It feels like George Springer‘s health and updates from the Blue Jays have become a “I’ll believe it when I see it” scenario. With that in mind, the eyes are giving us some encouraging signs lately.
The Blue Jays’ new 150 million dollar man has only been able to suit up for four MLB games thus far as he’d dealt with injuries to his oblique and then his quad. The Jays arguably brought him back too soon back in April, and have been taking an extremely patient approach with the 31-year-old since he suffered a setback. However, this week has brought some encouraging signs as he’d starting ramping up his rehab with the Triple-A Bisons.
Although he was removed from the game in the 4th inning on Saturday, we’re told that “all went according to plan” according to the Bisons’ media relations representative. We’ll see if there are further updates on Sunday, but assuming that turns out to be truth then it brings a huge sigh of relief for all concerned.
On the plus side, Springer was even playing defence on Saturday, back in his familiar spot in centre field. That’s something he has not yet been able to do for the Blue Jays, as base running and defence have been in the later stages of his rehab work. Charlie Montoyo has even said that this time the Jays won’t bring him back to the big leagues until he’s ready to do more than just DH.
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Thus far he’s gone just 2-14 while playing against Triple-A competition, but the numbers are very secondary at this point. What’s far more important is that the 3x All-Star can get his timing and rhythm ready for big league competition, and most importantly, that his body proves to be prepared to get back in the lineup on a regular basis.
Assuming that he continues to stay healthy and get some regular at-bats with the Bisons, my guess is that Springer will make his return to the Blue Jays at some point this week. If I had to take a purely speculative guess, I’d bet on his return coming at the start of the next series with the Orioles, which begins on Thursday after a quick two-game set with Miami on Tuesday-Wednesday.
One way or another it would be nice to see Springer get at least a handful of games in before the All-Star break. Even with a huge comeback win on Saturday, there’s no doubt the Blue Jays will be better off once he’s finally able to make his return. At least there’s been some real progress lately, which is something Blue Jays fans hadn’t seen in a while.