The Jays finished fifth in the American League with 198 home runs last year, but also fifth in strikeouts with 1,251.
“If you can put the ball in play and run a little bit, you don’t always have to hit the ball hard [to score runs],” general manager Alex Anthopolous said. “You can force the other team to make an error, break a bat and still get a single, to keep a rally going. Home runs are great, they’re guaranteed runs. But with power comes strikeouts and with strikeouts, you’re a little bit more prone to slumps.”
Bonifacio and Izturis are switch hitters with speed; Izturis is a much better contact hitter and Bonifacio the more dynamic base runner. Bonifacio has struck out once every five at-bats in six seasons, slightly above the major-league average, while in eight seasons, Izturis’s ratio is slightly under one strikeout every 10 at-bats.
Bonifacio stole 30 bases in only 64 games during an injury-plagued 2012 season with the Miami Marlins, hitting .258 with a .330 on-base percentage. Izturis stole a career-high 17 bases in 100 games for the Los Angeles Angels, hitting .256 with a .320 on-base percentage.
“We’ve talked about different scenarios back and forth with Izturis and Bonny,” Anthopolous said.
For instance, Izturis could get the start against a strikeout pitcher such as the Tampa Bay Rays’ David Price. Bonifacio might get the nod against a pitcher with a slow motion to the plate. With a tough lefty on the mound, both could make the lineup.
...“I love Bonifacio,” Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter said this weekend. “If they don’t know it yet, they’ve got a gem. It doesn’t matter where he plays, he can impact a game defensively in about four spots.”