Once again, Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie is knocking on the door of the big leagues.
Lawrie was on the verge of being called up in May when he was hit in the hand by a fastball, suffering a non-displaced fracture in his left hand. But he's back and in 16 games with Triple-A Las Vegas since coming off the disabled list, Lawrie is hitting .344/.417/.625 with three home runs.
Blue Jays manager John Farrell told reporters Lawrie was still in the team's immediate plans.
"We haven't changed from our goal of getting him at-bats and games played at the big-league level prior to September," Farrell told reporters, including Ken Fidlin of QMI Agency.
When he's called up, the team will have to make a decision not at third base, but in right field. Jose Bautista will move from third base to right field. The team could send down either outfielders Travis Snider or Eric Thames, or release designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion.
Thames is hitting .285/.326/.485, while Snider is hitting .236/.282/.368. Both are young, though. Thames is 24 and Snider is just 23. That could mean the odd man out is Encarnacion. Encarnacion, 28, is hitting .270/.314/.444, but has seen his homers decrease to just nine this season in 325 plate appearances. Last season he had 21 homers in 367 plate appearances.
"The most important thing is that we're getting to a point with our roster that performance -- what you do between the lines -- directly impacts that decision," Farrell said.
Lawrie was acquired in the offseason in a trade with the Brewers that sent Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee and sent Lawrie, a native of British Columbia, to Toronto.