Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie suffered a rib injury and is not available for the World Baseball Classic.
Lawrie tweaked his rib cage during an exhibition game yesterday against the Cincinnati Reds, which forced him to exit the contest earlier than planned.
MLB reports that he is out for two weeks with a rib injury and will miss the entire World Baseball Classic. This is a huge blow for the Canadian contingent at the Classic as well as for the Blue Jays and their promising young season.
“[It's a] strain in 10th rib on left side and oblique, felt similar to what he felt on right side last year. Playing with it nagging won’t help Blue Jays or Canada. This is tough on me and tough on everybody,” Lawrie said.
There is no question that he is obviously upset over the injury, but he realizes the big picture and the ramifications if he is not available come opening day for the Blue Jays. He is a huge supporter of Canadian baseball and called out fellow Canadian Russell Martin earlier this week for his decision to abandon ship on Team Canada.
Team Canada will look to the Milwaukee Brewers‘ Taylor Green to replace Lawrie at the hot corner for the tourney. Green played 58 games last season for the Brewers, hitting .184 in 117 plate appearances.
Canada is undoubtedly going to have an uphill battle without the likes of Lawrie, Martin, Ryan Dempster and Scott Diamond donning the red and white for the Classic.
Clayton Richer covers the Toronto Blue Jays for Rant Sports. Follow and interact with him on Twitter at @MLBHotCorner.