George Springer's injury adds to the Blue Jays' problems after their recent loss to the Rays

George Springer’s injury adds to the Blue Jays’ problems after their recent loss to the Rays

St. PETERSBURG, Florida – Shortly after the Toronto Blue Jays lost 5-3 to the New York Yankees on Wednesday, George Springer decided he and his teammates needed to talk. So, amid growing frustrations with four consecutive defeats and seven in the past nine games, the star quarterback called everyone together, closed the doors and led a players-only meeting.

“I read The Room a bit—we had had a big loss the night before and obviously things didn’t go our way that day. So, shoot, why not?” Springer explained. “I thought it was a good fit. I thought it was a good time. Nothing matters. It felt like a good time to talk to the boys for a bit as you moved forward.”

Among the topics he touched upon were slowing themselves down, fighting through adversity and preparing to adapt, relevant points increased on Friday when Springer departed Friday night’s 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays after rolling his left ankle.

The club’s initial diagnosis of the injury was a sprain, which manager Charlie Montoyo said was described as mild. Springer hurt himself while trying to make the jump in Brandon Lowe’s 408-foot smash ahead of a second, his weight flexing at the ankle when he fell back into the wall. All the Blue Jays on the field, except for rookie Kevin Gussman and hunter Tyler Heinemann, rushed to center field as he recovered.

“Your first thought is the worst-case scenario, he broke his leg or something, that’s what you’re thinking, but luckily it just seems to be a sprained ankle,” Gussman said. “He is a man who brings so much, not just what he brings in the squad, but just at the club every day. He is one of our leaders. I have never seen the whole team in the center of the field for one man. That was amazing. You can see how much he means to this team.”

The play was reminiscent of the play in which Springer was injured in Seattle last August, when he also landed awkwardly by leaping into a wall. He immediately grabbed his left ankle on that play, but the injury eventually turned into a grade 1 knee sprain.

Springer finished the inning this time, swinging in the cage to test himself before taking his racket at the top of the third, and then, after heading out onto the court to take the field, he was replaced by Rimmel Tapia.

The quick-defender helped create his first inning for the Blue Jays, outselling one solo with two in sixth place, progressing to second place in Bo Pechet’s career and scoring in the singles game for Vladimir Guerrero Jr., returning home later. Turn on the linkage in the eighth.

But for an attack that had yet to be restrained and his abilities communicated, any kind of Springer absence would be a huge blow.

The all-too-familiar lack of production left Gausman’s latest gem wasted, which allowed for the pick of Ji-Man Choi who scored Lowe’s second turn and Mike Zunino’s triple RBI in fifth that got Kevin Kiermaier, who finished third in a hand throw foul right hand.

Tapia’s sixth run started to negate a 2-0 down and after being singles in eighth, the Blue Jays seemed to be in a good position with the men in first and second with no one out. But Andrew Kittridge took over from Brooks Raleigh, hit Besset and then caused a 5-4-3 double from Guerrero, who went to the finish line, ran out half a step and then stood bent on the field several times moments later.

“I love the fact that we’re back in this match,” coach Charlie Montoyo said. “Our hitters are trying really hard. They even talk to each other, well, don’t worry about you, it’s about the team and there’s a lot of conversation going on right now…. They’re trying really hard at the end of the day and maybe even pushing, you guys see.”

As if on a cue in the bottom half, Zunino led with a double, Taylor Walls followed with a coach the transformed Bichette couldn’t corner, and Margot pressed on base through a pitch in a tie to color the green. Francesco Mejia’s solo RBI made Tim Maeza the match 4-2 and when the left-hander canceled out a penalty with a passing call, he scored in Lowe’s hat-trick.

The type of loss where it all goes wrong has been painfully common for the Blue Jays lately, which is partly why Springer decided to call the group together.

He said before the match: “This is a young team.” “That’s no excuse, but sometimes they will go through growing pains and you have to learn to fight through things and face a little bit of adversity and all that good stuff to come out better on the other side.

“A lot of people forget that this is the second year for a lot of really key players on this team,” he added. “They have to adapt to the league and league that is already modified for them and adjust to the way the Blue Jays like to hit and play. There will be a natural kind of regression period before you come back. I was a part of it. You have to keep going.”

Compounding the Blue Jays’ current challenge is the quality of the opponent they have encountered during a grueling period of time. Every mistake they made was set during the current slip, amplifying the natural tendency to squeeze.

That’s why Gussman thought Springer’s timing of the meeting “was fantastic.”

“It looked like before the guys could even get to their locker, it was like, ‘Okay, we’re having a talk. “George just has a good feeling for it,” he continued. “He had a feeling that we need to repeat the things that we are trying to keep doing. That is being a good teammate, be there for the guy next to you and he just said, ‘Listen, this is a grind now, but we’re going to get out of this and when we do, we’ll be better because of it. “

Springer drew this from his early career experiences with the Houston Astros, seeing the course start from a different point of view. “His main message is just to slow down. It’s all good. It’s just a baseball game.”

“A lot is lost in terms of how young these guys are because we expect to win and that’s good.” “That’s a big problem. But they’re still evolving. These are guys who are still trying to learn themselves and figure out who they want to be. So my job is to kind of mess around a little bit, have a little fun, and hopefully we’ll start slowing down some things here. But it’s still there. A long way to go.”

A method that would become much longer if Springer were to stop for an extended period of time.

2022-05-14 02:46:00

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