Izturis could miss Opening Day with strained groin

Izturis could miss Opening Day with strained groin

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons admitted Saturday that he doesn't think Maicer Izturis, sidelined with a pulled groin, will be ready to play on Opening Day, April 6, against the Yankees.

"We want to get a better look at it and see where we're at," Gibbons explained as the Blue Jays awaited the results of MRI exams on Izturis and Kevin Pillar.

The 34-year-old Izturis left Friday's game with a strained right groin.

Gibbons also said Devon Travis could open the season as the Jays' starting second baseman. And he made it clear that if the Jays decide to go with Travis, he will be their everyday second baseman. "He's too good to be a platoon guy," Gibbons said.

Izturis missed almost all of last season because of a left knee injury. This spring, he was the favorite to win the starting job at second base.

Veteran infielder Ramon Santiago, another candidate, broke his collarbone while making a diving catch last Sunday and was assigned to the Blue Jays' Minor League camp on Saturday.

Pillar suffered an oblique strain a week ago while sneezing.

"He [Pillar] felt pretty good the last couple of days. He's moving around good, but this is one of those things where we want to make sure," Gibbons explained. "We don't want him to come back too quickly because if it flares up again, that could be a long-term deal. He had such a good spring, and he's a big part of this team."

The Blue Jays hope Pillar will be back in the lineup early next week. Pillar is batting .269 with one home run and five RBIs in 26 plate appearances this spring.

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