DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Depth has to be considered a positive thing, but the amount of talent the Blue Jays possess this season could make things rather challenging for John Gibbons.
Toronto's manager will have to walk a fine line when writing down his daily lineup. He'll need to focus on fielding the best team while also finding a way to keep reserves like Rajai Davis and either Emilio Bonifacio or Maicer Izturis ready for action.
"In the American League, you don't use your bench like the National League, so they won't get as much work," Gibbons admitted. "But what it allows us to do, if we want to give any guy on the field a night off, against a tough left-hander, if we want to give [Colby] Rasmus a day off, we have a lot of different options.
"That's big, because they're all going to need a day off every now and then, and you feel good about the guy you're putting in. It's not like you're just throwing everybody in there."
The issue could become a little more glaring if the Blue Jays decide to use Bonifacio in center field on days when Rasmus needs a day off. That would relegate Davis to the role of fifth outfielder and late-inning pinch-runner.
One possible solution would be to sit Rasmus and designated hitter Adam Lind against lefties while starting both Bonifacio and Davis at the same time. Rasmus hit just .182 against lefties last season while Lind hit .202.