George Springer Wants To Play Fast, Aggressive This Season | He’s The Key To A Breakout Year For Surging Toronto Blue Jays
A championship has eluded MLBbro George Springer since leaving the powerhouse Astros, but 2023 poses to be the year that Springer and the Blue Jays get over the hump.
After nine seasons in the Majors, Springer is known as one of the premier leadoff hitters around the league. The 33-year-old totes a .276/.362/.503 slash over 785 starts during his entire career at the top spot of the order.
The outfielder dealt with right elbow inflammation among other injuries during 2022, but despite the setbacks, he hit .267 with 25 homers, and 76 RBI. Springer went through offseason surgery to clean up the injury. And with Springer back to being healthy, the Blue Jays are confident in his abilities to impact every facet of the game.
“We’re talking about damage, on-base, energy, presence — a guy who can work an at-bat who just rubs off on everyone one through nine,” manager John Schneider told MLB.com. “You’re looking at one of the best leadoff hitters in the game over the last handful of years. I think if you have him in there regularly, you’re off to a really good start.”
Springer Wants To Stay Injury Free & Lead Team To World Series
As a veteran on a young Toronto squad, Springer saw the team reach the playoffs in just his second season with the organization. And as the youthful duo of Vladamir Guerro Jr. and Bo Bichette have swiftly adjusted to the big stage, the team up north has grown ever dangerous.
Spring training could be a good sign of things to come from Toronto’s potent offense. Springer blasted three homers in spring training, Bichette collected 17 hits in 20 games with four homers and a .315 average and Guerro notching a scorching double with a 113.6-mph exit velocity in his first game back since exiting a game on March 3 with right knee discomfort and continued to progress over the remainder of spring camp.
The Blue Jays also took a major step forward defensively after acquiring Daulton Varsho and Kevin Kiermaier. These Gold Glove-caliber outfielders, paired with Springer, make for one of the game’s best outfields. The additions will also move Springer out of center field and into right, where he’s played just 15 games for Toronto over the last two years.
“It’s just different,” Springer told MLB.com about the transition to right field. “The ball is hit differently, and there are a lot more angles when it’s hit in play. There’s a lot more spin on the ball, and there are some big boys up there.”
But don’t expect a different play style because he’s in a relatively new position. When he’s on the field, Springer is going to play with intensity.
“I don’t play [a] very slow style of game,” Springer told MLB.com. “I play aggressive. I like to run. I play fast.”
The Blue Jays’ first challenge will be to dethrone the reigning American League East champions, the 99-win Yankees and MLBbro Aaron Judge. But with Springer at full strength and ready to put his foot on the throttle, Toronto is eyeing their first win in the postseason since 2016.