The Toronto Blue Jays are in a position to make the postseason this year. But it won’t be easy. They’ve only been to the playoffs three times since winning back-to-back World Series in 1992-93. Playing in the talent-laden American League East hasn’t helped their playoff aspirations.
This season, Toronto has a legitimate shot to either win the AL East or secure a Wild Card spot. Today, the Blue Jays will take on the Tampa Bay Rays in a five-game series and one player that will need to step up is George Springer
Throughout his career, Springer has had a lot of success and has come through in clutch situations. And with a little over three weeks left in the regular season, the four-time all-star will look to catch fire at the plate.
In his second season with the Blue Jays, Springer has yet to play in the postseason, but that all could change this season. There’s no question that Springer is an integral part of this team and he’s a former World Series MVP who knows how to make an impact on the field. This season, Springer has spent some time on the injured list, and it was evident the Blue Jays were missing his presence.
Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider knows how much value Springer adds to the team.
“Way better,” Schneider said in an article from mlb.com. “On paper, it speaks for itself. His presence and his energy, then obviously his ability, he’s up at the top of the order and it makes a big difference. I’m looking forward to him being able to contribute off the bat. We’re not asking him to be a world beater, but just be himself.”
“He sees pitches. I know his first at-bat may be different sometimes, but I’ve said it before, it’s about on-base and damage potential,” he said. “Having him there to get on base for guys in the middle is key, but it’s also about his overall presence. He’s an elite player and one of the best in the league. Just having that makes your lineup that much better. We like his overall presence.”
With Springer in the lead off position, he sets the tone for the lineup and provides that spark to start the game off. He’s disciplined at the plate and can change the tone of the game with one swing of the bat.
This season against the Rays, Springer has three hits in 18 at-bats. So those numbers will have to improve tremendously. From a baseball perspective, Springer “is due” to have some success against the Rays. He’ll have many opportunities to be the leader he’s been throughout his career during the most important stretch of his Blue Jays tenure.
If Springer can have a torrid five-game stretch against the Rays, the Blue Jays will have a good chance to win the series and gain some ground in the AL East.