TORONTO -- Darwin Barney is about to get some additional playing time as Blue Jays manager John Gibbons announced on Tuesday afternoon that he will be going with a platoon at second base.
Ryan Goins remains the regular starter, but Barney will begin to see additional playing time against left-handed pitching. Barney got the start Tuesday night against the Rangers with left-hander Martin Perez on the mound and although he went 0-for-3 in the 3-1, 10-inning win, that strategy is expected to continue in the future.
The reason behind the change in philosophy has been Goins' extended struggles at the plate. He is hitting just .160 with a .200 on-base percentage in 25 games and has been even worse against lefties with three hits in 19 at-bats.
"We're probably going to do a little bit more of that," Gibbons said of using Barney against lefties. "He's been playing good, we'll give him a shot."
Toronto eventually could get some additional help at second base when Devon Travis returns from offseason shoulder surgery. Travis is currently taking at-bats at extended spring training, but his contribution this season depends entirely on avoiding setbacks and also rounding into form after not playing since last July.
There's no guarantee Travis will be able to handle a significant role any time soon, but the hope is that stance will eventually change. Until that happens, Goins and Barney will handle the position in a more traditional platoon than the one Toronto used for the first month of the season.
Barney hit a key pinch-hit double in the ninth inning of Sunday's victory over Tampa Bay. He's also hitting .281 with a pair of extra-base hits in a small sample size of 32 at-bats this season.
"We're going to run a little platoon anyways," Gibbons said. "We'll see how that goes. He's so good defensively too, that's not an issue."
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.