May 3, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie (13) stretches in the dugout before playing the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie has not played since tweaking his hamstring on May 5th, and his manager is not planning on the young third baseman returning to the line-up again Friday night. However, his return is not that far away, as tweeted by Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.
The news of Lawrie not needing a DL stint is more than encouraging for the suddenly hot Blue Jays, as adding their everyday third baseman would only seem to make them stronger. However, it will create an additional roster crunch for the man who has been holding down the fort in Lawrie’s absence.
Juan Francisco has been playing some inspired baseball since the Blue Jays first called him up to cover for Adam Lind. The lefty slugger has put up a slash-line of .311/.403/.623 with 5 home runs and 12 RBI in his 72 plate appearances with the Blue Jays. That’s the kind of performance that leaves teams scrambling to find roster spots and to also consider position shifts, as they showed by sliding Lawrie over to second base during the Pittsburgh series.
Then again, Lawrie was coming around as well when the hamstring bit him. In his last 12 games, Lawrie was hitting .383/.420/.638 with 3 home runs and 9 RBI. He’s also openly stated that he is not in favor of a move to second base, so it will be interesting to see how the John Gibbons and the Blue Jays address their desire to have both getting playing time.
For now, we’ll simply count of Lawrie returning this weekend. We’ll let the Blue Jays sort out how they want to handle their line-up.