George Springer out of Blue Jays’ leadoff spot Saturday vs. Rays

Toronto Blue Jays' George Springer bats against the Houston Astros during the third inning of a baseball game Wednesday, April 3, 2024, in Houston. (Eric Christian Smith/AP)

George Springer will not hit leadoff on Saturday for the Toronto Blue Jays.

For the most part, John Schneider has stuck with his guys this season, but after a 4-3 loss that saw Tampa Bay Rays starter Tyler Alexander flirt with a perfect game on Friday, the Blue Jays skipper has made a change atop his lineup.

Springer is sliding down to hit sixth and will be replaced by Davis Schneider.

The former World Series MVP is slashing just .196/.271/.288 on the season, and had hit leadoff in every game that he started. When Springer has been out of the lineup, either due to illness or just for rest, Bo Bichette and Schneider have filled that role.

In four games as the leadoff hitter this season, Schneider is hitting .308 with a 1.026 OPS.

Toronto moved Springer out of the top spot in its lineup for a 25-game stretch last summer — from July 28 to Aug. 27 — before hitting him first for the rest of the season.

“It really comes down to: We need George Springer,” Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said before the game. “We need him to get going. … His fight and his commitment and the strength are there. If that intent shifts to the ball getting in the air a little bit more, I think we could get him back to someone that is a meaningful part of the top of our order.”

You can watch as the Blue Jays look to even their series behind Kevin Gausman on Saturday on Sportsnet and Sportsnet+. Coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET and 12 p.m. PT.

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