Image via The Blue Jay Hunter
It is now nearly a calendar year since Troy Tulowitzki was acquired by the Blue Jays, back on July 28th of 2015. Tonight, for the first time, he’ll be in the lineup for the same time with both Jose Bautista and Devon Travis.
Yes, finally — finally — the Blue Jays are trotting out their optimal lineup tonight, as Bautista returns from his injured toe, and straight into right field for the club. He also returns to the lead-off spot, because #GibbyTheBest.
To get there a couple roster moves were necessary: Junior Lake, who did an admirable job as the club’s fifth (or sixth) outfielder when called upon, has been D’d FA, and hopefully will clear waivers and return to Buffalo. That freed up a roster spot for Bautista recalled, and also a 40-man spot, which has been given to Chris Colabello (who was D’d FA himself over the weekend, and now has been optioned to Buffalo). More on that an a couple other things in a moment, but first, look at this goddamn, beautiful thing (career wRC+ in parentheses):
RF Jose Bautista (132)
3B Josh Donaldson (140)
DH Edwin Encarnacion (126)
LF Michael Saunders (100 — but 142 this year)
SS Troy Tulowitzki (121)
C Russell Martin (105)
CF Kevin Pillar (85)
1B Justin Smoak (96)
2B Devon Travis (120)
Just look at that goddamn gorgeous list!
Now, before you say anything about Devon Travis being out of place, I think what we’re seeing there is John Gibbons doing the thing he did a bunch with Ben Revere last season, making him essentially the lead-off hitter for every inning except the first. In which case… sure! Sounds about right!
Hey, and Russell Martin’s back!
As for the Colabello thing, I’m guessing he was D’d FA over the weekend in anticipation of this move? That gave the Jays 10 days to decide what to do with him, and what they “decided” was to option him to Buffalo. Somehow I imagine this was necessary, though I don’t really want to think too hard about it.
And the thing from this post’s title about us being thankful Edwin is in the lineup? Let’s also be thankful he still has a face. As you can see in the clip below, featuring Edwin tossing a baseball to his nephew, he almost lost his this afternoon:
— Faizal Khamisa (@SNFaizalKhamisa) July 25, 2016
Yikes. That was real close to being real ugly. Quite the contrast from that lineup, though, eh???