Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie, who was on the verge of taking over as Toronto’s third baseman before suffering a fractured hand May 31, will begin a rehab assignment at Single-A Dunedin tonight.
Lawrie hit .354/.415/.677 with 15 homers and 49 RBI in 52 games for Triple-A Las Vegas before going down, and the common belief was that he was only a couple of days away from getting promoted to the majors.
Unfortunately, Lawrie’s six-week absence has seen circumstances change in a big way. The Jays were trying to get by with Jayson Nix, Edwin Encarnacion and John McDonald at third base before Lawrie got hurt. Now they’ve reinstalled Jose Bautista at his old position, and they have youngsters Travis Snider and Eric Thames playing well in the outfield corners at the moment.
Depending on how he comes back, Lawrie may have to wait until September for his promotion now. He could force his way onto the major league roster if he immeditely resumes hitting like he did during the first two months, but the Blue Jays are content with their corner situation as is. They might even decided to stick Lawrie in an outfield corner, given that he’s struggled so far with the adjustment to third base. Bautista, though he prefers to play the outfield, is the better defender of the two.