When the Blue Jays left Dunedin this April, one of the remaining questions left unanswered during the spring was who would play Second Base on a regular basis in 2013.
Both Maicer Izturis and Emilio Bonifacio were given equal amounts of playing time to prove themselves capable of manning the position during Grapefruit League play. Unfortunately, neither of them truly excelled in Florida leaving Manager, John Gibbons with no choice but to continue experimenting with the pair when regular season play began.
With the month of April having come to an end, the Toronto Blue Jays pretty much know what they have at the Second Base position. Needless to say, it hasn’t been pretty on either side of the baseball for Toronto’s tandem.
Toronto’s 2nd Basemen hit only .184 with a .208 On Base Percentage this April, both of which are the lowest averages (per position) on the team. Offensive numbers aside, it’s been the defense that has really hurt this team early on in the season.
Although it’s a flawed statistic, it should be noted that Toronto’s 2nd Baseman have posted a combined .963 Fielding Percentage thus far. With 5 combined Errors in 134 Total Chances, Blue Jays fans have been forced to hold their breath when a ball is hit to one of the middle infielders, especially following the Jose Reyes injury.
Should the Blue Jays continue to struggle with their Second Baseman(s), one would think that an upgrade would be on the horizon as the club looks to dig themselves out of the hole they have dug this April.
Sportsnet’s, Ben Nicholson-Smith posted an interesting article where he looked at potential trade candidates should the Blue Jays decide to go that route. You can find that article here.
If Anthopoulos chooses to promote from within, Buffalo’s own Jim Negrych could prove to be an interesting call up as the 28 year old Infielder has yet to make his MLB debut despite playing in his 8th year of professional baseball.
With AAA Buffalo, Negrych has torn the cover off the baseball over 17 games this season. Having made 71 Plate Appearances, Negrych has recorded 27 Hits, 11 of which were for extra bases.
As of May 1′st, Jim Negrych has posted an outstanding slash-line of .429/.486/.683 while leading the Bisons to a league best 17-7 record.
From a defensive standpoint, Negrych has struggled over the course of his professional career. Despite having a near perfect build for an infielder (5’9, 185 lb), the former 6th round pick has been viewed more as an offensive player with a great eye at the dish.
Unfortunately, the Buffalo native’s .960 Fld % has certainly dulled the shine of his .301 career Batting Average as a minor league prospect.
With the Blue Jays looking to strengthen their defense up the middle, Negrych might not be exactly what this team is looking for. Than again, If he can maintain this torrid pace set in Spring Training, Negrych could provide the team with the spark It’ss been looking for early on.
At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself if this team is willing to roll the dice on a player that’s never played a game in the Big Leagues.
Well, given the early struggles, perhaps a shake up is once again in store for this team as they attempt to fill the void left behind in the wake of losing Jose Reyes.
Perhaps Jim Negrych could provide the answer.