CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Brett Lawrie is expected to be out for at least the next few games because of tightness in his left groin.
The Blue Jays' third baseman suffered the injury while attempting to score from second base on an RBI single by J.P. Arencibia during Friday's game against the Rays.
Lawrie doesn't believe the ailment is anything serious and likely would return to action if it was the regular season, but with more than two weeks to go until Opening Day there's no reason to force the issue.
"Brett came in feeling good, yet we're going to side on the cautious side with his groin situation," Blue Jays manager John Farrell told reporters on Saturday morning. "It's likely to be multiple days before he's back on the field.
"He feels improved today, but we're going to be sure this is 100 percent out of his mind and certainly not feeling anything before we would even entertain the thought of getting him back into the lineup."
Lawrie did not require an MRI and was held out of batting practice on Saturday to give him a full day of proper rest. It's an injury Lawrie has dealt with in the past and he wants to be overly cautious to avoid a more serious setback in the future.
The high level of intensity that Lawrie plays with has created question marks about whether he's the type of player that can take part in 150-160 games a year. Farrell was quick to dismiss any of that talk and pointed to the fluke nature of last year's injuries as one of the main reasons that his style of play doesn't necessarily equate to those issues.
"We would never ask him to go less than his instincts tell him to," Farrell said of Lawrie's intensity. "All players are going to deal with injuries, some might say well look at how many games he missed last year. Well, he got hit in the hand with a pitch and he had a groundball bounce up and fracture his finger.
"Those are completely out of his control. I think as he gets into his career and gets established, I think he'll have a better feel -- and certainly not trying to take away from the intensity -- but I think he'll understand who he is as a player more and more."
Lawrie is set to embark on his first full season in the Major Leagues after an impressive debut in 2011. The native of Langley, British Columbia, hit .293 with nine home runs and 25 RBIs while posting a .953 OPS in just 150 at-bats.
This spring, Lawrie entered play Saturday with the American League lead in hits (14), doubles (six) and stolen bases (five). He also leads the Blue Jays with a .609 average (14-for-23) with a .625 on-base percentage and a .957 slugging percentage.