Now Commenting On:

{"event":["spring_training" ] }

Lawrie's absence alters infield defense

Lawrie's absence alters infield defense play video for Lawrie's absence alters infield defense

PHILADELPHIA -- When the Blue Jays announced third baseman Brett Lawrie would start the season on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his rib cage, the prevailing thought was that infield defense would struggle. That said, Mark DeRosa is a capable backup, and Jose Reyes, Maicer Izturis and Emilio Bonifacio give manager John Gibbons plenty of options.

"We struggled early, up the middle," Gibbons said of his infield defense. "We made quite a few errors early in camp, but it's better now. Bonifacio has settled in. I feel good about it now. A lot of it had to be get in games and settle in. You know, you can play Izturis anywhere. Reyes is set for short, and DeRosa over at third. I think he has a lot left in the tank."

But don't think for a second the manager wants Lawrie to return any later than the fifth game of the season, when he is eligible to return to the roster.

"There's no doubt once we get Lawrie back, we're better," Gibbons said. "He has so much range and is so athletic over there."

Mike Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español