Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homers, doubles in Triple-A season debut

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Blue Jays minor league third baseman Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. is widely considered to be baseball’s No. 1 prospect. There was some consternation that the Jays might have him start the season in the minor leagues to “work on his defense,” which in layman’s terms actually means to pass a threshold of missed major league service time that would grant the club an extra year of contractual control. Guerrero, unfortunately, suffered an oblique injury in March, which ended any thought he would open the season in the majors.

Guerrero, 20, finished up his rehab and made his 2019 Triple-A season debut on Thursday night for Buffalo, facing Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Guerrero drew a walk in the first inning, knocked in a run with a double in the third, and hit a three-run home run in the fifth. He finished 2-for-4 on the night with the two extra-base hits and four RBI. Not a bad season debut.

Guerrero is picking up where he left off last season. With all but four of his games occuring with Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo, he hit an aggregate .381/.437/.636 with 20 home runs, 78 RBI, and 67 runs scored in 408 plate appearances.

We will hopefully be seeing Guerrero in the majors soon.

Rays moving spring camp due to damage caused by hurricane

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays are relocating their spring base for 2023 due to extensive damage to team training facilities caused by Hurricane Ian.

The Rays have trained since 2009 in Port Charlotte, Florida, about 90 minutes south of St. Petersburg, and intend to explore several options before making a decision on where to hold spring training and play Grapefruit League games when camp opens.

The team and Charlotte County released a joint statement Thursday, saying damage to Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte can’t be repaired in time to host games this winter.

“Charlotte County supports the Rays efforts to secure alternative accommodations for 2023 spring training,” the statement said.

“We are all disappointed for the residents of Charlotte County and the fans there. The community is in the thoughts and hearts of the Rays, and the team will continue to support recovery efforts,” the statement added. “The Rays and Charlotte County intend to develop a restoration plan for Charlotte Sports Park in the coming weeks.”