Blue Jays: The impacts of a healthy George Springer
After signing a six-year, $150M contract, George Springer has been far from fully healthy since putting on a Toronto Blue Jays uniform. During the offseason, Springer underwent surgery on his right elbow which should lead him to being even more of a threat in the 2023 lineup.
The 33-year-old from New Britain, Connecticut has been a force ever since getting the call up to the majors in 2014, but injuries have always been an issue for him. Springer has only topped 140 games once in his nine-year major league career and has been an annual lock to miss at least 30 to 40 games a year, which has left his teams in tough positions. Specifically in the last two seasons, he has missed 113 games out of a possible 324 games, leaving the Jays in a tough spot without their leadoff hitter.
Not only has Springer’s injuries left a dent in the Jays lineup it has also left some issues in the outfield. Up until the additions of Kevin Kiermaier and Daulton Varsho, Springer has been the main center fielder for the team. All of his missed games over the last few seasons have left the Jays scrambling for more outfield depth, turning to the likes of Raimel Tapia in his absence. The upcoming change from center to right should keep him healthier as he does not have to make as many plays in the outfield.
With all the negatives that come with his injuries, a healthy Springer has what it takes to be one of the best players in baseball. His stats with Houston (especially in 2019) prove his worth on the field. In that 2019 season, he hit 39 home runs with 96 RBI and had a .974 on base plus slugging percentage. That performance would leave him seventh in American League MVP voting and would solidify him as one of the best outfielders in baseball.
A healthy Springer is a must for the 2023 Toronto Blue Jays team. His projections for the 2023 season leave him with a similar stat line to the 2022 season which was 25 home runs with 76 RBI and an .814 OPS.
If Springer can play anywhere close to a full season of games, he will be a force in the leadoff spot for the Jays. Even when he was hurt for a portion of last season, his numbers were very impressive for a player in the latter half of his career. If he is healthy and perhaps able to replicate that 2019 season, the 2023 Blue Jays will be in great shape to make a deep run in October.