MLB

Springer to make Blue Jays debut as Toronto aims for sweep of Nationals

George Springer will make his Blue Jays debut tonight when Toronto finishes a two-game series with the Washington Nationals. The Blue Jays say Springer will lead off the Blue Jays' batting order at the designated hitter position.

Ace pitcher Hyun Jin Ryu placed on IL, DH Rowdy Tellez optioned to alternate site

Blue Jays outfielder George Springer is set to make his season debut leading off as a designated hitter Wednesday night against the Washington Nationals (Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

George Springer is set to make an impact with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Springer is in the lineup as the designated hitter and will hit leadoff Wednesday night in his Blue Jays debut when Toronto plays Washington. The slugger started his first season with Toronto sidelined by a pair of muscle strains.

The World Series MVP when Houston won its first title in 2017 signed a team-record $150 million US, six-year deal with the Blue Jays this off-season but missed time in spring training, first because of a strained oblique and later because of a right quadriceps strain.

"I just had to trust myself," Springer said about his return. "Obviously I don't want to hurt myself again."

The Blue Jays also put ace Hyun Jin Ryu on the 10-day IL with a right glute strain, which occurred in a start last Sunday at Tampa Bay. Manager Charlie Montoyo is hopeful the left-hander will miss only one start.

Ryu felt something in the glute playing catch on Tuesday.

'Sick and tired' of injuries

Springer said he was "sick and tired of being on the IL."

"This will be an exciting day," Springer said. "I'm happy with my progress and obviously looking forward to getting in there."

Montoyo said Springer will DH a lot early on in his return "just to keep him away from running everyday in the outfield."

To make room on the roster, first baseman-DH Rowdy Tellez was optioned to the alternate site.

Springer played in alternate site games this past weekend.

"I was able to face some hard throwing guys, some guys who are going to be an impact up here eventually," Springer said. "The good news is I feel good. There's no substitute for experience. It's just kind of go back in there, get back after it and just attempt to slow the game down."

Left-hander Travis Bergen was also recalled from the alternate site.

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