TORONTO - In comes Colby Rasmus to play centre field.
In comes Brett Lawrie to play third base.
How much better are the Blue Jays in August then they were on opening day?
“We have a younger lineup, we’re more athletic,” manager John Farrell told reporters. “I was saying to one of the guys earlier. You can’t wait for these guys to come up again. There is excitement, getting to know the new players.”
Infield coach Brian Butterfield said Lawrie’s defence at third base has improved since he saw him during spring training. Butterfield credited Las Vegas manager Marty Brown and roving infield coach Mike Mordecai, as well as Lawrie himself.
“He has a better approach to ground balls now,” Butterfield said. “He’s still a little raw and he’ll admit he has work to do, but we’re off to a good start. He had some good schooling while he was there.”
Another young 'un
Right-hander Henderson Alvarez, 21, makes his debut Wednesday against the A’s.
Farrell was asked if he remembered his first outing with the 1987 Indians.
“I couldn’t feel myself on the mound, it’s an exciting time,” Farrell told reporters. “Like Friday for Brett Lawrie. He had some nerves, some adreneline flowing, but you wouldn’t have known it by the time we left Baltimore Sunday night.”
To make room for Alavrez, who starts in place of injured Carlos Villanueva, lefty reliever Wil Ledezma was sent to triple-A Las Vegas. Ledezma, 30, had a 9.00 ERA in two games for with the Jays, covering three innings pitched. He was 1-1 earlier this season with Vegas, with a 4.63 ERA in 34 appearances. Brad Mills starts the finale for the Jays.
At class-A Dunedin, Drew Hutchison (4-2) has a 2.63 ERA after throwing six shutout innings in his most recent start. Hutchison has a 1.50 ERA in his last five starts, striking out 36 in 30 innings.