Toronto Blue Jays: Lawrie May Debut, Bautista Tops All-Star Vote, McGowan Back

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Toronto Blue Jays: Lawrie May Debut, Bautista Tops All-Star Vote, McGowan Back
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Blue Jays' prospect Brett Lawrie could be called up as early as Friday, June 3rd for the Baltimore series.

Blue Jays fans, your wait might be over.  

Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos talked with ESPN's Buster Olney and various reporters on Wednesday about top prospect Brett Lawrie, suggesting that the Canadian was on the verge of a call-up. 

No official announcement has been made, but it is speculated that Lawrie could join the club for their upcoming road series against the Baltimore Orioles. Anthopoulos has stated several times that they were asking Lawrie to work on different aspects of his game at Triple-A, and it appears he has taken all the suggestions to heart.

Lawrie has greatly improved his defensive capabilities since starting the season and more discipline at the plate has improved his strikeout to walk ratio significantly.

Production at third base has been a sore spot for the Blue Jays this year and Lawrie could provide that offensive spark they are looking for.  

Arden Zwelling, of MLB.com, reports that Lawrie has been tearing up the Pacific Coast League. He is hitting .354 in 52 games this season, with 15 home runs and 49 RBI.  

Though offensive numbers are a bit skewed in the hitter friendly league, his success is evident as he leads the league in hits (79), extra-base hits (38), doubles (15), runs (51) and total bases (151).

Nick Laham/Getty Images
Dustin McGowan hasn't pitched for the Blue Jays since 2008, but is working to reclaim his starting role.

 

Jose Bautista's success at the plate is translating into a great deal of popularity among the public, as he currently leads the All-Star votes with 1.2 million.  

Bautista was widely thought to regress this season after his 54 home runs in 2010, but he has not only improved on last year's production, but added 100 points onto his batting average.

The American press have started to take note of the Toronto slugger this year and it looks like that coverage, and the Canadian fan support, has driven Bautista to the top of the All-Star balloting.  

 

Dustin McGowan, the Blue Jays pitcher who, due to injury, hasn't pitched in the majors since 2008, has been rehabbing his shoulder after his latest surgery. The Blue Jays staff had been considering McGowan for a relief role if he were to make his return to the majors, but due to his recent success, a starter role seems possible yet again.

The coaching staff and general manager feel, that in a starting role, it would be easier to regulate his recovery, with the periods of rest between each start and a careful pitch count.

McGowan is still a long way from returning, as he is yet to go multiple innings in extended spring training, but they are encouraged by the jump from around 87 mph to 95 mph in his velocity in the last few months.   

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