It's Time To Talk About George Springer...

The Blue Jays face a huge dilemma regarding their popular leadoff hitter
Seattle Mariners v Toronto Blue Jays
Seattle Mariners v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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When George Springer homered in consecutive games to begin his 2024 season, there was hope amongst the fanbase that he was going to return to his old ways. Unfortunately, life has been difficult for the veteran outfielder since then with a slash line of .192/409/422. What do the Blue Jays do with their leadoff hitter going forward?

A Perplexing Start, Hence Should He Remain In The Leadoff Spot?

According to Baseball Servant, Springer’s start to the season has been difficult to understand. He ranks in the 84th percentile for walks, 96th in K% and in the 89th for chase rate, which indicates good plate discipline. On the other hand, he ranks in the 10th percentile in average exit velocity, 18th in hard hit rate and 15th in batting run value. For a player focusing more on 'pulling the ball', it is evident that hasn't been the case so far. With that being said, should the Blue Jays remove George Springer from the leadoff spot?

Last year, Springer suffered the most inconsistent year of his career, with career lows in AVG, OBP and OPS, but managed to stay healthy playing the most games he's since 2016. He experienced the worst hitless streak of his career and as a result was moved down from the leadoff spot. Whilst he isn't hitting as bad at the moment as he was back then, maybe age is starting to catch up with Springer? Ultimately, if the Jays decided to remove him from the leadoff spot, the options to replace him would be Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio. In his career at leadoff, Bichette's line is .305 with 15 home runs and 35 RBI in 71 games, and Biggio's is .250 with 7 homers and 31 RBI in 67 games. The two have a decent amount of experience and should be considered.

Regardless of his tough start, Springer remains one of the best leadoff hitters in the game with an AVG of .271 and is second on the all-time list for leadoff homers, which does mean something. The downside of moving him from his preferred position is he's batted just .228 in the cleanup spot and .186 in the 5 hole in 17 games. With Justin Turner thriving, it's hard to envision Springer batting cleanup and with Daulton Varsho on a hot streak, it's unlikely he'll be moved from the five-hole for as long as he's swinging a hot stick.

FanGraphs suggests that throughout Springer's career, he is worst in the months of March/April, batting just .243 compared to May, the best month of his career, batting .291. So maybe the Jays will ride out the lineup as it is for the next few weeks and hope he regains his power?

Whatever they decide to do, they face a huge dilemma. Springer isn't getting any younger and maybe his best days are behind him, but this issue will need to be addressed in the coming weeks.