CLEVELAND -- Brett Lawrie's recovery from the broken hand he suffered on May 21 continues, albeit slowly.
Lawrie began hitting off a tee earlier this week, and the first few days have gone well for the 21-year-old, the Blue Jays' top prospect.
"He's been swinging the bat with dry swings, and he's hitting off a tee," Toronto skipper John Farrell said. "He's in the early phases of a hitting progression that will then take on soft toss, live BP, ultimately getting back to regular BP live, almost simulating game action."
Farrell said that Lawrie previously experienced a setback, but this week has been strictly by the book.
"When he started to initiate baseball activity, he was feeling some soreness in his hand, so we backed off," Farrell said. "Just shutting down to let this subside completely, which it has."
The team originally reported that Lawrie wouldn't be able to play in games till early-to-mid August, but at this time, his return date depends on how he responds to his training regimen.
Drabek sharp, but return not yet set
CLEVELAND -- Blue Jays pitcher Kyle Drabek had another solid outing for Triple-A Las Vegas, but there is no timetable for his return to the club.
Drabek, optioned to Las Vegas on June 14, gave up three runs while striking out eight to earn the victory on Tuesday against Salt Lake.
"[Drabek] had a good outing last night; [he] didn't use his fastball a lot for strikes," manager John Farrell said. "Fastball, curveball, changeup -- the changeup was above average. He pitched to contact and had very good stuff."
Drabek has had three starts since being demoted, and Farrell remains unsure when the righty will be called back up.
"With any player sent back to make adjustments, ultimately their consistency and their consistent performance will force the hand or generate the internal conversation that leads to that decision," Farrell said. "When he was sent out, there wasn't a date on the calendar."
Arencibia bounces back from plunking
CLEVELAND -- Catcher J.P. Arencibia was in the lineup on Thursday, a day after being struck on his left wrist by a Jonathan Papelbon pitch.
Arencibia, who dislocated his left thumb earlier in the season, has battled through soreness and low-level injuries to his left hand this season. He is batting .212 with 12 home runs in 66 games this season.
"Fortunately, last night, the most encouraging thing was, when they were checking him on the field, he had good grip strength," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "He's a little sore, but not to the point of him not being able to go today."
Meanwhile, the complications from the dislocated thumb mostly are an afterthought.
"He didn't receive regular treatment, like he did when the multiple foul tips and banging of the thumb originally took place, so it hasn't affected the overall swing," Farrell said. "It's not impairing him in any way."
Meanwhile, Yunel Escobar was back at the top of the lineup a day after going 4-for-5 in the leadoff spot, following a four-game absence after being hit by a pitch on Friday against Philadelphia.
Stephen Ellsesser is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.