Lawrie injury prompts Bautista move to third wire reports

ST. LOUIS -- Blue Jays manager John Farrell says one of the biggest reasons he's moving Jose Bautista to third base is top prospect Brett Lawrie probably won't be ready until August.

The former first-round pick, acquired in a trade for Sean Marcum, is rehabbing from a broken left hand sustained when he was hit by a pitch May 31 with Triple-A Las Vegas. The Blue Jays had been on the verge of recalling Lawrie before the injury.

Lawrie's rehab is taking longer than expected because he's having trouble gripping the bat. He was batting .354 with 15 homers and 49 RBI in 52 games in the minors.

"Every time we seem to put a timeline on it, we've had to adjust it," Farrell said. "The fact is he's feeling some discomfort and small amount of pain when he grips the bat. The injury hasn't worsened, it's just taken a little more time to heal."

Bautista is getting extra work at third base and Farrell said the slugger, who led the majors with 22 homers entering Friday night's interleague game against the Cardinals, could make the move as soon as Sunday to give the lineup more offensive potential.

Blue Jays third basemen are batting .177 with five home runs and 26 RBI.

Bautista played third base until the final week of spring training.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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