Goins ready to fill in while Tulo is sidelined

Blue Jays infielder doubles, makes great play in loss to Angels

April 23rd, 2017

ANAHEIM -- The Blue Jays are going to be asking a lot more of moving forward, now that starting shortstop is on the 10-day disabled list.

Goins started at shortstop in Saturday's 5-4 loss to the Angels, the first game the Blue Jays played since Tulowitzki went down with a strained right hamstring. Goins played his usual solid defense, and also contributed a double and a run scored.

While Goins is in line for more playing time at short and second base with Tulowitzki out, he doesn't think that will alter his approach. In fact, Goins believes a team effort is needed to offset the losses of Tulowitzki and starting third baseman Josh Donaldson.

"My responsibility is the same every day," Goins said. "I have a Major League uniform on and whenever I'm called on to play, it's my time to play, it's my time to take advantage of opportunities. I think everybody needs to step it up. We've lost JD, we've lost Tulo, we've lost a couple pitchers. It's time for everybody collectively to step up and start playing better and getting wins."

The Blue Jays are 4-13 and in last place in the competitive American League East. Still, Goins sees a silver lining in the six losses by one run, and four defeats by two runs.

"We're knocking on the door," Goins said. "We're losing games by one run. It's not like we're coming to the field just getting the [heck] beat out of us every day. We're in games. We're being competitive. It's just a matter of a hit here and a hit there. We'll turn this thing around."

The Blue Jays pulled within one run on a homer by in the ninth inning Saturday. Steve Pearce followed with a single. squared up a ball, but the Angels turned a tough double play to end the threat.

"Right there in the ninth inning, we get the leadoff guy on, Devon hits a missile and the guy makes a great play," Goins said. "It's things like that have been happening every day. It's our job to go out there and overcome this. We've got to overcome adversity. It's not going to be easy, it never is. We'll set it right."

Goins made a spectacular defensive play of his own, helping his pitcher out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh. After came in from the bullpen with the bases juiced and one out, Goins made a diving stop to his right on a sharp grounder by C.J. Cron, then made a no-look flip to Travis at second base to start the inning-ending double play.

"I just dove, backhanded, kind of just flipped it without looking, and luckily it was good and Devon turned a great double play right there," Goins said. "I play around during BP with doing weird things, glove flips, behind-the-back flips, and whatnot, and I feel like I have a good awareness of where I am on the field."

Goins' defense has never been a question in his career.

"I think I can be one of the best shortstops in the game, I can be one of the best second basemen in the game, as well, defensively," he said. "So I mean there's never really a lack of confidence on the defensive side for me."

The big question moving forward will be in the batter's box. Goins is a career .224 hitter. Tulowitzki has a lifetime .292 average and 218 home runs.

"I have a routine that I stick to every day," Goins said. "If I get a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on it, my numbers will be there in the end."