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Gibbons announces Goins will start at second

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons confirmed the obvious by declaring Ryan Goins as his starting second baseman on Friday morning.

Toronto previously said that Goins would be competing for the job with Maicer Izturis, but the public stance has now changed. Izturis will settle into a utility role while the bulk of the work belongs to Goins.

Gibbons made the statement after discussing Izturis' value as a utility infielder, which then prompted a question about whether he still had a chance to win the starting job.

"Goins is our guy right now," Gibbons said. "We want to see him do his thing. There's always a chance. Opening Day is [Tampa Bay's] David Price so maybe you'd rather have a righty facing him, that could always be a possibility. But we're giving Goins every opportunity to be the guy."

That would leave Izturis to fill the role as a backup infielder at three positions. He has the ability to play second, shortstop and third base, and he'll likely receive time at all of those spots this year when someone needs a day off.

As Gibbons alluded to, there's always the possibility for a platoon role with Goins. The Blue Jays likely would start Goins against right-handers and Izturis against lefties.

"He'll be like a utility guy, we'll try to get him action everywhere," Gibbons said of Izturis.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB.
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