Stating the obvious here, but normally you’d like to be seeing your starting players play as often as possible. This concept however doesn’t exactly ring true for the 2018 Blue Jays, given their age and injury concerns of several prominent players.
I know it must sound strange to want to give Troy Tulowitzki and Russell Martin plenty of time off when they’re making $20 million per season. The thing is, if Toronto wants to get the most out of these players, they’d be wise to rest them, and rest them often. Martin and Tulowitzki are still two of the better athletes on this ball club, but for them to be able to take advantage of those athletic gifts, they can’t be playing 5-6 times each week.
The idea of resting Martin, Tulowitzki, and Devon Travis more than what’s considered normal for a starter isn’t such a bad thing. With the addition of Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz, the Blue Jays now essentially have two starters coming off the bench (especially Solarte). After the Blue Jays injury riddled 2017, this off-season Toronto went about reconstructing their team in a way that safeguards against their starters being worn down or lost to injury.
Giving their veteran players regular rest is a habit the Blue Jays need to get used to, especially considering that Martin and Tulowitzki are still under contract for several years yet. If you thought last year was tough with a 34-year old Martin and 32-year old Tulowitzki, just wait until 2019 when they’re two years older. It doesn’t help matters that both Martin and Tulowitzki play such physically demanding positions.
When it comes to his offense, some of the best we’ve seen from Martin lately has been when he’s playing 3rd base and doesn’t have to deal with the physical grind of playing catcher. The Blue Jays may not have a back-up catcher that compares offensively to the bench players the infield has to draw upon, but that still shouldn’t stop Toronto from resting Martin on a regular basis in an effort to maximize what he has to offer when he’s in the line-up.