Close calls for Lawrie
By MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency
|Blue Jays infielder Brett Lawrie balances a baseball on his fingers at their spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida in this February 25, 2011 file photo. (REUTERS/Mike Cassese)
TORONTO - Brett Lawrie is starting to look like a Canadian baseball legend.
Unfortunately, that legend is Ron Hunt, the former Montreal Expo who once owned the major-league record for career hit by pitches.
Lawrie was plunked again Sunday in his final rehab game for class-A Dunedin, and left the game. Saturday, he was hit by a pitch twice, including one that got him on the back of his left hand.
Lawrie, of course, was knocked out of the lineup of the Las Vegas 51s in early June within a day or two of promotion to the Blue Jays, after suffering a non-displaced fracture to the back of his left hand when hit by a pitch.
There was no re-injury suffered when hit on Saturday, Jays manager John Farrell reported, due to the fact the third baseman is wearing a protective hard shield on the back of his batting glove.
Lawrie is scheduled to move to triple-A Las Vegas for an unspecified period to time.
The Jays remain hopeful that Jose Bautista, who has been absent since he sprained his right ankle Thursday, will be able to return to the lineup Tuesday when the club opens a three-game series at home against the Seattle Mariners.
“He continues to improve. (Sunday) he’ll go down to the cage and do some change of balance drills, he’ll swing off a tee, take some soft toss, just to start some baseball activity,” Farrell said of his slugging third baseman. “Tuesday is still very much a possibility.”
READY TO RUMBLE
RHP Casey Janssen should be back with the Jays on Tuesday following his rehab assignment with double-A New Hampshire. Janssen has not allowed a run in four rehab appearances and will make one final appearance Sunday giving him back-to-back outings on consecutive days for the first time. “We expect him to be ready to go once we get through today,” Farrell said.
If Janssen returns, a reliever would have to be shipped out with lefty Luis Perez the most obvious candidate.