Blue Jays: Top 5 Reasons to be Excited for Spring Training (eventually)
By Evan Gignac
#2: George Springer
Remember when the Jays signed Springer? The hype was unmatched. They secured a bonafide star with a winning pedigree. Springer is a five-tool talent who can make an impact on both sides of the ball, and is a key cog in the success of this team. Unfortunately, his 2021 season didn’t go as planned. Injuries that arose in Spring Training halted his preparation and he struggled to be a consistent contributor to the lineup. His absence had a ripple effect on the team that led to the Jays being exposed. In a perfect world Springer would’ve been playing centre field at Yankee Stadium last April. Instead, we endured Randal Grichuk for a considerable amount of time.
Come 2022, and Springer is by all accounts healthy and ready to go. He’s set to be a part of a formidable outfield quartet, and will most likely mainly play centre field while receiving his occasional starts at DH. This spring will be a fun time to watch Springer, as we didn’t get to see him ramp up much for the impending season at this time last year.
Looking at 2021 when Springer did play, he was more than productive. A 143 OPS+ split between being an outfielder and DH while playing at less than 100% is an encouraging sign. This was only over 78 games. The 32 year-old Connecticut native is one of four Blue Jays entering this season after posting a 120 OPS+ or better the year prior. If the Blue Jays start the 2022 campaign with all of these players healthy and ready to go, it could go a long way towards giving them early success.
He got into only 10 Spring Training games last year, so seeing a healthy Springer hit leadoff and play centre field this spring is liable to entice any fan.