Saturday, February 23, 2013
Second base battle in Toronto
By Doug Mittler
The job of second baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays will go to Maicer Izturis or Emilio Bonifacio, neither of whom has started more than 64 games at the position in any single season.
Izturis appeared to be the front-runner entering camp after agreeing to a three-year, $10 million deal in the offseason, but manager John Gibbons seemed to backtrack a little from that stance, reports John Lott of the National Post.
Both players can play multiple positions, and Bonifacio, acquired in the blockbuster deal with the Miami Marlins, also has outfield experience. Gibbons also has the opportunity to mix and match as the season progresses.
Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail says the Blue Jays brass is split on whether Bonifacio plays defense well enough to be the everyday second baseman. One thing's for sure, though, Bonifacio brings more speed to the table, making him a big part of Toronto's secret weapon, writes FanGraphs' Dave Cameron.
As for a possible winner, Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus says to follow the money trail:
Ben LindberghAL Position Battles
"Based on early indications, both Alex Anthopoulos and John Gibbons prefer the player who will be making more money (Izturis). But forget the salaries; the stats support their preference too. Both players can take a walk and Bonifacio has better speed, but Izturis makes more contact, has superior power and is a stronger defender. PECOTA projects a .735 OPS for him and a .697 mark for Bonifacio."