George Springer is finally back.
After a whole bunch of “we’re aiming for this day! followed by “he isn’t quite there yet!” the team has officially activated Springer from the 10-day Injured List. He’s batting first in Wednesday’s lineup and is the designated hitter, a spot that Charlie Montoyo says he’ll be at quite a bit in the early going as he eases back into things.
And then there’s this… Hyun Jin Ryu has been placed on the 10-day Injured List due to the right glute strain he suffered playing against the Rays on Sunday. Travis Bergen comes up from the Alternate Site in his place.
This is obviously a huge buzzkill.
The word around Ryu initially was that his injury wasn’t serious and the team didn’t expect him to miss a start. Now he’s going on the IL and the earliest he can be activated is the finale of next week’s series against Oakland on May 6. Given the way the team has downplayed injuries to Springer, Robbie Ray, and Nate Pearson, I’m a little skeptical that Ryu will be good to go that quickly.
The Blue Jays didn't expect Pearson to miss too much time after he strained his groin. Ray was supposed to miss only one spring start. Springer allegedly had a chance to play Opening Day. I'll believe Ryu's injury is actually no big deal when he's activated next week.
— Jonah Birenbaum (@birenball) April 28, 2021
Anyway, this will be a difficult one for the Blue Jays to navigate as they already have a thin starting rotation. The bullpen will continue to be tested over the next week-and-a-bit-maybe-longer with Ryu out.
Steven Matz goes tonight against the Nationals, Ray is expected to go on Friday in the series opener against Atlanta, and then it’s all up in the air. Charlie Montoyo says “bullpen day” on Saturday and then Ross Stripling, who’s currently on the IL with a forearm issue, might be ready for Sunday.
Thursday’s off day is the last one the Blue Jays have until Monday, May 10.
Finally, there’s the corresponding roster move to Springer’s activation, which is Rowdy Tellez getting demoted to the Alternate Site. Apparently, this is because the team plans to use Springer often as the DH, so there won’t be much playing time for Rowdy. Santiago Espinal and Jonathan Davis were also options to go down, but both actually be used around the diamond for their gloves, which isn’t the case with the 1B-DH-only Tellez.
Only three players are hitting the ball harder on average than Rowdy Tellez:
— Paul Berthelot (@PaulBerthelot) April 28, 2021
Rowdy has had a very rough time at the plate this season. He’s slashing a .183/.222/.267 line and has 15 strikeouts and only two walks. It’s a far cry from where he was last season when it appeared as though he had figured things out at the plate. The one positive sign here, as Paul mentions, is that Rowdy has been hitting the ball hard and he’s been the victim of batted ball luck.
Let’s hope they can get him back on track at the Alternate Site.