SARASOTA, Fla. -- Brett Lawrie could make his return to the Blue Jays' lineup on Thursday afternoon, against the Phillies.
Lawrie has been out since Friday because of tightness in his left groin. He remains day to day and will have to pass a series of running tests before being allowed back into the lineup.
The 22-year-old third baseman continues to feel better with each passing day, but the club does not want to force the issue and put him back into the lineup prematurely.
"If he just got the last five days in camp, that's going to be ample time," manager John Farrell told reporters before Wednesday afternoon's game, a 6-3 win over the Orioles. "He got out of the gate early for us, he's in great physical shape, his timing seemed to be spot on in the first week, 10 days of games that he played, so I think he'll get right back up to speed relatively quick."
Lawrie is set to embark on his first full season in the Major Leagues after an impressive debut in 2011. The native of Langley, British Columbia, hit .293 with nine home runs and 25 RBIs while posting a .953 OPS in just 150 at-bats.
He entered Wednesday's game leading the Blue Jays in doubles (six), stolen bases (five) and average (.609), while also posting a .957 slugging percentage in nine games.
Drabek pleased with start against Orioles
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Kyle Drabek battled some occasional control problems in Wednesday's 6-3 win over the Orioles, but he came away relatively pleased with his outing.
Drabek allowed two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out three. He threw 37 of his 60 pitches for strikes in his longest outing of the spring.
"I thought it went pretty good," Drabek said. "Might have been wild a few times, just rushing a little bit, but I got the ground balls that I wanted and I was able to throw my curveball for a strike."
Drabek also was the victim of some inconsistent play in the field. The Blue Jays weren't charged with any errors on the day, but a ball bounced off Omar Vizquel's glove, and the play eventually led to a run.
All in all, Drabek was able to minimize the damage in each inning and keep the Blue Jays within striking distance.
"If you can get a double play and the run scores, that's fine, because you have two outs now," Drabek said. "You're trying to minimize the runs; you definitely don't want people scoring. So you know you just have to see the situation and trust your players.
"[I'm] still working on staying on my line, not rushing, slowing the game down. It's at a good point right now, so we'll see."
VandenHurk lands with Indians
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Right-hander Rick VandenHurk was claimed off waivers by Cleveland on Wednesday afternoon.
VandenHurk signed a split contract with the Blue Jays on Feb. 22 but was unable to find a role with the pitching staff. He allowed seven earned runs in 6 1/3 innings while striking out three and walking six.
"I thought with the Blue Jays it would be a good opportunity for me," VandenHurk said. "I think if I had maybe a different Spring Training, [I'd] put [myself] in a better situation. I didn't have a great spring, it's as simple as that."
The 6-foot-5, 217-pound right-hander has appeared in 46 Major League games, including 35 starts for the Marlins and Orioles, with an 8-10 record and a 5.97 ERA.
VandenHurk now joins the Indians, who had expressed interest in him before the signing with the Blue Jays was made official late last month.
"I did also talk to Cleveland [in the offseason]" VandenHurk said. "They were very interested, so I'm not overly surprised.
"I haven't really talked to them yet [about a role], so I have to wait and see what they tell me when I talk to them."
Cramping calf muscle sidelines Thames
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Outfielder Eric Thames was held out of Wednesday's game against the Orioles because of cramping in a calf muscle.
He experienced a similar problem last year, and it resurfaced following Tuesday night's game against the Red Sox.
"He tried to talk his way into [the game], but we held him out today," manager John Farrell said following the Blue Jays' 6-3 victory over the O's. "He came in for some treatment today, and even the trainers said he was good to go, but we just felt like it wasn't the right move to make."
Thames is hitting .353 with one home run and six RBIs in 12 games this spring while batting Travis Snider for the starting gig in left field.