ST. PETERSBURG -- The Blue Jays added another name to their list of walking wounded on Thursday morning when they placed Brett Lawrie on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique.
Lawrie becomes the 15th Blue Jays player this season to hit the DL. A corresponding roster move will not be announced until the club returns to Toronto on Friday.
The 22-year-old had been optimistic about avoiding a prolonged absence from the lineup, but when the injury failed to show noticeable signs of improvement over the past few days, the club was left with no choice.
"Just to make sure there's no potential for a recurrence or a reaggravation of the injury," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of the roster move, which is retroactive to Aug. 4. "This way it gives him another eight days to address the situation, let the symptoms completely clear up, rather than risking further injury if he were to get back into a game too soon."
Lawrie felt a pinching sensation in his rib cage during an at-bat against Oakland on Aug. 3. He was removed from the game after the plate appearance and originally was listed as day to day.
In the days that followed, Lawrie received regular treatment with the hopes of getting back into the lineup. He began throwing again on Wednesday and went through some dry swings Thursday, but he is not yet to the point of being able to go through full baseball activities.
"I think it will help in the sense that he comes in every day wondering if today is the day," Farrell said. "If he knows that he's got eight more days in which he's ineligible because of the DL, hopefully that relaxes his mind enough, and maybe that promotes additional healing.
"I'm not trying to get too deep, but if he knows that he has a defined period of inactivity coming up, he can focus solely on some of the movements and strengthening to help the oblique get back to normal."
Prospect Adeiny Hechavarria will continue to start at third base during Lawrie's absence. Farrell indicated prior to his club's series finale against Tampa Bay that the Blue Jays likely will add an eighth reliever to the bullpen, instead of making a roster move for an additional position player.
Lawrie is batting .282 with nine home runs and 40 RBIs in 100 games this season. He has 32 extra-base hits and a .742 OPS while walking 22 times in 397 at-bats.
No new developments from Bautista's second MRI
ST. PETERSBURG -- Jose Bautista can move forward with the rehab program for his injured left wrist knowing there isn't any additional damage in the area.
Bautista underwent a second MRI on Wednesday which came back with the same diagnosis as the one performed in the middle of July.
The news didn't come as a major surprise to Bautista, but it still provided some much-needed positive news for a club that can ill afford to lose its slugger for the rest of the year.
"They didn't have to do [a second MRI]," Bautista said. "It's just more the doctor trying to be cautious before I get the bat back in my hands. What he was thinking was the same thing that came back. It's just still inflammation, not further damage, so it hasn't got any worse.
"It's getting better, but slowly. I would hope that it would be healing quicker, but it's not. We're going to just give it a couple more days, then start hitting Monday."
Bautista has been out since injuring his left wrist during an at-bat on July 16 in New York. He began hitting off a tee and taking dry swings midway through his rehab but was then shutdown on Aug. 1 when the pain did not subside.
The 31-year-old has now been cleared to resume swinging on Monday. Despite the setback, Bautista doesn't think he will need to start from square one all over again, and he expects to be able to pick up the intensity of his baseball activities relatively quickly.
"It'll be a progression," Bautista said. "But I don't think I have to go all the way back to just dry swings. I think I'll hit the ball right out of the gates and take it from there."
Morrow makes first Double-A rehab start
ST. PETERSBURG -- Right-hander Brandon Morrow allowed two runs in his first rehab start for Double-A New Hampshire on Wednesday night.
Morrow, who has been out since June 12 with a strained left oblique, surrendered three hits while striking out two over five innings of work.
The native of California will now make at least one more rehab start for the Fisher Cats before being considered for a return to the big leagues.
"Physically fine, 51 pitches in the five innings," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "So the goal was to get him to 65 pitches [Wednesday] night to make his next start about 80-85, which is kind of an ideal number of pitches to get him back to before he gets back to a game here.
"He'll start in another five days and we'll reassess at that point if the number of pitches in his next outing are enough to get him back here, or does he need one additional start prior to being activated."
Farrell said Morrow possessed consistent velocity throughout his outing for New Hampshire and didn't show any ill effects from the injury that has kept him out of action for two months.
Morrow had been the Blue Jays' top pitcher at the time of his injury. He is 7-4 with a 3.01 ERA in 13 starts this season, with 67 strikeouts and 24 walks.