Munenori Kawasaki’s fate with the Blue Jays could become clear Sunday or Monday, but there’s no doubt the popular Japanese shortstop has left an indelible impression on his teammates and manager.

In fact, that impression may be so great, it could become permanent.

“He’s a great story,” Jays manager John Gibbons said. “We signed him and he was in spring training and no one knew much about him, but he’s doing things now that just make you feel good.”

Kawasaki has done an incredible job of replacing Jose Reyes since the all-star shortstop went down with an ankle injury in mid-April. When Reyes returns, likely within the next few days, the logical move — the Jays already have two veteran, everyday-quality middle infielders in Emilio Bonifacio and Maicer Izturis — would be to return Kawasaki to Triple-A Buffalo.

But in the two months that Kawasaki has been with the team, he’s not only produced both offensively and defensively, but has won the hearts of the fans and solidified himself as an integral part of the Jays’ turnaround.