Injured Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie is making steady progress in his rehabilitation from a strained rib cage and is set to begin playing in extended spring training games on Thursday, according to John Lott of the National Post.
Lawrie, 23, was placed on the disabled list March 31, retroactive to March 22nd, with an injury to his left rib cage. Lawrie suffered the strain during the World Baseball Classic with Team Canada, injured in an exhibition match-up with the Chicago White Sox.
In an interview with Alex Anthopoulos, the Blue Jays general manager professed to being encouraged by Lawrie’s progress and said that if all goes well, the third baseman could possibly rejoin the team in Toronto when they host the visiting Yankees on Friday April 19th.
“We talked about it internally, maybe the New York series at home, maybe the Baltimore series on the road. That would give him enough time in the minor leagues.”
The Blue Jays would be very excited to see Lawrie return, as they’ve been dealing with the underwhelming duo of Emilio Bonifacio and Maicer Izturis, who rather than platooning at second base, have been getting regular at bats and playing time in Lawrie’s absence. The pair is hitting a lowly .235 with 1 home run and 1 RBI through 8 games, and Jays’ third basemen have also committed 3 errors in Lawrie’s absence.
According to Baseball-Reference.com, Lawrie has saved 34 runs above average over the course of his 168 games played. He also brings a solid upgrade offensively to the line-up as well, and will look to improve upon his 2012 season, where Lawrie hit .273 with a .729 OPS while posting a 4.3 bWAR.