The Blue Jays have hit the skids recently by going 3-7 over their last 10 games to begin the month of May, but their star centre fielder has some sound advice to share with his young teammates.
After the Blue Jays dropped the second of a two-game mini-series with the Yankees in New York, frustrations are hitting a season high right now. If you don’t believe me, see the physical display of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on Wednesday when he snapped his bat over his knee.
Wednesday’s loss was the Blue Jays’ fourth in a row, but George Springer spoke to the media after the game and he offered some valuable perspective.
"“Don’t try to hit the five-run homer if there’s nobody on base. Slow down, stay within ourselves, because there’s a long way to go and a lot of time to right the ship.”"
The former World Series champion makes a good point, as it’s frequently appeared that the Blue Jays are pressing at the plate throughout Wednesday’s game. They’re particularly struggling with runners in scoring position this year (they’re actually the worst team in baseball right now in that category), and at times it’s looked like several hitters are simply trying to do a little too much.
In particular, that sentiment could apply to Bo Bichette, who hasn’t been performing at the level that we’ve come to expect from him. He did collect three hits on Wednesday, which is definitely an encouraging sign and a step in the right direction, but his last at-bat of the game ended in a strikeout. Perhaps it was just a good performance from Aroldis Chapman as he closed out the ninth inning, but Bichette seemed to have home run on his mind throughout the at-bat, and he nearly pulled it off with a big fly that landed in foul territory. Bichette’s certainly not that only player that fits this description, but he’s a good example of what Springer may be referring to here.
The other part of Springer’s statement that stands out to me is the, “long way to go and a lot of time to right the ship” part. Even if it’s frustrating to see the Blue Jays having such a rough start since the calendar flipped to May, they’re still nowhere near panic mode territory. After Wednesday’s loss they’re now 17-15, and unfortunately 6.0 games behind the 22-8 Yankees. That’s not a visual I enjoy looking at right now, but I’m very confident in saying that the Blue Jays are better than this, and also that the Yankees aren’t THIS good.
It’s also fair to point out that there are 130 games left in the 2022 campaign, and there’s time for everything to change a dozen times over. Oddly enough, the Blue Jays had the same record after 32 games in 2021 at 17-15, and they went on to win 91 games. The goals are a little more lofty for this team in 2022, but they’ve got all the time in the world to get things back on track.
So while I’m frustrated right along with most of the fan base, and even the team themselves, I’m doing my best to keep everything in perspective by following Springer’s advice. Not that it matters what I think, but it does matter how the veteran voice can impact the clubhouse, and he’s been through a lot throughout his nine-year MLB career. Things haven’t been pretty lately, but the season is young, and this team is too talented to keep playing like this forever.