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DeRosa taking Lawrie under his wing this spring


DUNEDIN, Fla. -- It's no accident that veteran infielder Mark DeRosa's locker at the Blue Jays' Spring Training complex is beside the one owned by Brett Lawrie.

The hope is that DeRosa will be able to provide some guidance throughout camp and the season to Toronto's young third baseman.

It's often hard to gauge just how valuable leadership is inside of a clubhouse, but manager John Gibbons believes there will be a clear benefit to the pairing.

"That's his reputation -- he's a great teammate, he gets the most out of guys," Gibbons said of DeRosa. "He's one of the those guys you never hear a bad thing about. Guys want him on their club, even through all the injuries and things.

"That'll do wonders because Brett's still a young kid learning at this level. [DeRosa's] been through it."

DeRosa was signed to a one-year contract to provide a veteran presence in the clubhouse. It's a role that was filled by Omar Vizquel in 2012.

DeRosa seems to be taking a different approach. He's been attached at the hip to Lawrie during the early stages of camp as the two have gone through infield drills together and shared plenty of stories along the way.

That might not lead to better results in the field, but could become beneficial when Lawrie's -- at times -- over-aggressive approach needs to be reined in.

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