The injury to Guerrero officially takes him out of the running to open the season in Toronto, though he wouldn’t have stood much chance to crack its roster even if he remained healthy. Not only will the Blue Jays gain an extra season of control over Guerrero by keeping the 19-year-old in the minors until mid-April, but general manager Ross Atkins indicated last month that the big-bodied third baseman’s not yet suited for a major league promotion. Since then, Guerrero has batted a meager .211/.250/.316 in 19 spring at-bats.
Despite his struggles over a small sample of exhibition plate appearances, Guerrero’s an all-world hitter who’s widely regarded as the game’s best prospect. As such, few took Atkins’ comments at face value, instead believing Toronto would demote him to manipulate the player’s service time. It’s now a moot point in light of the injury, though, as Davidi notes Guerrero would have been ticketed for a season-opening rehab assignment anyway. The hope now is that the injury won’t linger beyond the team’s estimated timeline, as is often the case with oblique issues.
Regardless of whether Guerrero’s back within the three-week window, he’ll see more time at Triple-A Buffalo before earning his first call-up to the majors this season. Guerrero garnered his first Triple-A experience late last year and slashed a phenomenal .336/.414/.564 (175 wRC+) with six home runs and more walks (15) than strikeouts (10) over 128 PAs, further cementing himself as an elite young player.