Vladimir Guerrero Jr. takes ground balls at third base amidst Matt Chapman’s trip to the IL
Photo credit:© Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
By Evan Stack3 months ago
Per Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was fielding ground balls at third base this afternoon prior to Toronto’s series opener against the Washington Nationals. This news came shortly after everyday third baseman Matt Chapman was sent to the IL with a right middle finger sprain.
Guerrero played third base in 2019 to start his career before switching to first base/DH in 2020. In that aforementioned ’19 season, Guerrero logged 96 games and over 800 innings at the hot corner, recording a .936 fielding percentage and 17 errors. He did play two innings at third base in b0th 2021 and 2022, but those appeared to be one off situations.
Davis Schneider is making his first career major league start at third base tonight, but the Jays have plenty of other serviceable options in Chapman’s absence. Santiago Espinal, Cavan Biggio, and Ernie Clement are other names who could see some time at third for the interim, with Keegan Matheson reporting that Guerrero would only play third in a “very unique” spot.
There was also some speculation that Chapman’s injury could lead to Toronto resorting to the farm for his replacement, specifically Addison Barger or Orelvis Martinez, who both have experience playing third base.
While Chapman’s absence could potentially last only 10 days, playing Guerrero at third could open up some positional flexibility for John Schneider. Guerrero playing at third base would allow Brandon Belt to play at first, leaving the DH spot available for Daulton Varsho or Davis Schneider. There are opportunities to get creative, but again, it’s going to take an isolated spot to get Guerrero in that position.
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