Blue Jays: 3 biggest storylines through 3 weeks of Spring Training
No. 2: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s knee injury
While Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s right knee injury turned out to be minor, there's hand-wringing to be done anytime your star slugger and franchise cornerstone goes down.
After feeling the discomfort on March 3 while rounding first and making his way to second, Guerrero promptly removed himself from the game. The team ran tests and reported only inflammation, no structural damage.
Almost immediately, Guerrero pulled out of the World Baseball Classic. He was scheduled to leave camp that weekend to meet his Dominican Republic teammates in Miami. Guerrero and the Blue Jays were obviously thinking of the team's goals for 2023 and played it safe.
Luckily, the knee discomfort didn't appear to be a big concern. Guerrero even made light of the situation, posting a hilarious reaction to his "injury" on Twitter.
After some time off, the 24-year-old superstar began light work and quickly progressed to baserunning and fielding drills. When he returned to game action on March 15, less than two weeks after the initial injury, he showed no ill effects.
As if to show that he was 100%, Guerrero turned up the intensity. Sportsnet's Arden Zwelling made note of his hustle down the line during his first plate appearance.
"That’s a home-to-first time of 4.79 seconds, only two-tenths of a second off Guerrero’s 2022 season average. His 28.2 foot-per-second sprint speed was the fastest he’s recorded in a tracked game this spring and would have ranked within his 50 quickest sprints up the first base line last season."- Arden Zwelling, Sportsnet
He then launched a 113.6 mph double in his next at-bat.
Per Zwelling, "There was no holding anything back. No easing his way in. Guerrero went full-send as soon as he had the opportunity."
Blue Jays fans can breathe a sigh of relief now that the almost two-week saga of the sore right knee is in the rearview mirror.