Supposedly, Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the 19-year-old son of a baseball Hall of Famer and one of the most fun players of the last 25 years and he’s hitting .418 with seven homers and more walks than strikeouts in Double-A right at this very moment. But this seems so unlikely that it’s probably entirely made up by someone who wants us to believe that baseball isn’t a dying sport recently overtaken by college lacrosse in popularity.
I read on Twitter that Guerrero went 4-for-4 with a homer and two doubles for something called the New Hampshire Fisher Cats today. According to Baseball-Reference.com, a typically reliable site, he was already hitting .400 in 33 games going into the day. If what I read was true, his OPS now stands at 1.163. Mike Trout is nearly impossible himself and he had a .958 OPS in Double-A when he was 19. According to B-Ref, Guerrero has driven in 40 runs in 34 games and struck out just 13 times while collecting 23 extra-base hits and 14 walks.
And, frankly, that all sounds great and I’d like to believe. But I’m just not that optimistic by nature. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is fake news, and I dare you to prove me wrong by calling him up, Blue Jays.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.