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.
Not as rare as a no-hitter, but for a major league hitter, the cycle is one of the most impressive feats you can accomplish in the game. To get a cycle, a player needs to get hits in four different fashions: single, double, triple and home run. In the history of baseball, with more than 200,000 games played, there have been only 330 times where players have checked all four boxes on the list.
Against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night, Semien got the hardest parts of the cycle done early when he recorded extra-base hits in each of his first three at-bats. The Toronto leadoff hitter got the game going with a double. In the second inning, he had one of the most exciting plays in baseball when he hit a triple. His final hit of the night came on a fifth-inning home run.
You would think after getting those out of the way it would be a breeze to get just one single in his next three at-bats, but that was not in the baseball Gods’ cards for him that night.
Semien is batting .366 this month and leads all hitters in hits with 32 and 16 extra-base hits. His 28 runs batted in and 11 home runs would qualify to lead all major league second basemen this year; showing that moving from one side of the diamond to the other has added no extra stress on his bat.
The star power at second base in the American League is a little less than what Semien saw at the shortstop position in previous seasons, so if he can stay hot, he could be on his way to the first All-Star appearance of his career.
He’ll have a chance to keep pounding out hits this month as his Blue Jays finish their series with the Rays Monday afternoon.
This season at the plate, Marcus Semien is getting his roll on.
The Toronto Blue Jays have their eyes on making the postseason again after an early-round exit to the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2020 AL Wild Card Series.
During the offseason, the team made a few moves, one of which was acquiring the power-hitting infielder.
So far, Semien has put a smile on the faces of Blue Jays fans with his production throughout the season. Through the first 30 games, the 30-year old posted a .254 batting average with seven home runs and 16 RBIs.
Let’s be real here, not too many players are seeing the ball like Semien is. On May 6, the Blue Jays took on Semien’s former ballclub, the Oakland A’s and boy did he have a game.
He went 4-for-6 with a home run, a double, and three runs scored helping the Blue Jays to a 10-4 win.
This man has been locked in at the plate. He’s driven in a run in 12 of his last 13 games and registered four multi-hit games during that span.
An exclamation point on his return to Oakland. Today Marcus Semien was 4-6 with 3 RBI and this home run in a 10-4 Blue Jays victory #MLBBroshttps://t.co/thWUL9Blq3
Take a look at these stats in his last 13 games: .367 batting, three home runs, nine RBI and a 1.049 OPS.
Oh and let’s not forget that, going into Friday’s action, he was riding a six-game hitting streak to top it all off.
In an article from MLB.com, Semien talked about his success at the plate. “I feel good. I’m able to not think about mechanics as much,” Semien said. “I just think about the approach and what I’m looking for. That’s a good place to be. That’s where a lot of players want to be all the time, but sometimes it’s not there.”
His performance at the plate is rubbing off on his fellow teammates and that’s something he loves to see.
“Hitting is contagious,” Semien said. “When the whole lineup is struggling, you want to be that guy to get everybody going. That’s baseball, though. Some nights it’s there, some nights it’s not.”
Our MLBBro is playing some of the best baseball we have witnessed so far this season.
Semien has had some success during his career, especially during his time with the A’s.
During the 2018 season, he batted .255 with 15 home runs and 14 stolen bases. He was one of the best defensive players that year leading the league in assists with 459.
In a close race for the Gold Glove Award at the shortstop position, Semien was one of three finalists, losing out to Andrelton Simmons of the Los Angeles Angels.
The following season, Semien turned up even more as he improved his batting average, hitting .285, with a career-high 33 home runs. He also led the majors with 747 plate appearances.
At the end of the 2019 season, Semien was named to the inaugural All-MLB Second Team at shortstop and he finished third in the voting for American League MVP.
The Blue Jays are very fortunate that Semien agreed to move to second for Bo Bichette, a much less accomplished shortstop.
That kind of veteran leadership will be important for the Blue Jays late in the season, and if he keeps hitting how he is now, Semien will probably take some hardware home with him when the season concludes.
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.