Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie made his way through the clubhouse hugging his teammates after being called up from his rehab assignment in Dunedin, exuding a level of enthusiasm only he can reach.

When he spotted Edwin Encarnacion, the Jays designated hitter stuck out his hand. Lawrie smashed his palm into Encarnacion’s so hard, Encarnacion shouted “Ow!” and pretended, with a smile on his face, that it hurt. The exuberant Lawrie has that effect on his teammates. Everybody seemed genuinely thrilled that he’s back and that his rib injury is finally history.

“It’s definitely contagious,” said Jays manager John Gibbons when asked about Lawrie’s enthusiasm.

“One thing we’ve got in this room though, we’ve got some high-energy guys. So all he’s going to do is add to that.”

Lawrie, who in his second full season in the majors is already being touted as a future all-star at third, hopped on a plane in Tampa on Tuesday, flew to Buffalo and then drove to Toronto and batted in the sixth spot against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night at the Rogers Centre, coming through with a sac fly in the ninth.

Needless to say, the Langley, B.C. native is over the moon to be back and gives the Jays stability in the infield, even with starting shortstop Jose Reyes out of an estimated three months with a sprained left ankle.

Joining Lawrie in the infield on Tuesday was Munenori Kawasaki at short, Maicer Izturis at second and Adam Lind at first. Lawrie’s return also allows Jose Bautista, who did not play on Tuesday because of a sore back, to go back to right field.

“We’ve got our guys back at the positions they need to be at,” said Lawrie. “So now we just worry about playing and not anything else.”

In his last couple games in Dunedin, the Jays had Lawrie playing second in anticipation of putting Bautista at third. But since then, the plan is for Bautista to go back to right and for Lawrie to stay at third. Still, Lawrie didn’t mind switching and is ready to do so again if the Jays need him to.

“I loved it. It was a breath of fresh air,” said Lawrie, about playing second, the first time he had done so since double A. “It was a lot of fun. I had a great time for my two games. It’s obviously something (the Jays) have in their back pocket now. If anything were to occur on the field, they know they can put me over at second with no hesitation.”