Springer, who just returned from a left knee injury, was on first base in the seventh inning when Marcus Semien ripped a ball into the left-field corner, but Baltimore’s Ryan McKenna got over quickly and cut it off. That caused Springer to slam on the brakes as he rounded second. Springer’s momentum put him into an awkward position and he didn’t look comfortable getting back to the bag.
As Springer spoke with third-base coach Luis Rivera between plays, it didn’t appear he expected to be removed from the game as pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson ran out from the dugout.
“It was just to be careful with him,” said manager Charlie Montoyo after the game. “You all saw him rounding the bases, so we took him out just to be careful. I know how much he wants to play, so like I always say, he’s going to be day to day. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”
The Blue Jays first noticed something when Springer was running down the line to first base on the previous play. So when he rounded second, they decided not to risk anything. It was a conversation Montoyo had to have with Springer after he was lifted, especially in a close, meaningful game.
“Because of how much he wants to play,” Montoyo explained. “He wants to be out there. He wants to help us win. That’s why I love the guy. Again, we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”
Springer was activated from the IL on Monday after missing just over two weeks with a left knee sprain, and he had two long IL stints earlier in the season as he dealt with right quad strains. Springer has played some great baseball in between, but the 31-year-old hasn’t had many opportunities to find his groove amongst the injuries.
The Blue Jays have plenty of depth already on the MLB roster with Randal Grichuk, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Teoscar Hernández, Corey Dickerson and Dyson. Toronto also signed former Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco to a Minor League deal on Tuesday.