With all the uncertainty around the second base situation for the Toronto Blue Jays, Ramon Santiago was one of the bright spots on the spring. Now, he’s another name on what seems to be an extending list of Blue Jays spring training injuries, breaking his collarbone while making an exceptional catch behind the bag to end the first inning against the Braves on Sunday.
According to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com, Santiago ranged into shallow center field and made a diving catch on a bloop by A.J. Pierzynski. However, he landed awkwardly on his left shoulder, with his arm outstretched in front of him. Being that it was the end of the inning, Santiago immediately left the field and went into the clubhouse.
Ramon Santiago signed a minor league contract with the Blue Jays on January 30th, becoming a late addition to the infield competition in camp. While he wasn’t seen as much more than depth at both second and short, Santiago has quickly placed himself into the competition to start at second base. Of the six players in camp that have designs on winning that job, Santiago leads them all with a .417 average (5 for 12) and had played exceptional defense along the way, including Sunday’s impressive catch.
While the Blue Jays are noting that there is no timetable available yet on his recovery, adults can typically expect to be in a sling for 4-8 weeks. From there, the 35-year-old utility-man can expect at least 4 more weeks working his way back into game shape via a rehab assignment.
That said, the competition for second base will seem to come down to a trio that includes Devon Travis, Munenori Kawasaki, and Ryan Goins. The Blue Jays seem to favor giving the opportunity to Travis, who has received the most at-bats of the group with 27, and he’s started to show signs with the bat, hitting .259/.286/.296. Meanwhile, Goins has spent most of his time at shortstop this spring, which is perhaps a sign that he could be in for a utility role himself.
On the outside looking in are Maicer Izturis and Steve Tolleson. Izturis has struggled this spring in limited action, collection just a single hit in 11 at-bats. However, he is under contract for this season and will likely make the team regardless of his spring contributions. Tolleson on the other hand, could be cut at the end of camp unless he turns things around, with the veteran hitting just .188/.278/.250 and collecting 7 strike-outs in 16 at-bats.