It’s no big surprise, but unfortunately George Springer will start his Blue Jays tenure on the Injured List, as he’s still recovering from an oblique strain.
Springer and the Blue Jays had remained hopeful that the 3x All-Star could suit up for Opening Day against the Yankees, but Charlie Montoyo informed the media on Wednesday that he’ll begin the year on the IL.
It’s a disappointment to say the least, but in my view it’s a no-brainer decision for the Blue Jays. I wrote about it a few days ago, and I stand by my opinion. After signing the 31-year-old to a six-year, 150 million dollar pact, they need to make sure he starts off on the right foot, even if that doesn’t happen on Opening Day. An oblique injury can be the type to be easily re-aggravated, and the only true way to put it behind you is with extended rest.
With Springer on the sidelines the Blue Jays’ outfield will look quite a bit like it did last season. Randal Grichuk is expected to make the majority of starts in centre until Springer can get healthy, and he’ll be flanked by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in left, and Teoscar Hernandez in right, with Jonathan Davis available off the bench. If need be, Montoyo could always shift Cavan Biggio to the outfield as well.
It’s not ideal to be starting the year without one of your best players, especially when they’re a shiny new acquisition, but it’s the right call in this case. With a deep hitting lineup that includes the names I’ve already mentioned plus Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrreo Jr., Marcus Semien, Rowdy Tellez and more, the Blue Jays should be able to score runs even without their most accomplished hitter.
Hopefully Springer will be able to join the team in a week or two, and by all accounts it sounds like he’s feeling good. Even at that, the Blue Jays made the right call to give him a little more time to get to 100%.