7/9/2013 7:40 P.M. ET
Rasmus quietly building impressive season
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Colby Rasmus is starting to heat up, and that can only mean good things for the Blue Jays' offense.
Rasmus entered play on Tuesday night hitting .344 (11-for-32) with three doubles, two homers and nine RBIs over his past nine games, while recording multiple hits in four contests during that span.
Toronto manager John Gibbons was full of praise over Rasmus' recent numbers and said it has been the most consistent he has seen Rasmus at the plate.
"He's getting some hits the other way, too," Gibbons said. "Early on, everything he was firing was right-center, right-field line, maybe some straightaway home runs. But he's getting some hits away. He looks really good right now."
Rasmus hasn't exactly received a lot of attention for it, but he is quietly enjoying a successful season in Toronto. He has provided well above-average defense and leads Major League center fielders with 16 homers (tied with the Orioles' Adam Jones).
The 26-year-old also ranks first among American League center fielders in slugging (.476) and OPS (.800), as well as second in RBIs (46),
"I think when he lets the ball travel a little bit more, get on him a little bit better, that's when he's able to do that," Gibbons said.
"I don't think you can throw a fastball by him. I don't care whose fastball it is."
Toronto giving Lawrie a look at second in rehab starts
CLEVELAND -- Brett Lawrie is another step closer to the Major Leagues after he was promoted to Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday night.
The 23-year-old is fresh off a three-game stint with Double-A New Hampshire as he continues to work his way back from a severely sprained left ankle.
Lawrie went 3-for-9 with three runs and four walks in his three games for the Fisher Cats. The club has yet to announce an expected return date, but he will likely join the Blue Jays after the All-Star break.
"I have no idea," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said when asked for a timeline.
The Blue Jays are using the rehab assignment to give Lawrie an extended look at second base. The third-year infielder has spent his entire Major League career at third base, but he was drafted as a catcher and came up through the Brewers' system as a second baseman.
Lawrie also spent some time at second during a rehab assignment earlier in the year, when he was recovering from a strained oblique muscle. At the time, general manager Alex Anthopoulos said it was just to keep the club's options open in the future.
It seems highly unlikely that the Blue Jays would move Lawrie to second base at the big league level this season, but that could change if the club acquires another player.
Edwin Encarnacion has the ability to play third, but current fill-in Maicer Izturis has more value at second base. To further complicate matters, if Toronto attempts to move Encarnacion to third on a regular basis, it would leave the team without a reliable designated hitter.
Morrow return date undecided; Santos getting closer
CLEVELAND -- Right-hander Brandon Morrow threw a 25-pitch side session at the Blue Jays' Minor League complex in Dunedin, Fla., but it's still unknown when he will be able to begin a rehab assignment.
Morrow has been out since May 28 because of soreness in his right forearm. The injury was originally expected to keep Morrow out of action for approximately 15 days, but he's unlikely to return before the start of August.
The 28-year-old Morrow will need at least three rehab games, and until he finally takes the mound, it's near-impossible to conceive of a definitive timeline.
"He's feeling good, had a 25-pitch side with no issues and is scheduled to have another side on Friday," a Blue Jays spokesman said via an internal Minor League report.
Right-handed reliever Sergio Santos will make another appearance for Class A Dunedin on Wednesday night. Santos already has two outings under his belt for Dunedin and is hopeful to return shortly after the All-Star break.
The 30-year-old has appeared in just five games for Toronto this year because of a right elbow injury. He later underwent a minor surgical procedure to remove some bone spurs in the area.
Santos needs to pitch on back-to-back days before re-joining the Blue Jays, and so far that's something he has been unable to do.
"He long-tossed out to 150 feet today and said he felt better than yesterday," the club said.