White Sox second baseman has battled injuries throughout his career. With stiff competition, can the native Canadian remain healthy and start this upcoming season?
Chicago White Sox second baseman Brett Lawrie has battled injuries throughout his MLB career. Last season was no exception as he was ultimately sidelined for the season after injuring his hamstring in late July.
With stiff competition at second base this spring, Lawrie needs a healthy season to remain the starting second baseman. Tyler Saladino, who filled in for Lawrie last season had a solid 2016 in which he had career highs in batting average (.282), home runs (8) and games played (93). The Sox also have a future second baseman in camp in Yoan Moncada.
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The Sox have depth at second base and can quickly replace Lawrie if he’s injured again this season. Although Lawrie didn’t play more than 100 games last season, he will need to play more games in 2017 in his contract year.
Lawrie has only played more than 145 games once in his career in 2015 with the Oakland Athletics. He appeared in a career high 149 games for the Athletics in 2015. Other than the 2015 season, Lawrie hasn’t appeared in more than 125 games in any other season in his career. With the Sox having capable replacements in Saladino and possibly Moncada, Lawrie could find himself on the bench if he’s injured again.
The Sox don’t have to worry about needing Lawrie for a full season with their depth at second base. If he starts the season as the starting second baseman, they could trade him if he has a strong first half. However, Lawrie could be outplayed by Saladino during Spring Training and not be the starting second baseman on opening day.
This upcoming season will be very important for Lawrie as he needs to stay healthy in order to attract a solid contract during free agency in the offseason. The Sox would certainly benefit from having Lawrie healthy for this season, but they do have other options in case he’s injured again.