Milwaukee Brewers: Why isn’t Brett Lawrie participating?

Matthew Dewoskin
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 23: Brett Lawrie #15 of the Chicago White Sox poses on Chicago White Sox Photo Day during Spring Taining on February 23, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 23: Brett Lawrie #15 of the Chicago White Sox poses on Chicago White Sox Photo Day during Spring Taining on February 23, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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The Milwaukee Brewers added infielder Brett Lawrie on a Minor League deal a few weeks ago, but he won’t play in Spring Training. Find out why…

The good news is that Brett Lawrie isn’t injured. The bad news is that he won’t participate in baseball activities for the next six weeks, and he’s a solid bet to stick around in extended Spring Training for a while. What’s going on with the Milwaukee Brewers former first rounder?

Why is Lawrie being held out?

The short answer is that he isn’t in baseball shape yet, and will need time to get his body conditioned for the rigors of a full season. However, it’s clear that the Milwaukee Brewers do have a plan in place for Lawrie. His deal came with an option for a second season, and it looks like that’s when Lawrie can realistically expect to get his comeback rolling in full. This year is about getting his body and timing back to where they need to be. In fact, GM David Stearns said as much…

What will Lawrie’s 2019 season look like?

It probably starts with six weeks of conditioning drills with the team in Arizona followed by some time in extended Spring Training. How long that takes really depends on how quickly Lawrie can get into shape. After that, he’ll probably get assigned to Single-A, and start playing in games again. If he can handle Single-A pitching after a two-year layoff, he could advance to Double-A this year with an eye towards making it back to the Majors in 2020.

Lawrie is still only 29 years old. He’s starting a comeback in what should be the prime of his career, so time is on his side. Even if it takes a year or two to get back into Major League shape, he’ll only be 30 or 31 years old. He could theoretically play four or five years in the Majors if his comeback is successful.

Next. What are the must-watch story lines this Spring?. dark

While it was exciting to see the Milwaukee Brewers connected to Lawrie again, he’s a long way off from making a comeback to the Majors. It wasn’t completely unexpected to have a few hiccups and delays in his comeback. This is one of them. Lawrie will play in games in 2019, but there’s a very small chance that he sees a Major League field this year.

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