Blue Jays shift Bautista to 3rd base
Blue Jays recall hot-hitting Thames from AAA to fill outfield void
The Toronto Blue Jays are moving star slugger Jose Bautista from right field to third base to give them more production from the hot corner.
Bautista led the majors with 54 home runs last season, and is currently batting .325 with 22 home runs.
General manager Alex Anthopoulous said Thursday Bautista will take a few days before settling in at third.
The Jays called up outfielder Eric Thames to fill out the outfield with Bautista's move. Thames is swinging a hot bat at AAA Las Vegas, batting .375 in 17 games this month with eight doubles, two triples, one home run and 15 runs batted in.
To make room on their roster, infielder Mike McCoy was sent down to Las Vegas.
Anthopoulous says moving Bautista to third base will allow the Jays to wait for the recovery of minor leaguer Brett Lawrie. The Burnaby, B.C., native was close to being called up from Las Vegas last month, only to be hit on the hand. His recovery is coming along slower than expected, and may not return to game action until August.