Throughout spring training, Sporting News will keep tabs on the top position battles around the major leagues. Today, it's a look at the American League East, including second base for the Blue Jays.

Ryan Goins is the starting second baseman in Toronto as spring begins, as Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun wrote over the weekend in a story detailing the 26-year-old’s work with Blue Jays hitting coach Kevin Seitzer . That does not mean, however, that the job is surely Goins’ to keep.

The reason for Goins spending extra time with Seitzer is that in 121 plate appearances for the Blue Jays last year, his first in the major leagues, Goins hit .252/.264/.345, with 28 strikeouts and two walks. That followed 418 plate appearances for Triple-A Buffalo in which Goins hit .257/.311/.369 with six home runs, 85 strikeouts, and 29 walks. Goins’ OPS over five minor league seasons, across all levels, is .706 — whether he will be able to hit will be an open question until Goins actually does it, regardless of Seitzer’s optimism.

The reason Goins enters spring training with the job is that Maicer Izturis had a .597 OPS in 399 plate appearances for the Blue Jays in the first season of his three-year, $10 million deal, and profiles best as a utility option who occasionally spells Brett Lawrie at third base, Jose Reyes at shortstop, and whoever the starting second baseman is. Of course, if Izturis hits closer to his career line of .269/.331/.372, he’ll grab more playing time, and that would be at second base – so he has to be considered part of the mix, especially in the absence of a sure thing at the position.