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Blue Jays plan to platoon at DH, center field

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Blue Jays plan to platoon at DH, center field play video for Blue Jays plan to platoon at DH, center field

ANAHEIM -- Manager John Gibbons said the Blue Jays intend to use a pair of platoons in the field for the immediate future, at least until someone starts to get hot with the bat.

Toronto plans to platoon Adam Lind and Cole Gillespie at designated hitter. In center field, Colby Rasmus will sit against left-handed pitchers in favor of Darin Mastroianni.

The idea is nothing new for an organization that has tried to take advantage of favorable splits in the past, but it does come as a bit of a surprise considering the lack of offense that can be expected from Mastroianni and Gillespie.

"Gillespie will platoon with Lindy, see what we can do against some lefties," Gibbons said. "Then we're going to start platooning Rasmus in center a little bit with Mastroianni until he gets going."

Gillespie was claimed off waivers from the Mariners last week, but even though he's a right-handed hitter he hasn't done particularly well against left-handers. The 30-year-old has a .553 OPS in 155 Major League at-bats, and his numbers weren't that much higher in the Minors.

The more obvious fit would be recalling Erik Kratz from Triple-A Buffalo to split time with Lind. Kratz has a career .655 OPS in his career vs. lefties and brings some additional power. That would give the Blue Jays three catchers on the roster, which worked earlier this year when Kratz started behind the plate vs. lefties and Dioner Navarro moved to DH in place of Lind.

That doesn't seem to be the plan for now, though, as the Blue Jays will continue to carry five healthy outfielders on the roster. That number expands to six when it includes Jose Bautista, and seven when considering Steve Tolleson, who was the club's fourth outfielder for awhile but typically starts in the infield.

"I'll tell you what, we'd like to get him back," Gibbons said of Kratz. "If we can put it all together where he fits, he can help us. He helped us when he was here. I think he would be a big addition."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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