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Guerrero Jr.’s elite instincts on full display at Blue Jays spring training

SARASOTA, Fla. – Even amid the most mundane of duties Vladimir Guerrero Jr., is the centre of consideration, which is why as he scrummed with media at Ed Smith Stadium, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., dished out barbs that cracked up his good friend, and Rowdy Tellez eavesdropped all-around the corner.

What is he experiencing most about his very first large-league camp, he was asked.

“Baseball,” Tellez whispered, just loud adequate for the youthful slugger to choose up and guffaw at.

“I consider you fellas all heard it again there, that is what I take pleasure in the most, just taking part in baseball,” Guerrero replied, his opinions interpreted by Tanya Bialostozky, one particular of the club’s mental efficiency coaches. “I don’t see it as a job. I do it due to the fact I like it, I take pleasure in it, I see it as a thing I like executing just about every day.”

That much is evident each individual time the before long-to-be 20-12 months-old requires the industry, and under no circumstances more so than in the third inning of Sunday’s 9-8 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

To start with, he collected his very first strike of the spring, a very little nubber that barely still left the grime cutout all-around household plate but even now travelled just significantly adequate for Lourdes Gurriel Jr., to cross the plate. Then, just after a Dalton Pompey single loaded the bases, Guerrero turned difficult for household from next on Dwight Smith Jr.’s foundation strike, belly-flopping into the plate and quickly rolling again up, blonde-tipped dreads traveling, smiling the total way.

Guerrero 1, Floor .

“They all laughed about it,” he claimed of the reaction in the Blue Jays dugout. “But my hand fell and I did not want to get wounded so I was safeguarding it. I resolved to just let my overall body go in purchase to secure my arm.”

Such existence of thoughts in a spur-of-the-minute sort of participate in is part of why Guerrero is thought of baseball’s major prospect.

Past the uncanny sense of the strike zone, off-the-charts hand-eye coordination and 70-quality energy, there is an intuition for the sport that separates him from players older than him, let alone others his age.

“That is really very good that he does that,” claimed supervisor Charlie Montoyo.

The Blue Jays will later this spring cite some require for further more refinement in his sport when they solution him to triple-A Buffalo to artificially force again his free of charge agency, but he confirmed nice polish all all-around in his spring debut, which provided a few at-bats and four defensive innings.

There were being a couple very good requires right before he rolled about on a 2-1 pitch for a groundout to quick in the very first, and he flew out in the fifth, but there was the very good foundation working in the third additionally a nifty defensive participate in bottom one particular, when taking part in in, he snared fast Jonathan Villar’s smash.

“For a large person he runs really very good, and for a large person he moves really very good at very first foundation,” claimed Montoyo. “So significantly, he appears to be really very good to me.”

The approach for the time remaining is for players, in basic, to suit up just about every other day, that means the following instalment of the Guerrero Demonstrate will be Tuesday in Dunedin in opposition to the Boston Red Sox.

In this MLB and Toronto Blue Jays podcast, Dan Shulman requires a seem at the human facet of baseball. Mainly because absolutely everyone in the sport has a tale.

ADRENALINE Rush: A 12 months back at his very first large-league spring camp Sean Reid-Foley was provided late-inning mop-up responsibility in opposition to hitters with race motor vehicle quantities on their jerseys, so setting up the Blue Jays’ next sport of the spring was a mark of development for him.

“It’s funny how a 12 months alterations a lot,” claimed Reid-Foley. “I felt like the adrenaline was certainly pumping but it was quite managed. I was expecting the opposite, like a debut sort factor exactly where you definitely simply cannot obtain it. I felt fantastic out there and bought the very first one particular out of the way. Just go contend from right here on out.”

As issues stand now, the 23-12 months-old ideal-hander is on the exterior of the rotation image wanting in, and barring the unforeseen, will open the time in the triple-A Buffalo rotation the way Ryan Borucki did a 12 months back. Borucki will gain the fifth starter’s job unless of course calamity strikes, with Reid-Foley and Thomas Pannone in essence jockeying to be No. 6 on the depth chart.

