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Banged up Blue Jays find themselves in a bind

May 27, 2012, 6:11 PM EST

Brett Lawrie Reuters

Jose Bautista thought he was finished being a third baseman. Brett Lawrie had never even gotten started at shortstop. Yet both players were forced to change positions after Yunel Escobar injured his groin in Sunday’s loss to the Rangers.

With Kelly Johnson absent due to a sore hamstring and Yan Gomes getting sent down before the game, the Blue Jays opened Sunday with only Rajai Davis and Jeff Mathis on the bench. After Escobar’s injury, manager John Farrell shifted Bautista to the infield for the first time in 2012 and put Lawrie in a position he hadn’t played since high school.

Bautista started 25 games at third base last year and is certainly no stranger to the position, but he had started in right field exclusively this year. Lawrie started out as a second baseman in the minors before being shifted to third upon being acquired by the Blue Jays in the Shaun Marcum trade with the Brewers.

The Blue Jays could have simply used Lawrie at second and moved Omar Vizquel to shortstop after Escobar went down. However, they probably didn’t want to risk Lawrie having to turn a blind double play when he hasn’t worked on it in a couple of years. At least at shortstop, he could see a runner bearing down on him. The Jays certainly didn’t want to risk an injury to such a big piece of their future.

The Jays also had the option of forfeiting their DH and using Edwin Encarnacion at third base or even shortstop had they wanted to go that route.

  1. proudlycanadian - May 27, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Gomes was sent down because they needed fresh arms in the bullpen. Johnson had a cortisone shot a couple of days ago and is probable for tomorrow. Down at Triple A Las Vegas, young short stop Adeiny Hechavarria is ready for his MLB close up. A lot of Jays fans want to see him play.

  2. jason9696 - May 27, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Poor starting pitching and bad managing will put you in a bind also. The Jays pitchers got hammered in the first and last game against the powerful Rangers. And I really have no clue why John Farrell didn’t walk Josh Hamilton last night. He’s the one guy you don’t want to beat you.

  3. biasedhomer - May 27, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    So how did he do at SS?

  4. Charles Gates - May 28, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    And the fantasy players with a stacked DL are watching the potential position eligibility changes like hawks…

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