TORONTO — Oh the sights you’ll see when running along the Toronto lakefront. Beautiful day out today, so I got in a cool five miles and stopped to say hello to Alan Ashby and his wife, waved as I jogged by Roy Halladay and strength and conditioning coach Donovan Santas and said hi to Marty Pevey later on when I was walking my dog.
Over at the ballyard, the Jays ran out yet another lineup. (See what I did there? Sticking with the running theme?) The cool new thing to do is to move Shannon Stewart into the No. 2 hole and slide Master of Grit David Eckstein to the No. 9 spot. That makes, ready for it? 28 different lineup in 33 games. That’s an 85-percent new lineup rate.
“It’s just a different look,” Jays skip John Gibbons said. “We’ve tinkered here and there to try some different things. We’ll just try this and see how this works.”
Gibby said he’d try this lineup for a few days to see if it amounts to anything. He believes getting Stewart in the mix on a more regular basis can help get his bat going. Gibbons added that “it’s too early” to be thinking this switch means Adam Lind (1-for-19 since being called up) might have a trip back to Triple-A in store.
There’s been a whole heckuva lot of lineups used, but there have been factors involved — this isn’t just Gibby flip-flopping John Kerry style. Consider that the Jays once employed a guy named Frank Thomas, shuffling people in and out of DH since he was released. Scott Rolen was injured and Toronto mixed and matched at third until he came back.
Once upon a time there was a platoon in left field…so there’s been things forcing Gibbons’ hand some. Not to mention the offense’s struggles, leading Gibbons to switch things up to try to find some sort of consistency. So 28 out of 33 is high, no doubt, but it’s not really too surprising when you think about it.
In other news — I hate that segue — Gibbons said that the Jays can now use B.J. Ryan in consecutive games. You probably won’t see him in three games in a row yet and you won’t see him used in multi-inning saves this year, but this is good news for the Jays. No more closer by committee every other day.
CHICAGO (14-15) at TORONTO (15-17)
at 7:07 p.m. ET at Rogers Centre
Orlando Cabrera, SS
Carlos Quentin, LF
Jim Thome, DH
Paul Konerko, 1B
Jermaine Dye, RF
Nick Swisher, CF
*Pablo Ozuna, 3B
Juan Uribe, 2B
Toby Hall, C
PITCHING: RHP Javier Vazquez
Alex Rios, RF
Shannon Stewart, LF
Scott Rolen, 3B
Matt Stairs, DH
Vernon Wells, CF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Gregg Zaun, C
David Eckstein, SS
PITCHING: RHP Dustin McGowan
*Sox 3B Joe Crede scratched with a migraine