Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Blue Jays enter 2016 with another potent lineup

Leadoff hitter still a question for Toronto as Spring Training nears
MLB.com @gregorMLB

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' lineup is expected to be one of the best in baseball again this year, but the exact formation of that order remains somewhat uncertain.

Toronto manager John Gibbons knows what the heart of his lineup is going to look like, but he'll need to settle on a leadoff hitter. With Ben Revere no longer around, the cast of candidates includes Troy Tulowitzki, Kevin Pillar, Devon Travis (once healthy) and possibly even Michael Saunders.

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' lineup is expected to be one of the best in baseball again this year, but the exact formation of that order remains somewhat uncertain.

Toronto manager John Gibbons knows what the heart of his lineup is going to look like, but he'll need to settle on a leadoff hitter. With Ben Revere no longer around, the cast of candidates includes Troy Tulowitzki, Kevin Pillar, Devon Travis (once healthy) and possibly even Michael Saunders.

Battle for 5th rotation spot | Prospects to watch | Newcomers | Comeback candidates

Gibbons may have recently tipped his hand by stating at a recent season-ticket-holder event that he preferred Tulowitzki lower in the order. That could bode well for Pillar, who openly stated his desire for the job while speaking at the same event.

That decision will have to be made in conjunction with the battle for the final spot in the starting rotation and who ultimately should become the Blue Jays' closer. Things can change fast in this game, but for now, MLB.com has picked its projected regular lineup, rotation and late-inning bullpen.

In the days leading up to the official start of Spring Training on Sunday, MLB.com is taking a closer look at every aspect of Toronto's roster. This edition examines the projected starting lineup.

2015 record
93-69, first in the American League East

Projected batting order (stats for 2015)
1. SS Troy Tulowitzki:
.280 BA, .337 OBP, .777 OPS SLG, 17 HR, 70 RBI
2. 3B Josh Donaldson:
.297 BA, .371 OBP, .939 OPS, 41 HR, 123 RBI
3. RF Jose Bautista:
.250 BA, .377 OBP, .913 OPS, 40 HR, 114 RBI
4. DH Edwin Encarnacion:
.277 BA, .372 OBP, .929 OPS, 39 HR, 111 RBI
5. 1B Chris Colabello:
.321 BA, .367 OBP, .886 OPS, 15 HR, 54 RBI
6. LF Michael Saunders:
.194 BA, .306 OBP, .499 OPS, 0 HR, 3 RBI
7. C Russell Martin:
.240 BA, .329 OBP, .787 OPS, 23 HR, 77 RBI
8. CF Kevin Pillar:
.278 BA, .314 OBP, .713 OPS, 12 HR, 56 RBI
9. 2B Ryan Goins:
.250 BA, .318 OBP, .672 OPS, 5 HR, 45 RBI

Projected rotation (stats for '15)
1. Marcus Stroman, 4-0, 1.67 ERA
2. Marco Estrada, 13-8, 3.13 ERA
3. R.A. Dickey, 11-11, 3.91 ERA
4. J.A. Happ, 11-8, 3.61 ERA
5. Aaron Sanchez, 7-6, 3.22 ERA

Projected bullpen (stats for '15)
Closer: Drew Storen, 29/34 saves, 3.44 ERA
RH setup man: Roberto Osuna, 20/23 saves, 2.58 ERA
LH setup man: Brett Cecil, 5-5, 2.48 ERA

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Toronto Blue Jays