“We’re all in each individual other’s corner,” claimed Reid-Foley. “If you were being to go walk all-around with us for a day, an hour, whichever you want, we’re constantly assisting each individual other. It’s under no circumstances like, ‘Oh, I’m heading in opposition to you. I’m not heading to converse to you.’ We’re all boys, we played the very last two yrs alongside one another. Last 12 months it was really amazing to see all of us get up there and to encounter that all alongside one another was a lot of enjoyable.”

Reid-Foley’s fastball command was a touch spotty in a very first inning that culminated in Rio Ruiz’s a few-run homer on a misplaced heater – “I don’t consider I’ll ever be a pin-level command guy,” he claimed – but settled in a clean up next, drawing praise from Montoyo for the adjustment.

MCKINNEY VS POMPEY: The Blue Jays intend to give Dalton Pompey ample chance to impress this spring provided that he’s out of possibilities, and he manufactured the most of it Sunday with a couple of hits, such as a household run.

Continue to, the favourite at the minute is Billy McKinney, who impressed through a 36-sport audition at the conclude of 2018 adhering to his acquisition from the Yankees in the J.A. Happ trade, and was stated as a doable leadoff hitter by Montoyo.

“(Pompey) has bought all people instruments and I’m pulling for the child,” claimed the supervisor. “And McKinney is another very good player that I saw very last 12 months and it’s heading to be a very good levels of competition among these young ones.”

McKinney was also in the lineup Sunday, collecting a single and a double although also making a nice working get on a Carlos Perez liner just inside the foul line in ideal to conclude the next. His double, off lefty Tanner Scott, came primary off the third.

“I was really fatigued there,” he claimed with a smile. “It’s a warm one particular, I was respiration a very little significant in that at-bat, but I was just attempting to toss that out as much as doable and get on to the at-bat.”

Last 12 months, McKinney batted leadoff 25 instances with the Blue Jays although hitting .252/.320/.470 with 6 homers. He enjoys the part, and his off-time aim was in being more steady with his method at the plate.

“I’m attempting not to get also large,” he claimed of his swing. “Occasionally I’d test to muscle up also much and if that happens it slows me down. I’m attempting to be more free of charge and quick, and attempting not to get also rigorous from time to time.”

Status Test: The Blue Jays clarified Randal Grichuk’s standing Sunday, declaring the ideal-fielder isn’t struggling from plantar fasciitis in his still left foot ideal now, but somewhat is ramping up little by little due to the fact he’s experienced it in the past.

“He’s not hurt, I’m just remaining mindful with him due to the fact he played like that very last 12 months but he’s not hurt,” claimed supervisor Charlie Montoyo. “He’s heading to be large for us, for him to be nutritious, so we’re remaining affected person with him. But he’s not hurt. We’re just taking (our) time, DH him right here, get him off his ft. Just in scenario.”

UP Upcoming: Marcus Stroman makes his spring debut Monday when the Blue Jays visit the New York Yankees in Tampa. Matt Shoemaker will get the ball Tuesday in opposition to browsing Boston.

Quick HOPS: Commencing powering the plate for the Orioles was previous Blue Jays farmhand Carlos Perez, who was one particular of the 7 players the Blue Jays sent to Houston on July 20, 2012 to obtain J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter. Perez doubled in a pair off Trent Thornton in the fourth, receiving thrown attempting to extend at third foundation. … Also in camp with the Orioles are previous Blue Jays Bo Schultz and farmhand Gregory Infante. … New Orioles supervisor Brandon Hyde was one particular of the finalists for the Blue Jays’ opening. … Catcher Patrick Cantwell, part of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats club that won the double-A Jap League championship very last 12 months, strike a solo shot in the eighth inning.

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