The Toronto Blue Jays have had a storied history of elite second baseman in their 36 years of existence. From Damaso Garcia to Roberto Alomar to Aaron Hill, the Jays have been privileged during a lot of years with the results they have gotten out of that position.
However there were some very difficult years in filling the same position and getting results. Remember Joe Lawrence playing second base for the Jays? How about when Alomar left and we had a platoon of Domingo Cedeno and Tomas Perez? Remember when Gord Ash made the huge “Blockbuster” and got Carlos Garcia from the pirates? Remember the 20 games Brett Lawrie played at second last year?
There have been tough times in finding a steady solid second baseman. The past few years after Alex Anthopolous traded Aaron Hill have signaled troubling times. Kelly Johnson just did not get comfortable at Rogers Centre and he was eaten alive by American League pitching. The duo of Emilio Bonifacio and Maicier Izturis didn’t get it done on either side of the ball.
However I feel the hard times are over! No more 4 error games at Second Base! We have a second baseman with an arm and range again. His name is Ryan Goins.
Goins came up in August last year after the Jays struggled horrendously getting any consistency from the position. The a for mentioned Bonifacio was released and picked up by Kansas City (where he showed his potential) Maicier Izturis showed signs of improvement in the back half of the year however he was flat outplayed defensively by Goins. Brett Lawrie handled the spot best he could but was just not comfortable enough. The guy is a third basemen! Mark DeRosa gave it his best and played well there. His age obviously limited his range but he gave it his best.
Goins is a shortstop by trade. He has played third and second prior to his MLB debut. Goins popped 6 homers and drove in 46 in 111 games in Buffalo. He posted an over .310 OBP while he was there. In 34 games with Toronto he hit 2 Home Runs with 8 RBI’S. If Goins hits against left handed pitching, you’re looking at a 10 homer 60-65 RBI kind of player with great range and a solid arm. That is quite alright with me.
With Robinson Cano moving out of the Al East the pressure is off the Jays to go out and find the power hitting player and sacrificing defence. Defence will be a priority and Goins definitely fits the mold. The Jays cannot afford to give up anything up the middle if they want to contend. They have definitely moved in the right direction with Jose Reyes and Ryan Goins.