Toronto Blue Jays fans, for example, have every right to be frustrated with this valuable off-season acquisition. George Springer landed on the 10 day injured list due to his right quad strain. But no one deserves to be blamed here.
When a player is injured, a team’s medical staff make a plan for their rehabilitation and recovery from the injury. Players must pass a series of tests to return to the field. These tests include baseball activities like running the bases, sliding, doing readings and taking breaks in the outfield.
Springer, who signed a six-year, $ 150 million contract with the Blue Jays in January, followed the protocols and passed the necessary tests to return to the field. Unfortunately, the 31-year-old’s leg gave way.
It is almost impossible to reproduce the speed of the game when testing. There is something about the action of the game that causes players to dig a little harder and push harder which can knock a player down.
Just because there’s no one to blame doesn’t mean the Jays won’t adjust the outfielder’s recovery schedule this time around. I expect the team to be more conservative than they were before. When they think Springer is ready to play games, they’ll probably give him a few more days. Then, it is very likely that they will send him on a mission of rehabilitation in the minors. This option was not available until his last Wounded List activation.
With their star player at IL, the Jays will have to throw and defend, because relying on offense is a bit compromised without Springer in the lineup.
This is where Nate Pearson enters the scene.
The Jays were counting on Pearson to play an important role in their rotation this year. The 24-year-old right-hander recovered from his right adductor strain and was switched to the Buffalo Bisons, the Jays’ Triple-A team, which currently play their games in Trenton, NJ.
Pearson started the Bisons’ open day on Tuesday and was very effective, throwing 78 shots in 3.2 innings, allowing one run on four hits and one walk, and putting out eight.
The Jays want to make sure that when they promote Pearson to the big leagues, he’s ready to attack hitters and throw in strikes. At 78 slots, he’s about to be ready to start a game in the majors as long as he’s in charge of all of his slots. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was in the Jays rotation at some point during the next homestay.
Pearson’s delay in the season may have a silver lining as he won’t score too many innings at the start of the 2021 campaign, which could limit him later.
Ideally, the Jays can give him the ball every five games once he returns to the rotation and he can carry the playoff momentum without limitation. He has the capacity, now he needs the health and the consistency to move forward.
So, Jays fans, keep your fingers crossed that by June 1 the Jays have both Springer and Pearson on the active roster.
Jays will call Buffalo home starting June 1
Unfortunately, Springer and Pearson will join the team south of the border. The Jays have announced that they will move their “home ground” to Sahlen Field in Buffalo from Dunedin, Fla., In time for their homestand starting June 1 against the Miami Marlins and Houston Astros.
It is not known whether the Jays, who were home based in Buffalo during the 2020 season cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, will be able to return to Toronto at any time in 2021.
This creates a level of uncertainty for players and staff which can be distracting. It will be the responsibility of Jays president Mark Shapiro, general manager Ross Atkins, and manager Charlie Montoyo and his staff to make the transition as smooth as possible.
If Shapiro, Atkins, or Montoyo complain, they allow players to complain. The experience of jumping into stadiums last season offers at least one solace that they can all handle the uncertainty.
It will be essential for the organization to assist players with housing and relocation options. It is uncomfortable and stressful for the players; imagine what it is for the families of the players. The smoother the relocation is for families, the better the response from players. It’s a big deal that needs to be done to feel unimportant to everyone.
Releasing the myopic movement of Pujols
Los Angeles Angels shocked the baseball community Thursday by naming their future Hall of Fame first baseman Albert Pujols for assignment.
The 41-year-old, who ranks fifth in MLB history with 667 career homers, has been named with the intention of releasing him. Pujols is in the final year of his 10-year, $ 240 million contract.
He has declined in skill and is just a shadow of who he once was – there’s no denying that. But releasing him is absurd. Pujols is an icon. He has represented the Angels in exemplary fashion every minute since their arrival in 2011. He is one of the best right-handed hitters to ever play the game.
The last-place Angels (13-17) don’t have a Pujols problem, they have a pitching problem. They can replace Pujols with a younger, more versatile player, but the added benefit won’t come close to what they lost with him in their clubhouse and dugout canoe. He is a beloved teammate and friend. He is one of the most respected players in the game.
I have no doubt that all the players including the superstar shed tears at the Angels clubhouse Mike Trout. If the team makes a decision that’s causing so much pain, it’s not the right decision.
It is a very shortsighted decision. The Angels have a rookie general manager, Perry Minasian. He has no connection with the future Hall of Fame in the first round of voting and he wants to make his own mark on the team. But that’s where an owner tells their CEO to stop and look at the big picture.
Releasing Pujols doesn’t just affect him. Each player will feel a sense of loss and vulnerability. When something as unpredictable as this happens within the team, players are wary of the organization. He also shows their own players and future free agents how the angels will treat them.
Don’t you think Trout is now wondering if it’ll be him nine years from now, when he’s in the last year of his contract?