Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to miss World Baseball Classic with injury
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has withdrawn from the World Baseball Classic, per a Blue Jays announcement.
Vladdy was set to play first base on a dangerous Dominican Republic team. Guerrero was scheduled to depart for the DR on Sunday, with games beginning in Miami next weekend.
There's no clear replacement for Vladdy on their WBC roster currently. The lone player without a clear spot in the starting lineup with experience at first base would be the veteran Robinson Cano. Cano, the captain of the Dominican Republic and formerly one of the best second basemen in baseball, played in 14 games at first base for the 2018 Mariners.
Guerrero was enjoying a good start to his Spring Training. Playing consistently and having hit a pair of long homeruns early on, it was clear Vlad came into camp in great shape and was ready for another big season.
Guerrero was receiving at bats almost daily early on, with the intention of preparing him for the international tournament.
In yesterday afternoon’s game, he came in awkwardly to second base, after driving in Bo Bichette with an RBI single. He finished the remainder of the inning, but was taken out and replaced at first by Rainer Nunez. He had an MRI completed on his knee last night, which revealed minor inflammation and no structural damage in his right knee.
John Schneider and the Blue Jays don't believe it to be serious and are considering him day-to-day.
Vlad is the latest on a long list of removals from WBC rosters. At this point in camp, teams are rightfully cautious with the health of all their players. Minor injuries often result in multiple days off, ensuring players are as ready as possible to enter the season. Guerrero’s success and longevity is a no doubt a major factor to the Jays success this season. Caution is the best measure at this point in time, and as a result Vlad will miss out on his first WBC.