Lawrie could get call sooner rather than later

Lawrie could get call sooner rather than later

Lawrie could get call sooner rather than later
TORONTO -- Top prospect Brett Lawrie has continued to improve his plate discipline at Triple-A Las Vegas through the second month of the season, and he could be manning third base for the Blue Jays sooner rather than later.

Manager John Farrell caught reporters off guard during his pregame media session on Friday, throwing out Lawrie's name as a candidate to play third base for him in the near future.

"[Jayson] Nix, [John McDonald], Edwin [Encarnacion] -- we've got three options there. And then, when Brett Lawrie comes, there's another one," Farrell said when asked about his options at the position.

Farrell wouldn't offer a timeframe of when Lawrie could expect to be called up to the big leagues -- "In due time," was all he said -- but general manager Alex Anthopoulos indicated that Lawrie is giving the team little option but to bring him up.

"If he keeps doing what he's doing, he's going to certainly force our hand. I'm not afraid to say that," Anthopoulos said.

After going 1-for-4 with an RBI and a walk on Thursday night, Lawrie is hitting .335 with nine home runs, 32 RBIs and nine stolen bases.

The 21-year-old has shown impressive power, with 26 of his 58 hits going for extra bases, and he has improved his plate discipline, drawing nine walks in his last 10 games after walking just five times in his first 30.

The Blue Jays specifically asked Lawrie -- who is just two years removed from playing high school baseball in British Columbia -- to be more patient at the plate, and they have been impressed with the results.

"I'm very pleased with how he's responded to us asking him to be a little more selective in his at-bats," Anthopoulos said. "We're not asking him to go up there and walk. But we're asking him to be a little bit more selective and have a little bit more of a plan."

Lawrie was taking three pitches or fewer in most of his early at-bats but has been more patient of late, drawing upwards of five or six pitches.

"When I look at our game reports, the first thing I look at is the number of pitches seen per plate appearance," Anthopoulos said. "I get excited when I read a game report -- even if he lines out or pops up -- and they say he laid off sliders down and away or had a good at-bat."