Casey Janssen throws “impressive” bullpen session, nearing return from abdominal injury

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Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen is almost fully recovered from his late-spring left abdominal strain.

John Lott of Canada’s National Post reports that the right-hander threw a bullpen session on Wednesday afternoon, which manager John Gibbons called “impressive.” Janssen will throw another bullpen session in the next couple of days and should then be cleared for a minor league rehab assignment.

Sergio Santos will continue to close for now.

Janssen registered an outstanding 2.56 ERA, 0.987 WHIP, and 50/13 K/BB ratio across 52 2/3 innings last season for the Blue Jays, saving 34 games in 36 opportunities.

UPDATE: Conflicting reports on the Blue Jays calling up Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

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UPDATE: Welp, Hécto Gómez may not have this one right. Scott Mitchell of TSN is reporting that it’s “highly unlikely” Guerrero is recalled unless some sort of injury occurs, so I suppose we should all stand down.

Anyone up for keeping him down until the Super Two cutoff in June?

3:35 PM: Héctor Gómez‏, a baseball writer from the Dominican Republic, reports that The Blue Jays will call up Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He will reportedly make his MLB’s debut on Tuesday. The Blue Jays have not confirmed this yet, but I’m sure we’ll hear sometime this weekend.

As we’ve noted over and over, Guerrero has nothing left to prove in the minors and has not had anything to prove there for some time. Guerrero is currently 7-for-17, with a line of .412/.500/.824 in five Triple-A games this year. In one he hit the ball clear the heck out of the stadium. This coming off a 2018 season in which he hit .381/.437/.636 with 20 home runs and 78 RBI in 408 minor league plate appearances.

A minor injury in spring training made Guerrero unavailable for Opening Day and gave the Jays cover to keep him down in the minors to start the season. With that Guerrero is ensured of not getting a full year’s worth of service time in 2019 and thus the Jays have obtained a full six years of control of him after this season. As such, there really is no baseball nor business reason to keep him down on the farm any longer.