Ryan Goins will be Blue Jays starting second baseman

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

The Blue Jays appear to have already declared a winner in their second base competition.

Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Friday that Ryan Goins is expected to be the team's starting second baseman come the beginning of the season, reports Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com.

Previously, Goins has been expected to compete with Maicer Izturis to claim the starting job. However, it appears Gibbons has already made his choice.

"Goins is our guy right now," Gibbons told reporters. "We want to see him do his thing. There's always a chance."

Gibbons also acknowledged that while the left-handed-batting Goins might be the primary starter, Izturis could be the second baseman on Opening Day as the team faces Tampa Bay Rays' left-hander David Price.

Goins, 26, started most of the Blue Jays' games at second base over the final six weeks of the 2013 regular season. Emilio Bonifacio started the season as the team's primary second baseman, but lost most of his playing time and was eventually sent to the Kansas City Royals. Izturis started 47 games at the position last year.

Over 34 major league games in 2013, Goins had his share of struggles, hitting .252/.264/.345. He also had a .679 OPS for Triple-A Buffalo last year and is a career .273/.330/.376 minor league hitter.

There may still be a possibility that fresh competition could knock Goins out of the starting spot. The Blue Jays have reportedly had some interest in shortstop Stephen Drew on the free agent market. Were Toronto to sign Drew, he could play second base with Jose Reyes at short and Brett Lawrie at third.

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