Last night’s game against Boston was the Blue Jays’ second game of a 20 contest stretch that will test the club against multiple AL East rivals and includes no off-days and two teams outside the division who are fighting for the top spot in their respective divisions in the Houston Astros and Cleveland Guardians.
The Jays got off to a quick start and put five runs on the board, coasting to an eventual 6-1 victory but it was the action in the top of the sixth inning that had fans worried about the upcoming schedule.
George Springer, the Blue Jays leadoff hitter and premier free agent signing two offseasons ago, took an inside fastball off his right forearm and had the righty-batter down in a heap. Springer would eventually leave the game and be replaced by Bradley Zimmer in the bottom half of the inning.
For a Jays squad that has struggled to put hits together on a consistent basis to begin the season (especially with runners in scoring position), losing Springer to the IL would be a strong blow. Fellow outfielder Teoscar Hernandez and catcher Danny Jansen are on the IL with separate oblique injuries and losing the Connecticut products bat from the top of the lineup would be a tough pill to swallow.
The former Astros stalwart is off to a solid start to the 2022 campaign, owning a .277/.327/.489 slash line with two home runs, six RBI, and a .816 OPS while patrolling center field. He missed roughly half of last season on the IL with various lower-body injuries and finished the year with a .907 OPS with 22 home runs through 78 games.
The Blue Jays and their fanbase can exhale after learning George Springer’s X-rays came back negative after being hit by a fastball last night.
Having Springer avoid the IL will be great news for the Jays as the lineup considering his outfield backups in Zimmer and Raimel Tapia have not produced the best track record at the plate, although Tapia did collect his first home run of the season last night (turning point?). Springer at the top of the lineup is a difference-maker for this ball club, especially with Bo Bichette off to a bit of a slow start (11 for 54) and the club relying more on Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with Hernandez out.
After leaving the game last night, Springer underwent X-rays and the results came back negative, which is a big sigh of relief that nothing major/serious occurred like a broken bone. He is currently diagnosed with a right forearm contusion and manager Charlie Montoyo will probably be cautious with his center fielder and wait until later this morning to see how he is feeling before pencilling him in the lineup.
It is hopeful that Springer will avoid a stint on the IL but it is “wait and see” at this point but at least a negative X-ray is a step in the right direction. With him potentially out of the lineup for at least a game or two, Montoyo has a few options at the top of the lineup in Bichette, Tapia, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., or Santiago Espinal.