George Springer says it nonetheless feels a bit of unusual to placed on a Toronto Blue Jays uniform.

It is comprehensible, as he’s only a few days into spring coaching with the Blue Jays — his second Main League Baseball crew after seven seasons with the Houston Astros.

“I’ve only known one thing for pretty much my whole life. I’ve only known the stuff in Houston,” Springer stated in a video convention Tuesday. “I love those guys, but I’m here now and it’s a new opportunity for me.”

Expectations are excessive in Toronto after a busy low season. The Blue Jays landed arguably probably the most coveted prize in free company by signing the 31-year-old Springer, a World Collection MVP in 2017 and a three-time all-star, to a six-year deal value a franchise-record $150 million US in January.

“I’m just going to try to do my job and help whichever way I can, and hopefully lead by example,” the outfielder stated of the expectations.

“That’s understanding that I’m going to fail. Don’t try to do too much, don’t try to show emotion a lot, but just go out and have fun and enjoy the game, and play how I want to play and how I know how to play.”

Whereas he could come to Toronto with a traditionally wealthy contract, Springer stated he’ll need to earn his place with the Jays.

“It’s my job to earn the respect of the guys who are in the locker room,” he stated. “It is not simply handed out.

“The environment that is been established right here already, it is my job to navigate it. It is not anyone else’s job to determine me out, it is my job to determine them out.”

Acquainted faces

Springer stated he has been having fun with the environment thus far within the Blue Jays locker room, which incorporates some acquainted faces from his time in Houston.

“Camaraderie is a factor, and I can inform that the fellows who’ve been right here, the clubhouse, the locker room that has already been established is a enjoyable locker room, these guys get pleasure from each other and I am enthusiastic about it,” he stated.

One of many teammates Springer is happy about is outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, who was a prospect on the rise in Houston earlier than he was dealt to Toronto within the 2017 deal that noticed lefty Francisco Liriano head to the Astros.

Hernandez was spectacular within the shortened 2020 season, batting .289 with 16 homers and 34 runs batted in over 50 video games.

“I do not suppose he is scratched the ceiling but with the participant he may be,” Springer said of Hernandez. “I am excited to be again with him.

“He puts in the work, he understands what he has to do, but he’s always trying to get better. He’s a special talent in my eyes and I love to watch him play.”

Shifting to Toronto has additionally reunited Springer with hitting coach Dave Hudgens, who had the identical position with the Astros from 2015-18.

Springer stated Hudgens’s position in his growth as a hitter was “huge.”

“I’ve gone to bat with Hudgy a lot, I’ve gone to war with Hudgy a lot,” Springer stated. “He understands me, I understand him. So it is nice to know that he’s here, to have a guy that’s kind of been through all of the progressions in my career.”

Toronto earned a wild-card spot within the pandemic-shortened 2020 season for his or her first post-season look since 2016. The Blue Jays are hoping to take one other step ahead this 12 months round a younger core of homegrown expertise that features Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio.

“These guys have been playing together for a short time now, but they’re quietly learning each other,” stated Springer, who went by means of an analogous constructing course of in Houston. “The extra confidence in a man you might have, the connection off the sphere will translate on the sphere.

“It is not going to be a teammate relationship, it is not going to be a good friend relationship, it’ll be a household relationship.”

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