Brett Lawrie could be out almost a month with a strained left oblique, Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said.
Lawrie, who felt pain during batting practice before his return to the lineup Tuesday and left the game after three innings, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday.
Before Thursday night’s game, Anthopoulos said the team wasn’t expecting Lawrie to be back until September, citing the typical three to six week recovery time for this kind of injury.
Lawrie suffered an oblique strain in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, and though Anthopoulos said it’s on the same side, this is not the same injury.
The 24-year-old third baseman had just missed six weeks with a broken right index finger. The oblique strain is at least the ninth injury he has had during three-plus seasons in the major leagues.
With Lawrie out, Danny Valencia was penciled in to start at third base in the series finale against the Baltimore Orioles. Manager John Gibbons said his plan was to split time between Valencia and Juan Francisco once Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion return.
Lind, who has been out with a fractured right foot, could be back as soon as Monday, according to Anthopoulos. Encarnacion (right quadriceps) could also return next week, Anthopoulos said.
Infielder Steve Tolleson is expected to come off the paternity list Friday after his wife gave birth earlier in the week. For Thursday night’s game, the Blue Jays filled Lawrie’s spot on the roster by recalling left-handed reliever Rob Rasmussen from Triple-A Buffalo.
In another roster move, the club signed catcher George Kottaras to a minor-league contract. The Markham, Ont., native will report to Buffalo.