Two months after a call-up to the major leagues was imminent, the Toronto Blue Jays have finally brought up third baseman and top prospect Brett Lawrie. Just before there were murmurs of Lawrie getting called up, he was hit on his hand in a minor league game and had to leave. Initially, the injury was thought to be just a bruise (as reported by Lawrie himself) but subsequent tests revealed a fracture.
Lawrie reportedly hit off a tee a month after the injury. He rehabbed at the Blue Jays' High-A club in Florida for four games before re-joining the Las Vegas 51s - the Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate. He has been back with the 51s since July 19th, waiting for the call up to the bigs.
Prior to this season, he was ranked as the 40th prospect overall by Baseball America. He was originally in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, but was traded to the Blue Jays for Shaun Marcum. Although Lawrie will most likely become the starting third baseman for the Jays, Kevin Goldstein believes that his ultimate position will be as a corner outfielder.
There aren't many qualms with his ability to hit, though. Kevin Goldstein wrote a few weeks ago (Subscriber) that "the explosion in power was the real deal" and Baseball America gave his bat tool a grade of 65 on the 20-80 scouting scale before this season.
Lawrie will replace Jose Bautista as the third baseman, moving Bautista back to right field. This will create a situation where the left-handed Eric Thames and right-handed Edwin Encarnacion may share the DH role.