MacArthur: Lawrie to play third; Morrow diagnosed

Scott MacArthur
7/25/2013 11:57:46 PM
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TORONTO - Brett Lawrie started at third base in Thursday's series opener with the Houston Astros.

He'll remain there for the rest of the season. Most likely.

"There might be a time we put him (at second base,") said manager John Gibbons. "Watching that game (Wednesday) night, the plays he makes, he's always been good but there may be a time we play DeRosa (at third.) We always have the right to change our minds."

"Wherever the team needs me, I'm more than willing to go," said Lawrie before a 4-0 win over the Astros, which snapped the Blue Jays' season-high losing streak at seven games. "I guess, third base, me going back and forth, for me, it doesn't really matter, I'll go play second, I'll play anywhere. If you have the guys, people like Maicer (Izturis,) he plays second base, he's played it for quite some time. I've played third for quite some time so to switch it up every now and then, maybe if he's not in the game, I'll go over there. It's really not my call. Wherever they need me to go, I'm willing to go but I like third base. Third base is a good spot for me."

Lawrie's simply repeating his earlier stance. The 23-year-old, battling through an injury-plagued and otherwise inconsistent season, just wants to play.

What he needs is a set position and an opportunity to narrow his focus. The Blue Jays believe so much in Lawrie's athletic ability that an eventual switch isn't out of the question. Gibbons says, speaking hypothetically but in all seriousness, he believes Lawrie would be an effective shortstop or outfielder.

However, an in-season transition is a lot to ask. Lawrie made two errors, one fielding and one throwing, in six games at second.

"I feel fine over there at second base," said Lawrie. "It's not a question of if I'm uncomfortable or not. I'm not uncomfortable over there at all. It's just about getting reps and going over there and consistently play but if I don't get a chance to do that, then going back and forth, I've never been a utility guy, I've never bounced around from here to here to here and back. If I get a chance to play in a spot that I'm good at, then I like to play that spot. If it helps the team out, then that's what I'm there to do."

Morrow gets diagnosis

Starter Brandon Morrow, who last pitched for the Blue Jays on May 28, has been diagnosed with an entrapped radial nerve in his right forearm.

The prognosis is rest for six weeks. Morrow will be allowed to begin a throwing program when he's pain-free, whenever that its.

"We were hoping he was on the upswing but that hasn't happened," said Gibbons. "He was starting to feel better but he's still not right. He got looked at (Wednesday) and they think it's possibly a nerve issue in his arm because through the MRIs, he's had a couple of them, there was nothing structurally they could pinpoint so naturally they think it has something to do with a nerve."

It's unlikely Morrow will begin to throw until the second week of September, making it hard to imagine a scenario which would put him in a major league game before the end of the season.

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