After only 34 games in the big leagues Ryan Goins has become a bit of a polarizing figure among Jays fans.
He came up towards the end of 2013, playing a lot of second base after the position was a black hole for pretty much the entire damn season. Perhaps black hole isn’t appropriate black holes suck everything up, and defensively, nothing was being sucked up at second base for the Jays until go-go Goins came up. Compared to what Emilio Bonfacio and Maicer Izturis had shown up to that point, Goins looked like Robbie Alomar.
He sure didn’t hit like him though.His .609 OPS, including a .264 OBP were not good. Like, at all. And it’s not terribly surprising, as Goins has never been seen as a solid hitter throughout his minor league career.
And that’s where the disagreement comes in. Some argue Goins will be fine as the starting second baseman. It’s ok to have one defence-only guy in the lineup, especially when he plays quite good defence at a fairly premium position.
The others say, BUT HE CAN’T HIT!
The truth is, few middle infielders can hit all that well. There aren’t many out there. Luckily, the Jays have one such middle infielder playing on the other side of second base. They also have a centrefielder who can hit pretty ok. Two outta three ain’t bad? Right?
Well, not really. Three outta three’s much better.
But with few options to begin the offseason and even fewer now, it looks increasingly difficult the Jays will find a substantial upgrade.
Could finding a relative lefty masher be the solution? In 2013 Goins’ splits in Buffalo saw him hitting .274/.323/.385 against righties. Not great, but certainly passable. If you can get something along those lines, and find a right handed batter who puts up good numbers against lefties I think that might be a solution.
Now there’s not much on the FA market, a cursory look left me with Nick Green’s career .298 wOBA vs. lefties after spending all of 2013 in AAA as the best option. Maybe I’m missing somebody, but that’s no ideal.
However, trade always to me seemed like the more likely route for second base. If all AA has to do is look for someone who hits lefties well, it seems to me like he should be able to find somebody.