Pre-game News and Notes: Brandon Belt makes his Blue Jays debut, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. runs the bases, and more!
Photo credit:© Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
2 months ago
Who doesn’t love a pre-game article to kick-start your Saturday?
The Blue Jays will face the trash birds of the American League east, the Baltimore Orioles. Let’s look at some interesting notes heading into the game. Below is the starting lineup.
Brandon Belt makes his Blue Jays debut:
It’s taken a while, but the first baseman/designated hitter will make his spring training and Blue Jays debut on Saturday afternoon.
Early in the new year, the Blue Jays signed the 34-year-old World Series winner in a rather surprising signing.
He spent most of the 2022 season playing through knee injuries and posted a .213/.326/.350 slash line with eight homers in 298 plate appearances. While his 27.2 K% was on the high side, his 12.4 BB% was fantastic, plus it’s a career norm!
In the 2020 and 2021 seasons, Belt was one of the best hitters in baseball. He had a .285/.393/.595 slash line with 38 homers in 560 plate appearances for a 162 wRC+. If Belt can find this form, the Jays will be super lucky.
A full outfield:
This is likely the first time the Jays will use all three of their starting outfielders on the field. Daulton Varsho will play left, Kevin Kiermaier will play centre, and George Springer will play right.
I don’t know about you, but I’m very excited to see the new and improved outfield in action.
Things worth mentioning:
- According to a team release, one of the Blue Jays’ top relief prospects, Hagen Danner, has some right forearm inflammation, and won’t be throwing for a few days. This sucks, as he’s really made a name for himself since returning from injury in the Arizona Fall League
- Per manager John Schneider, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will run the bases tomorrow. All is going well with the knee, and he just got married as well, so congratulations to him!
- Mitch White threw a live bullpen on Friday, generating a ground ball from Guerrero Jr. There’s a chance he will make his spring training debut sometime next week.
- Alejandro Kirk has been catching lately, as he caught White on Friday, and Alek Manoah on Saturday. The broadcast noted during the Friday game that Kirk could make his spring training debut on Sunday or Monday.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.
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