Brett Lawrie is making strides toward a return to game action.
The Toronto Blue Jays' third-base prospect took batting practice on Sunday after a week spent hitting off a tee and fielding grounders.
"He's cleared to begin hitting in the [batting] cages, etc.," general manager Alex Anthopoulos told Sportsnet. "Still the same timeline/program we've had planned. Everything is progressing well."
Should the Blue Jays hold firm as far as a timeline for Lawrie's return to game action, don't expect the 21-year-old native of Langley, B.C. back in uniform for the AAA Las Vegas 51s until August.
"The fact is he's put a bat in his hand over the past week with dry swings, with soft tosses and tee work and that he's advancing to the next phase of it is all positive," said Jays manager John Farrell.
In early June, Lawrie was hit by a pitch in a AAA game and suffered a non-displaced fracture to a bone in the back of his left hand.
It appeared Lawrie was days away from a big-league promotion at the time of his injury. In 52 games with Las Vegas he is hitting .354 with 15 homers and 49 runs batted in.
"Once he's back to live action, he's going to need some time to put himself in a position that when he does come up [to the Blue Jays] his timing is right and he's back to that confident state," said Farrell.