When it was announced earlier this week that 3rd baseman Brett Lawrie had his rehab shut down – perhaps as a result of taking his eagerness to play a little too far – I think the general consensus was that well, that’s gotta be it for Lawrie’s season, right? I mean, the Toronto Blue Jays had no real reason to bring Lawrie back, with the season essentially a write-off. The team might as well squeeze every last dollar’s worth of value out of Omar Vizquel at 3rd base at this point.
Sure, Lawrie will want to come back this season, but wanting to and being physically able to are two different things, as Lawrie learned by not being quite forward enough about his physical condition while trying to rush back.
I’m sure he wouldn’t mind playing with some lingering pain in his oblique if it meant that he could still take the field and swing the bat, but is that something that the Blue Jays want to risk with one of their cornerstone players? Probably not. All of this is a long way of saying that I think it’d be a surprise if Lawrie wound up returning this season for a handful of games.
Which is why I was somewhat surprised when I read this:
Still no timeline for Brett Lawrie’s return, Farrell said, though he does expect him sometime in September.
— Brendan Kennedy (@BKennedyStar) August 25, 2012
Here’s what we do know: Lawrie was playing rehab games at the time that he re-aggravated the injury to his oblique, something that was described as a “significant” setback. He won’t be able to play in another rehab game until at least tomorrow, something that’s probably more hopeful than realistic as he’s supposed to be shut down from baseball activities, meaning it’ll likely take a little bit of time to get back up to speed in order for another rehab stint in the minors.
Provided that everything goes swimmingly, it’s possible that Lawrie could end up back in the Blue Jays lineup in the 2nd week of September. The lack of a timeline suggests that “as early as possible” probably isn’t in the books, though, and it’s very possible that the setback is being treated as a brand new injury, making it unlikely that Lawrie would be back until near the end of September; and if that’s the case, really, what is the benefit of having him play the last couple of weeks? To end the season on a positive note, perhaps?
Still, there you have it. Despite what seems to be unlikely odds that he would be ready, and the lack of a reason to hurry back, Lawrie is apparently due for a September return. Maybe. John Farrell hopes so, at least.
I expect there’ll be a much clearer idea of what the timeline – if there is one – might actually be when Lawrie starts daily baseball activities again; but as we’ve just seen with Jose Bautista (who re-aggravated a wrist injury despite going through the rehab process), sometimes trying to come back before the season ends might just not yield the most desirable results. It seems like a bit of a waste, too, when all that effort – and risk – to come back in time is spent on a lost season.