Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is on the verge of arriving in the big leagues, but Blue Jays fans will have to wait a little longer.
As they enter a rebuilding phase, a good group of prospects offers hope for the Toronto Blue Jays. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leads that group, as the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball, and any idea of service time manipulation is not in play anymore as April winds down.
On Monday morning, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported the Blue Jays were expected to call Guerrero up for his major league debut Tuesday night against the San Francisco Giants. Nightengale capped the report with “all that remains is the official announcement.”
Later in the day, Nightengale circled back to report Guerrero’s promotion is “awfully close”, but won’t happen in time for Tuesday night’s game at Rogers Centre.
If not for a knee injury that took him out of action for a chunk of time, Guerrero may have made his big league debut last year as a 19-year old. Over 95 games and 408 plate appearances in 2018, he posted a .381/.437/.636 slash-line (1.073 OPS) with 20 home runs, 29 doubles and 78 RBI.
Guerrero’s major league arrival this year was naturally delayed a bit by an oblique strain during the spring. After a bit of rehab time with High-A Dunedin, he is currently hitting .412/.500/.824 with two home runs and six RBI over five games for Triple-A Buffalo.
The Blue Jays start a five-game homestand Tuesday night, with two games against the Giants and a three-game weekend series against the Oakland Athletics. Then they’re on the road for a week, until May 6 against the Minnesota Twins to launch a six-game homestand.
Toronto’s plan, however tentatively, would surely be to have Guerrero make his debut at home. So if not this week, the calendar will flip to May before it happens. But fear not, Blue Jays’ fans, the wait is nearing an end.