Izturis may be out for season; surgery likely
Kawasaki brought up from Buffalo to join Goins in mix at second base for Blue Jays
TORONTO -- Blue Jays second baseman Maicer Izturis will likely miss the rest of the season because of a left knee injury.
Toronto announced Monday evening that Izturis will require surgery to repair a complete tear of his lateral collateral ligament (LCL). The recommended recovery time is four to six months, but Izturis will seek a second opinion prior to scheduling surgery.
The loss of Izturis, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, means rookie Ryan Goins is back in the mix as the Blue Jays' starting second baseman, while Munenori Kawasaki, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Buffalo on Wednesday, also could receive consideration.
Izturis suffered the injury when he tripped on the dugout steps in Baltimore on Sunday afternoon, and he felt something "pop" in his knee. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list after the game and underwent an MRI later that night.
The injury couldn't have come at a more inopportune time for the veteran infielder. Izturis started the season as one of Toronto's hottest hitters, and he recently earned a promotion to the second spot in the batting order.
Izturis had multiple hits in five of his first seven games. He started to cool off late last week and was hitless in his last 13 at-bats, but he was still hitting .286 with a .324 on-base percentage. That production was enough to receive the bulk of the playing time at second base after starting the year in a platoon with Goins.
Goins has just three hits in 28 at-bats this season, and he's still trying to figure things out at the plate. He hit one off the wall on Sunday afternoon in Baltimore, and he'll try to build off that in Minnesota. But overall, Goins has just one double and one run scored.
The true value in Goins is his defense up the middle. He provides strong defense at second base and also played seven games at shortstop after Jose Reyes was placed on the disabled list with a strained hamstring. Kawasaki was promoted to provide additional depth up the middle.
Kawasaki, 32, appeared in eight games for Buffalo, posting a .240 average and collecting one double in 25 at-bats. The Kagoshima, Japan, native played in a career-high 96 games for Toronto last season, batting .229 with one home run and 24 RBIs.
Additionally, right-hander Marcus Walden was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Kawasaki and right-hander Jeremy Jeffress, who cleared waivers, was outrighted to Buffalo.