Brett Lawrie will make season debut in the next couple of days

Lawrie set to return for Jays in the next couple of days

4/15/13 in MLB   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Blog Photo - Brett Lawrie will make season debut in the next couple of daysIt's always disappointing to see a promising young player begin the season on the DL, but for Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie (ribs), his delayed season debut is very much in sight. Lawrie went 2-for-4 on Sunday in his first rehab game, and manager John Gibbons said the 23 year old will be activated in the "next couple of days."

Lawrie, a first-round pick in 2008, will look to regain the form he had in his rookie year that got Jays fans so excited about him. In 2011, Lawrie batted .293 with nine home runs, 25 RBI, 26 runs scored, and seven steals in only 43 games. He regressed a bit on a per-game basis in 2012, batting .273 with 11 home runs, 48 RBI, 73 runs scored, and 13 steals (125 games). Still only 23 years old, Lawrie will be looking to put up the best numbers of his career in 2013.

Though Lawrie generally plays third base, he started at second base in his rehab game, and could see some time there upon his return to the majors. The injury to shortstop Jose Reyes has dismantled the Jays' middle infield, which may result in Lawrie getting some starts at second base while Maicer Izturis replaces Reyes at shortstop. General manager Alex Anthopoulos has stated that Lawrie will primarily be a third baseman, but that the club will have the option to move him to second base once a week if necessary. If Lawrie were able to gain second base eligibility in fantasy leagues, it would be a nice boost to his value.

When Lawrie plays third base, the Jays will have the option of using Emilio Bonafacio at second base and Izturis at shortstop. They could also stick Izturis at second and Munenori Kawasaki at shortstop, as they have the past two games. If Lawrie plays second base, the Jays feel comfortable moving Jose Bautista in from the outfield to play third. For what it's worth, Anthopoulos has explored options via trade to bolster the middle infield, though he said he does not foresee a deal based on the current asking prices of his desired players.

Lawrie is poised for a nice season once he returns, regardless of what position he plays. He brings a lot of different traits when he steps up to the plate. He has displayed an ability to hit for contact and power (though his power dropped last season), and is always a threat running the bases. He will provide a boost to a Blue Jays lineup that has struggled so far this season, and should be worth plugging into fantasy lineups shortly after his return.
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