If slow and steady wins the race, then George Springer looks like the surefire champion.
In his first year with the Toronto Blue Jays, the former World Series MVP is fresh off of signing a six-year, $150-million contract. But so far he has only played in four games this season, and the Blue Jays are proceeding with caution.
The reason? A nagging right quad injury.
If Blue Jays’ fans think it’s difficult to patiently wait for Springer’s healthy return, they aren’t alone.
Last week Springer confirmed that the process has been hard for him, too. After all, it’s not like Springer has avoided taking the field. After the quad injury kept him out for most of April, Springer came out swinging with two home runs in the Blue Jays win against the Atlanta Braves. The following day, Springer made three plate appearances against the Braves before feeling fatigued in that same right quad. Fans haven’t seen him play since.
George Springer (quad): “This isn’t easy on me. I may be smiling and laughing during BP, but this is hard on me. I want to be out there. I hate being hurt.”
An MRI revealed that Springer had aggravated his right quad once again. From that point on there’s been a seemingly large question mark surrounding the status of Springer.
From the outside looking in, his quad injury was never anything dramatic. Upon being removed from the May 2, game against the Braves, he did not have to be carried off of the field. He never screamed in pain. Matter of fact, the word that manager Charlie Montoyo used to describe the injury was “fatigue.”
Despite the occasional bits and pieces from the Blue Jays’ organization regarding Springer’s injury, information on the status of Springer has been vague, and that did not change when Montoyo took the podium again last week.
When asked about Springer’s health, Montoyo confirmed that Springer had been catching some fly balls and throwing to the bases. He proudly announced that last week had been the best that Springer had felt. In his own words, Montoyo described the update as “good news.”
However, he remained quick to shut down any potential idea that Springer is ready to be back on the field at the moment. He described the current status of Springer’s injury as “day-to-day.” Earlier this week, Montoyo announced that Springer’s progress is continuing, and he will begin the rehab process soon.
So what can fans expect from Springer when he does finally return? Fortunately, the bits and pieces that we’ve seen from him since the injury show that he is indeed still very much capable of carrying out the fundamentals, despite his injury’s persistence. However, the fact of the matter is that with a nagging hamstring injury like his, we shouldn’t be surprised if he has a few setbacks before he is back to his normal self.
If the Blue Jays want him to be a healthy, long-term member of this team, Springer’s time spent nursing his injury should be seen as an investment above all. The last thing the organization needs is more harm done than good, especially when dealing with a three-time MLB All-Star.
Some of MLB’s best Black Knights have been sidelined with injuries, robbing the fans of some sensational contributions to the game. MVP candidate Byron Buxton, Toronto’s $125 million man George Springer and Black Ace David Price are just a few of the leading MLBbros that have been regulated to the bench due to injury.
The Blue Jays have been dangerous but inconsistent. That’s to be expected from a team fueled by the youthful exuberance and unlimited potential of their young second-generation MLB stars (Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, Vlad Guerrero Jr.).
20-something’s figuring it out along the way and doing a damn good job of it.
At 11-12 and sitting in third place in the AL East behind the Tampa Rays and the surprising Red Sox, you can’t be mad at the Blue Jays. They are only 4 games out of first and are gaining strength with a fortified roster.
Adding veteran Marcus Semien and George Springer in the offseason was supposed to elevate Toronto to contender status. Semien has been solid and holding down the fort as a veteran presence, but Springer was finally activated from the injured list, taking the field for the first time this season on Wednesday night against the Nationals.
The Blue Jays lost the game 8-2 and Springer took an 0-4 collar, but his presence on the field was reason for optimism about the future. Even in a game where MLBBros Josh Bell and Josh Harrison homered for Washington and overshadowed the three-time All-Star’s Blue Jays debut.
It was anticipated that Springer would play on Tuesday, but the Blue Jays wanted to give their $150 million man one more day to rehab the right quad strain that’s kept him out since April.
“I want to play. I’m tired of being on the IL and not being out there with the guys,” Springer said before Wednesday’s return.
Skipper Charlie Montoya was tired of it too.
Springer is arguably the best lead-off hitter in the game and he has championship experience as the MVP of the 2017 Houston Astros World Series win.
He’s a five-tool baller who is just a COVID season removed from 2019 when had an MVP-caliber season and clubbed 39 homers with 96 RBI. He’s only 30 years old and Toronto paid him a nice bag to be the clubhouse presence and electrifying force that he was in Houston.
Springer landed on the IL late in Spring Training with an oblique strain, and just as he was finishing his rehab from that injury, the three-time All-Star outfielder strained his right quad.
The Blue Jays want Springer to be healthy for the long haul, so they were purposely cautious with his rehab process. With underdogs like Boston elevating and favorites such as the Yankees and Tampa struggling to reach .500., Toronto believes it has a real shot at the playoffs.
With Springer finally, in the fold, those playoff chances have elevated quite a bit.
Finally, the Chicago White Sox saw Tim Anderson in the lineup and not just on the cover of his video game. The White Sox resident batting champ and web gem manufacturer returned from a 10-day bit on the injured list in time to strap up for Jackie Robinson Day with #42 on his back Thursday afternoon.
Anderson is one of the MLB bros who have been sidelined with injuries after returning from the warmth of spring training in the sunbelt to the arctic refrigerators of the north. For years players – like Anderson — appear to be ready to hit the season in high gear only to be physically throttled down by strains and pulls that accompany opening games on the frozen tundra.
Nothing says to the Boys of Summer, “let’s get back to work” like night games on Lake Michigan in early April.
In his return from the pale hose M*A*S*H unit Anderson was 2-for-5 and scored once as the White Sox lost to the Cleveland Indians 4-3. Perhaps it was the time spent with the joystick that jump-started the big stick at the plate. Before the injury, he was hitting .200. Friday’s game against Boston was rained out so let’s see how the charismatic face of MLB for Nike does next time out.
Another early-season casualty is Minnesota’s Byron Buxton who was not in Rocco Baldelli’s lineup for a third straight day as the Twins handled their business against the Boston Red Sox and beat them in a Jackie Robinson Day matinee’ 4-3. Buxton is dealing with what is being called hamstring tightness and the move appears cautionary.
Still, another body trying to adapt to the colder weather after a short regular season followed by what may be considered a rushed offseason, Buxton’s setback is another that could be attributed to the weather.
Meanwhile, in Toronto, $150M, free agent acquisition George Springer is still sidelined. After starting the season on the injured list because of a Grade 2 oblique strain, Springer is currently dealing with a quad injury he incurred last week while running. That’s bad news because it seemed as if Springer was close to game action before the quad issue popped up. He’s missed the first 13 games and Toronto (6-7) sits three games behind 9-4 Boston.
Seattle swept a doubleheader on Jackie Robinson Day and are sitting atop the AL West at 8-5 entering Friday night’s game. Surprisingly, they’ve done all of this without their 2020 AL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis.
Lewis was expected to have an MVP-type season in centerfield for Seattle, but a deep bone bruise has him sidelined since the beginning of the season.
The Seattle Mariners have gotten very little offensive production from their center fielders in Lewis’ absence. Mariners centerfielders have hit .139 with 21 strikeouts in 36 at-bats this season, entering Thursday. Backup, Taylor Trammel has shown flashes of brilliance but has also been largely overwhelmed by MLB pitching.
Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said Thursday that the team is “very optimistic” centerfielder Lewis will play during Seattle’s two-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, which begins Monday.
Let’s hope so because we can’t have our elite Black Knights on the sidelines. There are already too few of them in the game.