DeRosa gets call at third in series finale

DeRosa gets call at third in series finale

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays intend to mix and match at third base until Brett Lawrie is able to return from a strained left oblique muscle later this month.

Infielder Maicer Izturis got the call in the first two games of the season, but the duties were handed over to Mark DeRosa for the series finale versus Cleveland.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said the decision was made in part to get DeRosa some playing time and also to take advantage of his 7-for-16 track record against Indians starter Brett Myers.

"He's going to play tomorrow against a lefty anyway, and he's fared pretty good against Myers, so give him back-to-back games," Gibbons said. "That usually helps those guys, and you want to get them all in early so you don't waste their Spring Trainings too."

Izturis has the ability to play three infield positions, but so far this season his work at third base has come under question. Izturis missed a chopper through the infield on Tuesday night in a play that was originally ruled an error but later changed to a single.

During Wednesday's game, Izturis narrowly avoided another error following a botched catch on a soft liner. Later in the game, he had another miscue on a throw across the field which allowed Michael Brantley to score all the way from first base.

The mistakes were glaring, but Gibbons said that didn't factor into his decision on whether to give Izturis another start.

"No, he's played it in his career," Gibbons said. "He didn't get a whole lot of work over there, with what happened late [in spring] with Brett. But he's been around a long time, playing all over for a good ballclub out there in Anaheim so he knows what he's doing."

When Lawrie eventually returns from the DL, Izturis and Emilio Bonifacio are expected to split time at second base. There was talk about Bonifacio's defensive woes during Spring Training, but so far this season there hasn't been any issues and he has made a handful of nice plays both up the middle and when shaded towards first base.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.