The Blue Jays lost Jose Reyes to a severe ankle sprain late last week, but they are close to getting another infielder back. Third baseman Brett Lawrie is playing in minor-league rehab games after opening the season on the DL with a ribcage injury, but there's a twist: He might be coming back as a second baseman.
MLB.com's Robert Falkoff confirmed with GM Alex Anthopoulos that the team is taking a look at Lawrie at second base given their current infield situation. Lawrie, for what it's worth, is open to the switch.
"We just wanted to take a look at it," Anthopoulos said to Falkoff, making sure to point out that nothing is final. "We feel we're deeper in the outfield. It's not something we're ready to commit to and, if we don't feel good about it, we won't go forward with it."
Anthopoulos mentioned outfield depth because, with Lawrie at second, Jose Bautista would move from right field to third base. Either Emilio Bonifacio or Maicer Izturis would then fill in at short. Bautista has more than 3,000 innings of third-base experience in his career, including 25 games at the position as recently as 2011.
Outside of four innings at shortstop in a blowout game last year, the 23-year-old Lawrie has played third base exclusively during his time in the big leagues. He was originally drafted as a catcher but moved all around the field as a minor leaguer before settling in at the hot corner. He hasn't played second regularly since 2010, when he was in Double-A.
Lawrie is a career .278/.336/.446 hitter in 168 big-league games. He went 2 for 4 in his only minor-league rehab game thus far.