Toronto Blue Jays center fielder George Springer (4) walks on the field during a team workout, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Blue Jays face the New York Yankees on opening day Thursday in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Injured Jays OF Springer to play in intrasquad game Friday

Injured Jays OF Springer to play in intrasquad game Friday

TORONTO — Blue Jays outfielder George Springer will play in an intrasquad game Friday, the next step on his return from two strained muscles that have delayed his Toronto debut.

Springer signed a team-record $150 million, 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.

The World Series MVP when Houston won its first title in 2017, Springer could return in this weekend’s road series against the Tampa Bay Rays, according to general manager Ross Atkins.

“He’s excited, we’re exceptionally excited,” Atkins said Thursday. “Tomorrow is a great day for George.

“He’s doing all baseball activity, he’s extremely confident and strong,” Atkins said. “Now it’s just a matter of recovery and putting him in a position to play nine innings and feel like he can face elite major league pitching. Tomorrow will be a very important day to determine what that next step is and what’s best for him.”

Atkins said right-hander Nate Pearson (groin) will start and pitch two or three innings in Friday’s intrasquad game.

Right-handers Jordan Romano (elbow) and Tyler Chatwood (triceps) could be activated off the injured list this weekend, Atkins said. Fellow right-hander Julian Merryweather (oblique) will be shut down for two weeks. Right-hander Ross Stripling (forearm) threw a bullpen session Thursday.

Outfielder Tesocar Hernandez, out since April 8 after being infected with COVID-19, will take a clearance test Friday, Atkins said, and could soon rejoin the team.

Also Thursday, the Blue Jays acquired right-hander Jeremy Beasley from Arizona for cash. Beasley, who will report to Toronto’s alternate site, made his big league debut with the Diamondbacks last August 11, striking out one of the three batters he faced before a season-ending shoulder injury.

Arizona designated Beasley for assignment on April 17.

Right-hander Thomas Hatch (shoulder) was transferred to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Ian Harrison, The Associated Press

Baseball

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