Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays lineup notes: Tulowitzki and Martin flip, Travis out

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Oct 14, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki hits a single against the Cleveland Indians in the 6th inning in game one of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 14, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki hits a single against the Cleveland Indians in the 6th inning in game one of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Toronto Blue Jays look to rebound in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series today at Progressive Field in Cleveland, and they’ll be doing it with a different look to their lineup.

Troy Tulowitzki and Russell Martin have been flipped in the middle of the order and the Blue Jays have been forced to turn back to Darwin Barney at second:

Martin has struggled in these playoffs, going just 1-for-20 (.050 average) with seven strikeouts and two walks. His career playoff numbers are rather low, too, despite being a player that has built much of his reputation on repeat trips to October.

Across 53 career postseason games stretching back to 2006, Martin is hitting .187 with a .306 on-base percentage.

Tulowitzki, on the other hand, is enjoying a very strong playoff run with a .333 average and .905 OPS over the five games. He hasn’t walked, but the star shortstop has recorded seven hits with a home run and five RBI to help propel the Blue Jays past Texas in the ALDS (6-for-13).

This move is likely a reaction to Friday’s loss as much as it is to their individual performances, but Martin’s strikeout rate of late does cause problems in the heart of a batting order. Even if his power stroke does not resurface in these playoffs, Martin’s ability to reach base and work at-bats could still prove extremely valuable.

With Devon Travis out of the starting lineup after further aggravating his knee injury in Game 1, Barney will get the start over Ryan Goins at second base. Barney is 3-for-4 against Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin.

Without Justin Smoak on the ALCS roster it is likely that Goins is next in line at first base should he be needed defensively.

Next: 3 steps to a Blue Jays rebound performance in Game 2

First pitch is scheduled for just after 4:00 p.m. ET this afternoon. J.A. Happ will make his second start of the postseason for the Blue Jays.

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