Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie will start the season on the disabled list due to a strained rib cage, the team has announced.
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Lawrie sustained his injury during the World Baseball Classic in one of Team Canada's exhibition contests. At the time of the injury, the Jays said they expected Lawrie to be ready for Opening Day.
Sidelined last season due to a side injury, Lawrie said his current ailment was nowhere near as bad as what he experienced in 2012. Still, the strain is severe enough to sideline him for the start of the regular season. He'll prepare for his debut in the minors before rejoining the Blue Jays.
Lawrie made his major league debut with the Blue Jays in 2011. The top prospect launched himself onto the scene, hitting .293/.373/.580 with eight doubles, four triples and nine home runs over 171 plate appearances. He dealt with injuries and took a step back in 2012, finishing the year with a batting line of .273/.324/.405 with 26 doubles and 11 home runs.
In Lawrie's absense, the Blue Jays are expected to use Maicer Izturis at third base.