Blue Jays fans owe George Springer a heartfelt apology

Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays
Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

It's safe to say that George Springer hasn't been living up to expectation in 2024. He was inked to the highest contract in franchise history at $150M, and appeared to be facing a downward trajectory after last season. On June 24th, The 34-year-old had a .559 OPS, the lowest mark for all qualified hitters. He was moved down from the leadoff spot, and was facing a lot of backlash for the reason why the Blue Jays have underperformed so significantly this season.

So what changed?

Since June 25, Springer has been scorching hot. He's slashing .386/.471/.795 with a 250 wRC+. Not only does that lead the team, but that's the 5th highest mark in all of MLB in that span. He's hit 5 home runs in the past 14 games, when he only had 5 home runs in his first 71 games of the season. Is the answer for this torrid stretch as simple as Springer turning the clock back? Or is there something else involved?

The thread above elaborates on exactly the physical changes Springer has made in his batting stance, which not so coincidentally matches with his best stretch of the entire season. His adjusted stance allows him now cover the bottom center part of the strike zone, whereas his previous stance would result in Springer making weak contact on the ground, on the vast majority of pitches in the lower quadrants. Springer has gotten back to driving the ball in the air, and it's paying off in a major way.

This recent stretch brings up an interesting question about Springers future role with the team. Should he remain the leadoff hitter, so long as he produces? Will he just be moved back down, if he begins to struggle? Do the Jays consider moving him, as he is still owed ~$48M through 2026? It's a difficult puzzle to solve, but this current version of Springer is showing a real sign of encouragement that was sorely missing from his first half of the season.

The criticism around Springer had been so loud, simply due to the fact that fans and teammates alike know what he is capable of at the height of his abilities. Throughout his entire career, Springer has been the type of player that can put a team on his back if he needs to. He's currently doing exactly that, and feels like the least of the Blue Jays current problems. They stand at 41-50, and comfortably out of the playoff picture. Springer's recent resurgence may not change enough to redirect the entire course of the season, but he's slowly but surely turning a dire situation into a potential boon. Either way, his second half performance will be heavily observed to make proper conclusions, on what it is they exactly have in George Springer going forward.