As I am sure you are aware, the Toronto Blue Jays made a pretty big splash this past off-season, signing outfielder George Springer to a five-year, 150 million dollar contract. The largest financial contract in Blue Jays history was a significant moment for the franchise to have a non-Canadian player want to come and play North of the border.
While he would make ten appearances for the Blue Jays in Spring Training, Springer would finish the month of March on the injured list with a left oblique strain, missing the Opening Day series against the New York Yankees. While recovering from his oblique injury, the righty slugger would suffer a setback in his rehab and would go down with a separate quad injury, an issue that has kept the outfielder from making his debut for his new team this season.
In the latest news, Springer was taking part in alternate site games and hitting in the batting cage, appearing to be almost ready to go yesterday against the Washington Nationals. Alas, the lineup would be released and his name was missing, indicating that he was still not ready to return just yet.
This is obviously disappointing news for fans who were hoping to see the star acquisition take the field, but one can obviously understand that if he’s not ready to go just yet, then he’s just not ready. Baseball is a 162 game marathon, not a sprint.
Considering Jay’s nation will be very excited to see Springer take the field when he is fully healed and ready to go, there has to be the realization that after missing over a month of baseball, he may need a few games to adjust to playing full time.
Springer is a talented player and will be a great addition to the roster when he does return, but there have to be realistic expectations for when he suits up and comes off the injured list in the near future.
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It wouldn’t be a surprise if he spends a few days as the designated hitter before being put back into the outfield just to acclimated back to major league pitching. It also won’t be surprising to see Charlie Montoyo give him some extra rest days during his first few weeks, making sure that he doesn’t go too hard after missing over a month with his various injuries. I am sure fans would love to see him come back and hit 4-4 with three home runs every night, and there is always the possibility that he could, the reality of the situation is that he will probably take at least a few games to get back into the swing of things, both offensively and defensively.
After those few games of getting his feet wet and into the routine of playing regularly, he can hopefully return back to the form that intrigued Ross Atkins and the Blue Jays management to sign him in the first place. It may take a few games, it may take a few weeks, but it would just be wise to be patient when it comes to his Blue Jays debut and to not expect any miracles to happen right away (the dude is human after all).
There is a chance that George Springer could return to the lineup as early as tonight against the Nationals, but the team could wait until the next series against the Atlanta Braves to see the Connecticut native return to the diamond. With his return, his presence and ability will hopefully provide another impact bat at the top of the lineup that should be the boost that could help put runs on the board and support the hot start from the Blue Jays pitching staff, winning ball games along the way.