The Cincinnati Reds were in the middle of destroying Team Canada in an exhibition game in Goodyear, Arizona when the Toronto Blue Jays' and Canada's third baseman Brett Lawrie was unexpectedly pinch hit for by Taylor Green in the top of the third inning. I was listening to the Reds' broadcast of the game, and it actually took three pitches into Green's at bat before the commentators realized that it wasn't Lawrie batting. Having struck out in his first at bat, I was a bit worried that something was wrong, but thought that perhaps the early drubbing had meant that Lawrie could leave early and go enjoy the nightlife in Goodyear.
I hope that Lawrie was taken out because of garbage time and not because of any injuries.— Minor Leaguer (@Minor_Leaguer) March 7, 2013
Fortunately, a Team Canada propagandist came out to report that everything was alright about ten minutes later:
Team Canada media relations telling us Lawrie is fine. Just subsituted, likely due to the blowout.— Barry Davis (@SNBarryDavis) March 7, 2013
Unfortunately it was a lie--or misreporting--because when Shi Davidi spoke with Canadian manager Ernie Whitt after the game, the story was a little different. Whitt said that Lawrie had felt a "twinge" and it is a "wait-and-see" situation right now with regards to his ability to play in Friday afternoon's opener against Team Italia.
Brett Lawrie left Canada game after 3 innings after feeling minor twinge on side. Manager Ernie Whitt says he'll be re-evaluated tomorrow— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) March 7, 2013
Asked if Lawrie might miss Friday's #WBC opener, Whitt said: "We’ll see how he feels (Thursday). It’s a wait and see right now." #BlueJays— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) March 7, 2013
It is interesting that it was not reported which side Lawrie had felt the "twinge." I don't know if it was because Davidi failed to ask or because Whitt refused to tell. In any case, Sportsnet's Mark Sheldon reminded us that Lawrie did miss significant time last season with an oblique strain (possibly caused by his trip down the Yankee Stadium camera well).
Let's hope for the best. Hopefully Lawrie would feel much better in the morning and can play with Team Canada, but if he has any significant pain, I hope he would pull himself from the team and get the Blue Jays' team doctors to evaluate him properly.
As for the game, it pretty much sucked, just like the final score of 12-2 Cincinnati shows. Of the Blue Jays involved in the event, Adam Loewen had the best night, smacking a two-run homer off of Mat Latos in the second inning. It was the first homer given up by a Reds starting pitcher this spring, although this was an exhibition game (stats from fake fake spring games aren't counted with the stats from the fake spring games). Lawrie, as mentioned, struck out in his only at bat before being pinch hit for. Trystan Magnuson, who came in relief of starter Mark Hardy, gave up a couple of three-run home runs, one to Ryan Ludwick (younger brother of former Blue Jay Eric Ludwick) and another to former Blue Jay Miguel Olivo.