Vladimir Guerrero Jr. injury: Blue Jays slugger to miss World Baseball Classic with knee inflammation
Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been running around the bases in Friday’s spring practice game since suffering a right knee injury, the team announced on Saturday. Tests revealed little inflammation and no structural damage. “At this stage in the camp, we are very careful,” manager John Schneider told Sportsnet on Saturday.
However, the injury means Guerrero will miss the World Baseball Classic. He was due to leave the Blue Jays and join the Dominican Republic in Miami on Sunday. San Diego Padres batter Nelson Cruz is the general manager of the Dominican Republic national team. and he confirmed that Guerrero will miss the WBC on Saturday. The Blue Jays also confirmed the news. Here is the injury:
Vlad Jr. was the only natural baseman on the Composition of the Dominican Republic according to the WBC. Robinson Cano has been playing first base in recent years and could initially replace Guerrero. Carlos Santana of the Pittsburgh Pirates and unsigned free agent Miguel Sano are first basemen and could be added to the roster, although this is just my guess.
Guerrero, who is 24 later this month, is 3 for 10 with two home runs earlier this spring. He cut .274/.339/.480 by hitting 32 home runs in 2022, which is very good and a step behind his 2021 MVP runner-up. With less than four weeks until opening, the Blue Jays are smart. be careful with your franchise player.
The Blue Jays went 92-70 last season but lost to the Seattle Mariners in the Wild Card Series. Toronto imported Chris Bassit, Brandon Belt, Kevin Kirmeier, Dalton Warshaw and more this offseason to win the AL East for the first time since 2015.
Even without Guerrero, the Dominican Republic can still build a strong roster of Rafael Devers, Manny Machado, Julio Rodriguez, Juan Soto and other MLB stars.