Blue Jays teammates now, Stripling and Springer had a talk about 2017 World Series

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If Ross Stripling strikes you as a pitcher who wears his heart on his sleeve, you’re probably right.

Fiery on occasion and always competitive, one of a number of contenders for the Blue Jays starting rotation isn’t shy to dish what’s on his mind.

So when the Jays signed free agent George Springer in the off-season, Stripling felt a need to reach out and discuss a dubious chapter in their mutual baseball history.

Stripling was a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series and Springer was the superstar Astros centre fielder who was named MVP of that epic six-gamer won by Houston.

The unfinished business, of course, was the sign stealing scandal that surfaced in 2019. For Stripling, the wounds still linger.

“I texted George when he signed and said ‘dude, love to have ya’ and just opened up the conversation about that,” Stripling said following a solid outing in Sunday’s 4-4 tie with the Tigers in Dunedin. “It was a private conversation between me and George and certainly nothing we want to share in the open. But it was a good, productive conversation and we put it behind us.


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“Now we’re teammates, we’re Blue Jays and we’re looking to win games here. It’s behind us for sure, but definitely needed to touch on it.”

Clearing the air with his soon-to-be teammate was a necessity and the right-hander wanted to move on with Springer specifically. But it’s clear the fallout from the controversy that tarnished the Astros accomplishment and enraged the Dodgers still doesn’t sit well.

When asked if Astros manager A.J. Hinch and Red Sox skipper Alex Cora (the Astros bench coach in 2017), who were both suspended for their roles in the cheating “got away with it,” Stripling held back. Sort of.

“I’m gonna kind of punt that one,” said Stripling, who appeared in three games of the series. “If you were going to ask around, most people would think that was kind of a quick turnaround for those guys to come back and get massive roes in baseball. But they served their punishment that was handed down.

“There (were) front offices and ownership that trusted to give them big positions in baseball again and right any wrongs that they did before. But as far as what I think? I’ll punt it.”

Stripling will never forget the epic Game 5 of that series, a 13-12 Astros win in 10 innings.

“That World Series is obviously tainted in a way that now stinks, but if you take that away, that’s got to be one of the top five World Series games ever,” Stripling said. “Just the craziness. The back and forth. The talent that was on the field.”

Back to the present, Stripling is making his push for a spot in the Jays rotation. In his final outing of the spring on Sunday, the 31-year-old allowed a run on four hits over 5.2 innings of work at TD Ballpark.


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With some big game experience – but only one career start at Yankee Stadium – Stripling would love to have a shot at one of the three clashes with the division rivals in the opening series.

“I’m looking forward to pitching there now with more Major League innings under my belt and the pitcher that I am now and getting after a really good lineup,” Stripling said.

“That would be a lot of fun. Pitching opening weekend in the Bronx would be pretty cool if that’s what I get to do.”


The Jays are still playing the status of Springer close to the vest as they evaluate the Grade 2 strain to his left oblique.

Montoyo said the all-star outfielder hit off a tee on Sunday “and he felt fine but is still day-to-day.”

Translated: The Jays are going to wait as long as they possibly can before making a decision. The 26-man roster is due at noon on Thursday, there’s no reason for a quick verdict.

Given the risk of lingering issues with an oblique, the Jays will exercise caution in letting Springer play if he’s not sufficiently healed.

“It’s probably going to have to come soon, but we want to find out how he is after (hitting on Sunday),” Montoyo said.

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Following Sunday’s game Montoyo announced what was mostly obvious based on what we saw on the field this spring – that dynamic catcher Alejandro Kirk will break camp with the team. Also earning spots are pitchers Tim Mayza and Trent Thornton, who still is being groomed as a starter but will begin as a long reliever.


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  •  After Monday’s Grapefruit League finale, the Jays are planning to fly to New York where they will have a mandated off-day in Manhattan on Tuesday followed by a workout at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.
  • Some minor injury updates the Jays were keeping under wraps: Montoyo said that Ryan Borucki had a mild hamstring issue, which kept him out of games. That’s why the lefty, who faced the Tigers on Sunday, did most of his spring work on the backfields. As well, late-inning reliever Rafael Dolis had some back spasms during camp.
  • While the Jays dither over their order for the opening series Yankees manager Aaron Boone announced his plans on Sunday. Ace Gerrit Cole will get the ball for the opener followed by Corey Kluber on Saturday and Domingo German on Sunday.
  • Spring training numbers and results mean nothing we know, but five of the Jays nine losses have been against the Bronx Bombers.


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