Getz reunites with Royals in Blue Jays debut
KANSAS CITY -- The irony wasn't lost on second baseman Chris Getz when he received the news that his first stop with the Blue Jays would be at Kauffman Stadium.
From 2010-2013, Getz was in the Royals' organization before signing with Toronto in January. After a strong start at Triple-A Buffalo, he got the promotion to the Blue Jays and was in the lineup batting ninth on Tuesday in the series opener against his former team. To make room for Getz, the Blue Jays optioned infielder Ryan Goins to Buffalo. Right-hander Mickey Storey was released to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
"It's cool to come back here," Getz said. "You see former teammates and people who work at the park that you get to know over the years. There are a lot of good people here and I sort of feel at home."
Getz was hitting .309 with six stolen bases through 18 games with the Bisons. He's coming off a season when the Royals went through a variety of second basemen, making it difficult to get in a groove at the plate. A lifetime .251 hitter, Getz plummeted to .220 for Kansas City last year.
Getz said he had a comfort level in signing with the Blue Jays over the winter because he had worked with Toronto manager John Gibbons and hitting coach Kevin Seitzer in Kansas City.
"I knew it was going to be tough to make it [to the Major League club] coming out of Spring Training," said Getz, who signed a Minor League contract. "But I knew that if I went down and performed the way I'm capable, I would have a good chance to be selected."
Being reunited with Seitzer is a confidence booster for Getz, who is regarded as a steady defensive player and a guy who has shown a penchant for stealing bases.
"Kevin knows me very well," Getz said. "Last year, he wasn't there [in Kansas City] and I was kind of searching. I felt that in order to give myself a chance to succeed, it would be best to go with someone who knows my swing. He knows what I look like if I'm going well and what the adjustments are if I'm not going well."
Gibbons said the Blue Jays still have a lot of faith in Goins' long-term future.
"We need more production with the bat over there," Gibbons said. "We're looking out for his best interests, too. We want to get him going [in Buffalo]."
Getz made an impression on Gibbons when Gibbons was the bench coach in Kansas City from 2009-2011.
"Getz is a heads-up player," Gibbons said. "He can steal bags and he'll battle you at the plate. He's just a winner, one of those kind of guys."
Getz finished 0-for-3 in Toronto's 10-7 loss. He was denied a hit when the umpires overturned a "safe" call at first in the second inning following a Royals' replay challenge.