Gibbons mulling where Bautista, Morales will hit

Gibbons mulling where Bautista, Morales will hit

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Now that Jose Bautista is back and Kendrys Morales has arrived -- officially and, thanks to Friday's position players report date, physically -- the question is where they'll bat in a changed Blue Jays lineup.

Morales' arrival as a free agent changed the dynamic of the Toronto order because of his switch-hitting skill set, and manager John Gibbons is still working through the best way to use Morales' bat amid his collection of right-handed power producers (Bautista, Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Donaldson) in the top half of the order.

Blue Jays' Bautista to carry same approach

Morales could hit anywhere from third through fifth.

Gibbons on utilizing Bautista

"We'll determine as we go along in Spring Training," Gibbons said. "You try to figure out what's best. I think he's going to be a big addition. I can't say at this moment we think it's best that we split [two particular right-handed hitters], but [Morales' availability from the left-hand side] is a nice option. We haven't had that in a while."

Bautista is another wild card, having led off 40 games last season. Devon Travis' health would seemingly allow Bautista to bat in his more traditional place in the middle of the order, though Gibbons stopped short of totally ruling out Bautista again leading off.

"I wouldn't think so," Gibbons said. "But you never know."

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.