NEW YORK — George Springer‘s Toronto Blue Jays debut will be delayed while he starts the season on the injured list with a strained oblique muscle.
Springer left the Houston Astros to sign a $150 million, six-year contract with the Blue Jays.
The 2017 World Series MVP with Houston was scratched from a game on March 9 because of tightness in his abdominal muscles and did not play in any exhibitions after March 21.
The 31-year-old Springer hit .240 with one homer and two RBIs in 25 at-bats over 10 spring training games. Manager Charlie Montoyo said Springer had a second MRI.
“He’s going to start the season on the IL,” Montoyo said Wednesday at Yankee Stadium. “The MRI showed improvement, which is great. Our hope is to get him back as soon as possible.”
Springer was dressed in uniform for the workout.
Montoyo said Ross Stripling will follow Hyun Jin Ryu in the rotation and will start Saturday at Yankee Stadium and that T.J. Zeuch was likely to start Sunday’s series finale. Left-hander Steven Matz is further back in the rotation.
“He’s earned it. He’s pitched really well. He pitched really well last year. And he pitched really well in the spring,” Montoyo said of Zeuch. “So I’m not going to say he’s going to be a starter, but it’s a choice because of what he’s done.”