Tulo Returns! Blue Jays Going With Crowded Infield

The Toronto Blue Jays welcome Troy Tulowitzki back from the DL and will add him to a crowded mix of infielders.

 

 

Troy Tulowitzki is back in the Blue Jays lineup! After hitting the DL with a sore quad, Tulo will bat 6th in Saturday’s lineup and play short stop. This is exciting since he was on quite the upswing with the bat before he was hurt. Of course, we could also say that the time off came at the worst possible time for the exact same reason.

 

Tulo is joining a Blue Jays team that much more resembles the squad we thought we’d be watching all year. The bats are coming alive with a vengeance. Over the last 14 days, the club is hitting like we thought they would.

Split R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
Last 7 days 54 73 15 2 18 52 4 26 49 .326 .402 .652
Last 14 days 88 125 24 7 30 86 5 61 92 .279 .367 .565
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/18/2016.

 

Adding a healthy Tulo, who hits the way he is capable of is only going to make this lineup stronger. The club has not missed much on defense in his absence, but his bat would be welcome, if not just to add that much more excitement.

Speaking of defense, the Blue Jays are keeping all of their infielders up for the time being.

 

The club will go with Tulo, Devon Travis, Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney in tow. Andy Burns has been sent back down. At first, this seems like a bit like defensive overkill. Travis will play second base every day. Wild horses couldn’t drag Tulo away from playing short stop if he’s healthy. That means that the duo of Gions and Barney are left to fight over limited at bats.

This may not be that much of a struggles, all things considered. We’re heading into the dog days of summer where guys could be given days of rest. Barney has been used at third base several times this season, should Josh Donaldson need a day to DH or to just sit on the bench and be awesome. Goins can fill in for Tulo at SS if the club is interested in easing the $20M man back into the lineup. Some may be surprised that Goins keeps hanging on with the big league club.

But, he has the benefit of being athletic and good with the glove, so manager, John Gibbons can use him in “less traditional” roles, like playing the outfield. With Jose Bautista out after injuring his big toe on a play at the wall, Ezequiel Carrera is getting more and more playing time. That means there has to be a back up plan. Goins can be that guy. He can plug in a corner outfield spot for a game or two and likely will not look so out of place. It likely wasn’t a difficult sell to the light hitting infielder; play wherever we put you, or else.

So far this season, we’ve seen a more fluid roster with guys being shipped back and forth to AAA Buffalo quite often. We know that the Blue Jays are willing to make moves on the fly and mix things up. But, for now, they’ll run with a plethora of infield talent. It is nice to see Tulo back among them. This group is a talented glove wielding collection. So, keeping them all is not so bad. That is, of course, hoping the bullpen can stay stable so as not to need more tinkering, which could interrupt this group.

 

 

 

 

*Featured Image Credit: Terry Foote UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0

 

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Shaun Doyle

Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.