Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Slumping Blue Jays try Japanese shortstop Kawasaki at leadoff position

Toronto Blue Jays Munenori Kawasaki turns a double play with teammate Maicer Izturis over New York Yankees Vernon Wells during the fifth inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto on Saturday.


The Blue Jays have moved shortstop Munenori Kawasaki into the leadoff position.

In part it was a move of necessity Sunday as Jose Bautista shifted back to right field from designated hitter. That displaced Rajai Davis, who had been batting first in place of the injured Jose Reyes.

Toronto manager John Gibbons said the Japanese shortstop was really his only leadoff option given his lineup in Sunday's series finale against the New York Yankees.

Story continues below advertisement

But he likes the way Kawasaki battles the pitcher and works the count, calling him "a sparkplug."

Kawasaki entered the game batting. 263 in eight games.

Toronto has also tried Emilio Bonifacio in the leadoff spot but he has been on the bench in recent games.

Right-hander Josh Johnson takes the mound for the slumping Blue Jays, hoping to avert a series sweep at the hands of the Yankees.

Report an error Licensing Options

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Globe Newsletters

Get a summary of news of the day

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at