DUNEDIN, Fla -- Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie, who got the day off Monday, continues to lead all American League hitters with a .579 spring batting average. Lawrie, who boasts an on-base percentage of .600, is fourth in slugging at .842.
"When you're around him every day, the only thing that is paramount for him is to win," said manager John Farrell. "He's a Type-A personality. He's an aggressive kid. He finds a way to impact the game, whether it's with the bat or on the field.
"We're watching a special young player come into his own. What he's shown just from last spring until now -- he's coming pretty quick."
The 22-year-old Lawrie, who was called up on Aug. 5 last season, hit .293 with the Blue Jays. But his average didn't dip below .300 until his final three games before a broken finger ended his season on Sept. 20.
"I think 150 at-bats last year went a long way in his belief that he can handle any kind of pitching he's going to see," said Farrell. "He's showing more confidence in his game. I wouldn't say more confidence in himself, he's always had a lot of confidence."
Morrow looking to go deeper in games
DUNEDIN, Fla -- Last year, Toronto's Brandon Morrow led the American League with 10.19 strikeouts per nine innings. Over the last two seasons, no pitcher in Major League Baseball has averaged more than Morrow's 10.53 strikeouts per nine innings.
On Monday, Morrow struck out just two Baltimore batters in his three innings of one-hit shutout ball in the Blue Jays' 4-1 victory over the Orioles.
But Morrow could not have been more pleased.
Quicker outs and quicker innings -- not strikeouts -- is now Morrow's goal.
"I did what I wanted to do," said the right-hander, who threw just 33 pitches -- 27 of them for strikes.
"That was probably my lowest pitch count for three innings all time.
"I changed speeds, I threw a lot of curveballs and I had good results with everything. It was something that needed to be done. I was close to averaging the most pitches per inning of any starter."
Blue Jays manager John Farrell was pleased with the results, too.
"The curveball has been a point of emphasis for him," Farrell said. "If he can maintain a feel for his secondary pitches, it'll make his fastball that much more effective and allow him to go deeper in games."
Last year, Morrow struck out 203 batters, but he averaged just under six innings per start.
Farrell likes what he's seeing from pitchers
DUNEDIN, Fla -- Going into Monday's game against the Orioles, the Blue Jays had 15 pitchers on their roster with ERAs of 0.00 this spring.
"Spring Training is one part of the evaluation," said manager John Farrell, who knows better than to place too much stock in such a statistic, especially at this stage of the spring.
But he nevertheless likes what he's seeing.
"What we've seen is that, more games than not, guys are attacking the strike zone," Farrell said. "They're pitching to contact."
And that was one of the Blue Jays' goals when camp convened.
Blue Jays return three to Minor League camp
DUNEDIN, Fla -- The Blue Jays made three more roster moves Monday, returning right-handed pitchers Nelson Figueroa and Jim Hoey and infielder Ryan Goins to Minor League camp.
Figueroa had a 4.50 ERA in two appearances this spring while Hoey was not scored upon in four games. Goins hit .200 in five at-bats.
That leaves the Blue Jays with 54 players in camp.
Jim Hawkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.