The Toronto Blue Jays finally had their big free-agent signing in the lineup. The club activated George Springer off the 10-day injured list Wednesday, after he missed the start of the regular season with oblique and quad injuries. Springer was in the lineup in his customary leadoff spot.
- DH George Springer
- SS Bo Bichette
- 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
- CF Randal Grichuk
- RF Cavan Biggio
- 2B Marcus Semien
- 3B Joe Panik
- LF Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
- C Danny Jansen
SP Steven Matz
Springer went 0-for-4 with a line out to right, a line out to center, a line out to second, and a ground out to third in his Blue Jays debut. The four batted balls had an average exit velocity of 86.5 mph, so it wasn't loud contact, but it was only Springer's first game. He'll settle in soon enough.
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo told reporters, including MLB.com's Keegan Matheson, the plan is to use Springer as the DH "a lot" in the coming weeks to protect his quad. Grichuk has played center field during Springer's absence with Biggio recently taking over as the primary right fielder.
"I see him DHing a lot at the beginning just to keep him away from running every day in the outfield," Montoyo said.
The Blue Jays signed Springer to a six-year, $150 million contract over the winter. He authored a .265/.359/.540 batting line last year and he should provide a significant boost to a Toronto lineup that has received a .209/.293/.260 batting line from the leadoff spot in the early going. They come into Wednesday averaging 4.18 runs per game, the 16th-most in baseball.
To clear a roster spot for Springer, the Blue Jays optioned incumbent DH Rowdy Tellez to the alternate site. The lefty swinging Tellez has started slowly this year (11 for 60 with one homer) and the Blue Jays are tentatively scheduled to see four lefty starters in the next eight games. Montoyo called it the "perfect time" to send Tellez down to work on his timing, according to Matheson.
In other roster news, the Blue Jays placed ace left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu on the 10-day injured list with a right glute strain, the team announced. . Montoyo said it's a minor issue and they're hopeful Ryu will miss just one start, according to Matheson. Lefty Travis Bergen was called up to fill the roster spot.