When I first saw Sunday’s initial starting lineup for the Toronto Blue Jays, I had mixed emotions. As seen below, it was jumbled a bit with some new twists.
1. Melky Cabrera (S) LF
2. Colby Rasmus (L) CF
3. Jose Bautista (R) RF
4. Adam Lind (L) DH
5. Edwin Encarnacion (R) 1B
6. Dioner Navarro (S) C
7. Maicer Izturis (S) 2B
8. Brett Lawrie (R) 3B
9. Ryan Goins (L) SS
My first thought was, “finally, Colby Rasmus is hitting 2nd instead of Maicer Izturis.”
Then, much later than I care to admit, I noticed that Adam Lind was hitting 4th and Edwin Encarnacion was hitting 5th. At first I considered John Gibbons was crazy, how dare he bump Edwin down for Lind. Then I remembered that Lind has an OPS above .900 to start the season and Encarnacion has an OPS below .700 to start the season so it makes some sense. It will also make managers on other teams need to use a left handed reliever right after Bautista’s at bat against Lind and then have to bring in a right handed one against Encarnacion, as opposed to the “convenience” of a righty facing Bautista and Encarnacion and then bringing in a lefty to face Lind.
The move was obviously made to get Encarnacion going after an early season slump. That said, it’s hard to imagine Encarnacion getting much to hit with Dioner Navarro as his protection. It could also be very annoying if the Jays lose a close game where Encarnacion didn’t get to hit in a crucial situation because he was too low in the lineup or if he lost at-bats being too low in the line-up. Because of that, this line-up likely doesn’t carry with it a long shelf life.
But hey, the Blue Jays had 17 hits and 11 runs with this new lineup order in place. While there’s a good chance it’s not going to stay in that order for long, it seems to be working now and if it isn’t broken, well you know. So let’s just enjoy it while it lasts.
Then again, Gibbons might not even keep that lineup order past Sunday, which would really make this post pointless.
Tags: Toronto Blue Jays