Toronto Blue Jays outfielder George Springer knows a thing or two about playing past September.
The three-time all-star is looking for his second World Series title in his first season with the Blue Jays. His first title came in 2017 with the Houston Astros and he also was named World Series MVP. When Springer joined the Blue Jays this season he made an immediate impact and brought that championship mindset with him to the team.
Now that the season is coming to an end, the Blue Jays are fighting to secure a wild card spot in the American League and Springer is playing a big role for the team.
Having a player on your team that has won a title already is very key because they know what it takes to be in that position.
“He’s been there and done that,” Jays shortstop Bo Bichette told the Toronto Sun. “Obviously, he’s had so many big home runs when he was with Houston. He knows how to turn it on in the blink of an eye, which is obviously super important when we’re trying to win big ball games at this time of the year.”
At 31, Springer has gained a lot of experience in the league and can provide a wealth of knowledge to the young players. He’s the perfect fit for the Blue Jays and has shown that his presence on the team is contagious, and definitely in a good way. Despite missing some time during the season due to injuries, Springer is hitting .258 with 17 home runs and 38 RBI through 62 games
It was bad news for Toronto fans when he went down with a sprained knee during a game against the Seattle Mariners on August 14th. His return was earlier than expected and in perfect time for the Blue Jays to make a playoff push.
“I just think everybody feeds off of one another,” Springer said. “We just understand that it’s going to take every single person to get to where we want to go…I know everybody has each other’s backs. We’re all aiming for the same goal and to have everybody playing for that is awesome.”
Blue Jays coach John Schneider has been pleased with the 2017 World Series MVP’s return and knows the caliber of player he’s dealing with.
“The experience he’s had this time of year and in the post-season obviously are big,” Schneider said. “But just having him at the top (of the batting order), seeing pitches, getting on base and the damage potential and all that stuff … it’s great for us and it’s great for the guys behind him.”
Springer made the playoffs his last four seasons in Houston and he’s looking to continuing that streak. His numbers have been impressive during the postseason. He’s got a career batting average of .269 and a .546 slugging percentage in the playoffs.
“George is a proven, very professional (hitter) with plate discipline and elite ability to swing at pitches he can drive, so that will be a big add to the lineup for sure,” said Toronto general manager Ross Atkins prior to the game.
For now, Springer will only be a DH for the Jays, while he continues to rehab his knee.
Toronto players and fans are ecstatic to have Springer on the field in any capacity. He could have taken the money and chilled this season. Instead, he returns in time to help Toronto make a late push to the postseason.
Let me find out all it took was another injury and a move to second base to get Mookie Betts rolling again.
The multi-faceted machine has had a few physical malfunctions this year, but that slow start that everyone seemed so concerned about — yeah, the one that had some fools questioning whether or not the former MVP and two-time World Series champion should be on the All-star team — has evaporated
All of that crazy talk is dead now. Betts is back in the groove at the right time for the Dodgers who have more talent than the Lakers and can’t get much closer to the pesky San Francisco Giants than the four games that seperate them now.
Mookie not only further seperated himself from the pack this week, by showing that he could easily add a Gold Glove at second base to his resume if given the chances, but his bat was scolding like old school hot irons on an unsuspecting forehead.
Entering Friday, Betts was on a roll, going 15-for-28 (.536 BA), a 1.214 slugging percentage, seven extra base hits and five home runs including a two-homer game in Wednesday’s victory over the Astros.
He’s rounding into HOF shape at the right time and not a moment too soon.
George Springer is in a similar zone.
After signing a mega contract with Toronto in the offseason, the former World Series MVP was hobbled by injuries throughout the first half of this season and wasn’t able to round out an already-potent Blue Jays lineup.
With the injury bug behind him, the five-tool funkster is batting .517 with a 1.103 slugging percentage, four home runs, 11 RBI, 10 runs scored and four walks over his last seven games.
Betts’ Dodgers will make the playoffs via Wild Card or division win, but it will be a dogfight getting past the young San Diego Padres and the stubborn Giants, who refuse to just do what the roster says and roll over for a Dodgers team that should be steam-rolling the league — especially with the recent addition of Hall of Fame talent Max Scherzer and All-Star shortstop Trea Turner.
If they repeat, you can almost be certain that Betts will be one of the main catalysts for Dave Roberts’ squad.
The Blue Jays are also in a treacherous division — the AL East. In order to win the division they would have to leapfrog the Yankees, Rays and Red Sox, which is highly unlikely. But with Springer finally in tow, they can make a late run at a wild card or at least set the foundation for a serious run at the division next season.
The Blue Jays are one of the more dynamic teams in the league boasting a plethora of young talent such as Bo Bichette and Vlad Guerrero Jr (both All-Stars with unlimited potential). They also have two uber talented free agent additions in MLBbros Springer and All-Star second baseman Marcus Semien.
Once the franchise organizes a formidable rotation, they will be a problem.
For now, however, we get to see the incredible influence and energy that these well-accomplished MLBbros bring to the game. Betts is the heartbeat of the defending World Champions and Springer is a key veteran leader within the Blue Jays youth movement.
What a time for these Black Knights. What a time for baseball. And its still only early August.
It had been 670 days between this past Friday and September 29 of 2019 that the Blue Jays were able to play in front of their home fans at the Rogers Centre in Toronto and George Springer treated them to a show.
The Jays spent time this season in Florida and most recently Buffalo, New York before Canada recently lifted travel restrictions allowing them to have home games. For Springer, who signed a six-year $150 million deal this past offseason, it was the first time to show fans the investment in him was well worth every penny.
Springer was awarded his third career player of the week award after posting a .400 batting average, a .960 slugging percentage, seven RBI, five doubles and three home runs including a multi home run game in Saturday’s contest against Kansas City. That includes Springer’s 40th career leadoff home run which places him at eighth on the all-time list.
Springer now has hits in 14 of his last 15 games entering Tuesday and has been one of the hottest players at the plate through his last 15 games. He has six home runs, scored 17 times, has 11 RBI and an .825 slugging percentage over that stretch.
He has meant much more to this young Blue Jays team than just his numbers at the plate. Springer is one of the top center fielders in majors and he along with All-Star second baseman Marcus Semien, who was announced as the winner the Blue Jays 2021 Heart and Hustle award on Tuesday, have constantly brought leadership to the clubhouse.
After a few trade deadline additions and with the talent brought in over the offseason to go along with the young stars in Toronto, they are going all in on being contenders for a World Series Championship this season. Springer has the most experience out of the group, and players will look for him to lead the way both at the plate and on the bench whenever the playoff pressure is at its highest.
Springer and the Jays have a few games left in their series against the newly named Cleveland Guardians before a huge weekend series that will see the Boston Red Sox come to town.