Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. pulled from the World Baseball Classic due to a knee injury
Photo credit:© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
8 months ago
One Blue Jay player was added to the World Baseball Classic on Friday afternoon, and on Saturday afternoon, one was removed.
According to the Dominican Republic’s official baseball account, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been pulled from the World Baseball Classic, which was later confirmed by the team.
As you may know, the 23-year-old first baseman left Friday’s game with “right knee soreness”. Subsequent MRIs revealed that there were no structural concerns, but there was some “minor inflammation” according to John Schneider.
Last season, Guerrero Jr. slashed .274/.339/.480 with 32 homers in 706 plate appearances. He also had an 8.2 BB% and a 16.4 K%, which led to a 132 wRC+, which tied George Springer for the highest on the Blue Jays for qualified batters.
However, this was a rather significant decline from his MVP-calibre season in 2021, when he slashed .311/.401/.601 with a league-leading 48 homers in 698 plate appearances. His BB% this season sat at a career-high 12.3%, while his 15.8 K% was one of the lowest in his career. What’s more, is that his 166 wRC+ was the second-highest in the league, only behind the National League MVP winner, Bryce Harper.
If Guerrero Jr. can find his game as he had in 2021, the Jays have a good shot at making a deep run in the playoffs. So for that reason, it makes more sense to let him rest or recover the knee instead of playing competitive games for the Dominican Republic.
Get healthy soon Vlad!
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