Izturis, Bonifacio battling for second-base job

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Opening Day is three weeks away and the Blue Jays' roster is virtually set, but the club is unsure whether Maicer Izturis or Emilio Bonifacio will be its starting second baseman.

As manager John Gibbons sees it, both are excellent candidates, and his decision may take a while.

"It's going to come down to the wire, and … we may end up playing both of them a lot there," Gibbons said Tuesday. "They're both having really good camps and they're both proven big league players."

Izturis, who was picked up via free agency this offseason, has nine years of Major League service under his belt, including 231 games at second base. While the 32-year-old's defense has been fairly steady this spring, his bat has been cold until recently.

But Gibbons isn't concern about that.

"I saw Izzy play a number of years out in Anaheim with the Angels, and the one thing he always did was play the game the right way," said Gibbons. "If you needed to do something on the field -- get a runner over, bunt, big hit, have a great a bat, make a great play on defense -- whatever it is, he always does the right thing.

"I've seen him do really well in the past, so we can expect him to be a big boost and do those things for us."

Bonifacio, who was brought to Toronto as part of November's blockbuster trade between the Blue Jays and Marlins, has played only 72 of his 476 big league games at second base. The 27-year-old is batting .290 with four RBIs and four steals and has committed four errors.

Melissa Couto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.