Davis Schneider in the leadoff spot has been everything the Blue Jays needed him to be

With Springer struggling, second-year player providing a spark for offense that's in need of it
Davis Schneider bats during Saturday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Davis Schneider bats during Saturday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

In a season plagued by offensive struggles, the Blue Jays may have found an answer to at least one problem.

While he's certainly not the only one scuffling at the plate this season, George Springer's struggles have made things especially challenging for Toronto. Springer has been the Blue Jays' regular leadoff hitter since his first season with the team in 2021. But, the 34-year-old right fielder has gotten off to a rough start this season, going just 30-for-153 (which comes to a .196 average) when batting first with 30 strikeouts, just 15 walks and just eight extra-base hits (five doubles, three home runs).

That all adds up to a .286 on-base percentage and a .554 OPS with Springer in the number one spot in the lineup. Those are not the kind of numbers a team wants to see, especially from the spot that will come to the plate the most during the course of a game. Springer's name has been in the top spot on the lineup card for most of the games this season, while Bo Bichette led off for two games and made nine plate appearances.

When Springer missed a few games earlier this month because of illness, the Blue Jays got to see a worthy leadoff alternative. Davis Schneider took over as number one, then was at the top of the lineup for each of the games Saturday through Tuesday night's game against the Chicago White Sox. Schneider, who is in his second season in the majors, is already off to a great start for a MLB career. He has the highest OPS for any Blue Jay through their first 71 games in the majors, according to Rogers Sportsnet.

Heading into Thursday's game against the Tigers, Schneider has appeared in seven games as a leadoff hitter with 29 plate appearances. Schneider is 8-for-35 (.229 average) with four doubles and a home run, scoring seven runs and posting a .692 OPS. While these numbers don't exactly jump off the page and there's still some room for improvement, this is an upgrade to be certain. For the season, Schneider is hitting .246 with a .345 on-base percentage and a .796 OPS.

If Schneider is going to be in the leadoff spot for an extended period of time, he is looking forward to the challenge, according to Deep Left Field, the Toronto Star's baseball podcast. Schneider told the podcast he has been getting some advice from Springer, on things such as what it takes to be a leadoff hitter, when to swing, and so on.