The attention on contract demands given to the Toronto Blue Jays by Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion has detracted from other important Spring Training news
With the departure of Ben Revere, it was anticipated that one of the story lines this Spring Training would be who will bat leadoff for the Blue Jays in 2016 (read more).
Arden Zwelling from Sportsnet.ca tweeted that Blue Jays manager John Gibbons expects former Colorado Rockies All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will bat behind Edwin Encarnacion when Toronto breaks camp.
John Gibbons says the Blue Jays will audition Kevin Pillar and Michael Saunders at lead-off this spring. Tulo’s staying in the five hole.
— Arden Zwelling (@ArdenZwelling) February 26, 2016
Despite sub-par results after being acquired by the Blue Jays at last year’s Trade Deadline, it was reported that Tulo’s name came up in trade rumors (read here). A healthy Tulo would still be considered one the game’s top hitting shortstops, making him ideal fit for any team looking to upgrade their middle infield.
While many fans were waiting for the Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins to make a big splash in their first offseason, other fans decided to focus on what a healthy and comfortable Tulo would bring to the Blue Jays (read here).
By penciling in Tulo’s name in the 5-spot of the batting order, Gibby will eliminate a possible distraction that would have existed in camp, even though Troy did hit in the leadoff spot for the Blue Jays upon his arrival to Toronto, much to his chagrin. He will be much happier batting further down the order and should get more opportunities with runners in scoring position with two of the games more patient hitters batting 3 and 4.
Jays From the Couch’s own Spencer Redmond looked what Blue Jays fans can expect offensively from the number 5 hitter (read here). Spencer included an excellent tweet that shows that Tulo has embraced what several of his fellow Blue Jays have, adding a higher leg kick.
Whether it is Kevin Pillar (read more), Devon Travis, Dalton Pompey or Michael Saunders hitting leadoff for the Blue Jays in 2016, having Tulo in the 5th spot is the right choice. It also shows that Gibby is willing to play with his lineup card.
I wrote an article a few weeks back that used RC27 to create the Blue Jays lineup. Tulo score of 4.99 RC27 had him hitting 5th, check out the rest of the lineup (click here).
A happy Tulo is productive Tulo. The table below (provided by Baseball Reference) clearly illustrates that Tulo does not like hitting leadoff or in the 2-hole, but enjoys more success between the 3rd and 5th slots.
Now that this is straightened out, let’s pray to the baseball gods for a healthy season from him.
*Featured Image Credit: S Doyle- Jays From the Couch
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