George Springer made his Toronto Blue Jays’ debut on Wednesday night after being removed from the injured list prior to the game against the Washington Nationals at Dunedin, Fla.
Springer missed the first 22 games due to two injuries, an oblique strain followed by a right quadriceps strain. He signed a six-year, $150 million deal in the offseason with Toronto.
Springer served as designated hitter and manned the leadoff spot on Wednesday.
“I want to play. I’m tired of being on the IL and not being out there with the guys,” Springer said. “I had an opportunity to play today and I said, ‘Absolutely.'”
Springer, 31, came off the IL on the same day the Blue Jays placed left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu (right glute strain) on the list.
Springer first went on the IL during spring training with the oblique injury. He was close to being activated when he injured the quadriceps.
Springer, a three-time All-Star, batted .265 with 14 home runs and 32 RBIs in 51 regular-season games for the Houston Astros during the abbreviated 2020 season. He batted .263 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 13 games of the 2020 postseason, as Houston ended up a victory shy of a World Series appearance.
Springer has smacked 19 career postseason homers, tied for fourth all-time.
In seven seasons, all with the Astros, Springer is a career .270 hitter with 174 home runs and 458 RBIs in 795 games. He finished seventh in American League MVP voting in 2019.
Ryu left Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays with two outs in the fourth inning due to his injury.
The Blue Jays are hopeful the 34-year-old will miss just one start. He is 1-2 with a 2.60 in five starts this season.
Toronto also optioned first baseman Rowdy Tellez to the alternate training site and recalled left-hander Travis Bergen from the same destination.
Tellez, 26, was batting just .183 with one homer and three RBIs in 18 games, and is two seasons removed from hitting 21 blasts for Toronto.
Bergen, 27, hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season. He is 3-0 with a 4.82 ERA in 29 career relief appearances with the San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks and Blue Jays.
–Field Level Media