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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Ryan Goins

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MLB: Toronto Blue Jays-Workouts
Ryan working this spring.
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Goins had an interesting 2016 season.

He started off in a platoon at second base, along with Darwin Barney, filling in for the injured Devon Travis.

When Travis came back, Troy Tulowitzki replaced him on the DL and Ryan filled in for him.

Soon after Troy came back, Goins went on the DL with “forearm tightness”, a result of pitching an inning an inning in a blowout. It wasn’t an injury that would have had put him on the DL if we hadn’t needed fresh arms for the bullpen. After his DL time, he was sent to Buffalo on a rehab assignment and then was optioned to Buffalo.

I’ll admit I kind of felt bad for Ryan, in 2105 he had done a great job as our utility infielder. He played amazing defense, making spectacular plays almost every day. And, it seemed, like he was learning to hit at the major league level. The .250/.318/.354 batting line, considering his glove, seemed pretty good. And his August line .308/.400/.385 gave reason to dream he could be even better.

The bat didn’t work as well in 2016. He had a .186/.228/.306 batting line in 77 games. No matter how good the glove is, he has to hit better than that. With Darwin Barney having a great start to the season with his bat, Ryan quickly became second in line for ‘utility’ playing time.

And Ryan’s defense didn’t seem as incredible. Maybe it was just that I started expecting great plays every day, but we didn’t seem to get as many highlight plays. UZR thought his defense fell off some too. His UZR/150 at second base was 0.1 last year (in just 291 innings). And he had a negitive number (-3.8/150) at short (again in limited innings, 150). I don’t trust UZR on limited innings, but it does agree with what I saw.

Will we see Ryan Goins play for the Blue Jays this year?

I doubt it.

Darwin Barney has a $2.9 million contract, we if it is a choice between the two, Darwin wins. Unless there is an injury (please Jays, stay healthy this spring), I don’t see room for Ryan.

And he is out of options. If he doesn’t make the team, he would have to clear waivers to be sent to the minors. The Jays have signed a handful of utility infielder type guys, in the last couple of months. Jake Elmore, Jonathan Diaz and Gregorio Petit will all be in camp, as well as minor leaguer Jon Berti and Cuban Lourdes Gurriel, so we should be covered for the position.

Would any team claim Goins off waivers?

I hate guessing on waiver claims, but it seems to me, that most teams have a Ryan Goins type player. I’m thinking that there aren’t many teams who would be looking for an infielder who struggles to get to the Mendoza Line.

But, Spring Training is long. There are sure to be some injuries. Some team might find themselves short of infielders.

It depends on who else would be available on the waiver wire at the same time. The Jays will wait until the end of Spring Training, when all the teams will be putting their extra players on waivers.

And it depends on the Jays infield staying healthy. It would be nice to start the season with Tulowitzki, Travis and Donaldson in the lineup. If one of those guys went down with an injury, then Ryan would make the team.

I like Ryan. He’s given me so many enjoyable moments, I’d like to keep him in the organization.