Toronto Blue Jays: Maicer Izturis Could Miss Opening Day

Toronto Blue Jays: Maicer Izturis Could Miss Opening Day

Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Maicer Izturis may miss the start of the season with a pulled groin, reports Jim Hawkins of Manager John Gibbons also admitted on Saturday that he doesn’t think Izturis will be ready to play on Opening Day either.

The 34-year-old Izturis left Friday’s game with a strained right groin and did not return. After missing all of last season with a knee injury, he was the favourite to win the starting second base job this season. But once again, injuries look to be derailing that notion.

With veteran infielder Ramon Santiago out with a broken collarbone, the team will turn to either Ryan Goins or prospect Devon Travis. The growing belief, though, is that the job is Travis’ to lose.

On TSN 1050 Radio, Scott MacArthur talked about the Blue Jays second base situation, and in particular, the play of Travis.

“Devon Travis is hitting really well,” said MacArthur. “But from a business perspective he’s not yet on the 40-man roster, even if he was he would have options left, so he could start the year at AAA. That would allow them to protect their inventory.”

With the inventory featuring the likes of Ryan Goins, Steve Tolleson and Munenori Kawasaki, Travis seems like the team’s best option with Izturis injured. Based off spring training, Travis deserves the job, which is what MacArthur went on to say.

Mar 7, 2015; Clearwater, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis (77) during a spring training baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

“Yes Devon Travis may be the guy on merit who should be playing second base on opening day based on his spring training performance,” said MacArthur. “But there is more that goes into it than that.”

If Izturis does miss an extended period of time, carrying both Travis and Goins on the 40-man roster doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Although manager John Gibbons has said that Travis is “too good to be a platoon guy”, Goins could be a useful player who could provide value as not only a late inning defensive replacement, but also as a backup shortstop to Jose Reyes — something the team doesn’t really have.

At second base, Travis could gain valuable experience early in the season. With Izturis set to make $4 million this year, Travis would probably just be holding down the position until he returns from injury. But even if that is the case, the big league experience is something that Travis should benefit from.