news, Ron Gardenhire told that Joe Mauer (legs) will be a catcher "until Joe says, 'I can't do it anymore,' or we deem him not physically able to do that." Gardenhire added that there's no definitive timetable for Mauer's return as he continues to play in extended spring training.

  • Pablo Sandoval (hamate bone surgery) did some hitting exercises and "looked pretty good," as Bruce Bochy told the San Jose Mercury News. Sandoval could begin a minor league rehab assignment this weekend in hopes of rejoining the Giants within the next two weeks.

  • In the latest disconcerting development of a highly disappointing season, the Denver Post reported that Ubaldo Jimenez is averaging 93 mph on his fastball after averaging 96.1 mph during his dominant 2010 campaign. Now carrying a 5.86 ERA and 1.52 WHIP on the season, the right-hander is only startable in a favorable matchup right now.

  • Bad news for Ike Davis, who will be placed back in a protective boot for three weeks after an MRI showed that his left ankle isn't healing. Meanwhile, teammate David Wright (back) is slated for an X-ray on Thursday.

  • After Matt Holliday (quad) returned on Monday, Tony La Russa told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that "We're not going to push it" with regard to the outfielder's injury. He then apparently stayed true to his word by scratching Holliday from Tuesday's lineup. No word as of Wednesday morning on whether or not Holliday would miss a second straight game. (Update: Holliday is headed for an MRI Wednesday, with a DL trip sounding like a distinct possibility.)

  • Ryan Zimmerman (abdominal surgery) will play in his first extended spring training game on Wednesday, but may still be a few weeks away from returning (June 11 marks the six-week mark of his surgery, which originally had a 6-8 week recovery timetable).

    Pitcher injury notes: Josh Johnson (shoulder) will throw a bullpen Thursday or Friday … Francisco Liriano (shoulder) expects to return on June 7 … Homer Bailey (shoulder) is hoping to return on June 11 … Vicente Padilla (forearm) could be activated Friday … Kris Medlen (elbow) could return as a reliever by late July or early August … John Lackey (elbow) allowed just one run in 5 2/3 innings in a Triple-A rehab start … Kyle McClellan (hip) is hoping to make his next scheduled start, but could still be placed on the DL … Jeff Niemann (back) will begin a minor league rehab assignment Friday at High-A … Brad Lidge (shoulder) topped out at 87 mph during an extended spring training game.

    Position player injury notes: Chipper Jones left Tuesday's game with a groin injury … Jason Kubel (foot) isn't expecting a trip to the DL … The Cubs placed Alfonso Soriano (quad) on the DL and recalled Tyler Colvin, who is worth considering in NL-Only leagues while Soriano is out a couple weeks … An MRI on Cameron Maybin's knee showed no structural damage, but he was placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 28 … David Freese (hand) believes he's ahead of schedule and could be back before the end of June … Adam Lind (back) took four at-bats at extended spring training, with the Jays hoping he can return this weekend … Derrek Lee (oblique) is targeting next week.

    Position player injury notes (part 2): Brandon Belt (wrist) is expected to be sidelined a couple of days … Juan Uribe (hip) could be back this weekend … Vernon Wells (groin) could begin a rehab assignment this weekend … Steven Pearce has been diagnosed with a partial tear in his right calf … Ryan Doumit (ankle) is expected to miss over a month … Casey Kotchman (ankle) was out of the starting lineup a second straight day … Julio Borbon (hamstring) should return next week.

    Lineup notes: Eric Wedge is giving Chone Figgins (.190 average this season) "a couple days" off, according to beat writer Greg Johns … Dan Uggla (.178 average) and Aubrey Huff (.219) were also out of the lineup to clear their heads … Garrett Jones (.161 since May 3) could be in danger of losing his starting job, with Xavier Paul and Matt Diaz the potential beneficiaries … Austin Jackson will get a day off Wednesday … The Jays are considering converting Dustin McGowan (who last appeared in the big leagues in 2008 due to shoulder problems) back to a starter after seeing him hit 95 mph as a reliever in extended spring training … Albert Pujols made his second start of the season at third base.

    Editor's Note: For exclusive columns, rankings, projections and more, check out Rotoworld's MLB Season Pass.

    Notable pitching: Jordan Lyles gave up one earned run with no walks and four strikeouts in seven innings against the Cubs in his first major league start … Carlos Zambrano threw eight innings of one-run ball in a no-decision against Houston … C.J. Wilson picked up his fourth 10-strikeout game of the season … Ted Lilly struck out eight while allowing two runs in seven innings to beat the Rockies … Anibal Sanchez beat the D'Backs with eight innings of two-run ball … R.A. Dickey struck out a career-high 10 against the Pirates … Chris Carpenter had a season-high eight strikeouts, but allowed seven hits, two walks and two runs in five innings … Brett Anderson gave up a career-worst nine earned runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Yankees.

    Notable hitting: Batting cleanup, Evan Longoria hit a decisive two-run homer … Danny Espinosa homered twice and drove in four … Curtis Granderson went 3-for-5 with his 17th homer, four RBI and a steal … Justin Smoak hit his eighth homer … Eric Hosmer went 2-for-4 with a steal, two runs and two RBI … Grady Sizemore went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI after sitting out Monday … Recently slowed by an illness, Corey Hart homered and drove in four.

  • Matt Stroup covers basketball, baseball and football for You can find him on Twitter here .
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