Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: 2021’s “what ifs” could be the answers in 2022

Aug 23, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo (25) speaks to the home plate umpire during the second inning against Chicago White Sox at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 23, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo (25) speaks to the home plate umpire during the second inning against Chicago White Sox at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /
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TORONTO, ON – OCTOBER 02: George Springer #4 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a home run during a MLB game against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on October 2, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Starting with the obvious

One of the biggest “what if” questions for the Blue Jays last season was how much they missed out on from George Springer because of his various injuries. The 3x All-Star was very productive when he was able to limp into the lineup, but he finished with just 78 games played and was greatly missed when he was on the Injured List.

If the Blue Jays can get a healthy Springer in 2022 I think there’s potential for him to be one of the most valuable players in the American League. He provided that kind of impact while playing on one leg for the majority of his appearances last season, and I think he has plenty of prime left as long as he can play at close to 100%.

Despite dealing with those various injuries, Springer slashed .264/.352/.555 with 22 home runs and 50 RBI over just 299 at-bats. It might be ambitious to hope for a 600 at-bat season now that he’s 32, but that’s an impressive pace he was setting, and again, doing it while playing injured for the majority of the time.

As important as his own impact can be, Springer will also be counted on to help make up for the loss of Marcus Semien in free agency. It’s very possible that Ross Atkins and the front office will look for a high-end player to add to the infield mix, but a healthy Springer could take some pressure off, especially when we look at the overall team success last season, and how they project going forward.

More often than not it looked like Springer was having the time of his life playing with his young Blue Jays teammates, and it would be a massive help if he can do more of that in 2022 by staying healthy. If we’re talking “what ifs” for the near-playoff-miss in 2021, I don’t know if there’s a bigger question than what they could have if their star centre fielder had been healthy all year long.

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