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Gibbons to fill DH role based on matchups

Gibbons to fill DH role based on matchups

Gibbons to fill DH role based on matchups

TORONTO -- With Edwin Encarnacion out for the season, the Blue Jays plan on having a revolving door of players in the designated hitter role.

Adam Lind, who typically split duties at first base and DH with Encarnacion, will take over at first on most nights the rest of the year, with Encarnacion out for the season awaiting surgery to repair the cartilage in his left wrist, leaving a handful of players that will see time at DH.

"We'll use different guys night to night," manager John Gibbons said of the club's strategy.

With Encarnacion's injury, Gibbons plans on using the DH to exploit certain matchups to the club's advantage, as opposed to sticking with an everyday guy.

In the six games without Encarnacion since he missed his first game Sept. 8 against the Twins, including Wednesday's contest vs. the Yankees, Lind has played first four times, with Mark DeRosa getting the other two starts. Kevin Pillar, Rajai Davis, DeRosa and Moises Sierra have all started at least one game as the club's designated hitter.

Making things even more challenging is the fact that Gibbons also plans on ensuring that his fly-ball starters -- R.A. Dickey, J.A. Happ, and Mark Buehrle -- all have the best defensive outfield behind them.

That's why Sierra received his second straight game at DH on Wednesday with Happ on the mound, as his bat has been more valuable than his defensive abilities, leaving Colby Rasmus, Davis, and Anthony Gose manning the outfield.

Sierra's adventures in the outfield have brought some interesting results, but his play at the plate is another story. The 24-year-old entered play Wednesday hitting .362 with a home run, nine RBIs, and 13 extra-base hits in September.

"He's off to a good start," Gibbons said. "[Andy] Pettitte carved him up last night. He found a spot he wanted to exploit a little bit … and he worked him over pretty good last night. So it's a game where he'll have to make some adjustments, but shoot, he's been great."

Evan Peaslee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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