The Toronto Blue Jays are getting their $150-million man back.
Superstar George Springer will play centre field and bat fifth for Tuesday's game against the Miami Marlins after being on the injured list since May 5 with a right quad strain.
The 31-year-old's Blue Jays career has started on a sour note after inking a monster six-year contract in the offseason. He's been limited to just four MLB games in 2021 — all as the designated hitter — due to the quad injury and a separate oblique issue that plagued him at the end of spring training and into April.
Blue Jays fans did get a glimpse of what the outfielder adds to the lineup over that four-game cameo, as he swatted two home runs and stole a base. Springer says he's feeling much better now than when he attempted to return at the end of April.
"Last time I felt fine, I felt good, but this time I feel great," Springer told reporters on Tuesday.
Toronto's offence was already one of the most potent in the majors without Springer in the fold, ranking first in home runs per game, and second in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS. Adding a perennial all-star with a career .852 OPS lengthens the lineup and will create even more headaches for opposing pitchers.
While he's enjoyed a tremendous amount of success as a leadoff hitter over his career, the 2017 World Series MVP isn't looking to displace players who are thriving in their current roles.
"I told [manager Charlie Montoyo] that I think it's very important that guys stay where they are," Springer said. "I believe strongly in the way that Marcus [Semien], Bo [Bichette], Vladdy [Guerrero Jr.] and all those guys have swung the bat, the way that they've gotten comfortable in those positions. I told him that I'm willing to do whatever he wants me to do, what's best for the team, so whatever he decides to do I'm on board with it."
With only three everyday outfield spots to split between Springer, Teoscar Hernandez, Randal Grichuk and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., expect Montoyo to cycle his four quality options through the DH spot with regularity.
Springer had been on a rehab assignment with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons prior to rejoining the big club, recording three hits in 17 at-bats. He played centre field in four of the five games down on the farm.
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