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Blue Jays promoting Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

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Last week, some reports emerged suggesting that the Blue Jays were at long last promoting top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Those reports were shot down not long thereafter.

The Blue Jays are now actually promoting Guerrero. Manager Charlie Montoyo made the announcement following Wednesday afternoon’s 4-0 loss to the Giants, Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.

Guerrero, 20, has obliterated Triple-A pitching to start the year, batting .360/.429/.640 with a pair of homers and seven RBI in seven games. He got a late start to the season due to an oblique injury. Last year, Guerrero hit a combined (and ridiculous) .381/.437/.636 with 20 homers and 78 RBI in 95 games in the minors.

MLB Pipeline rates Guerrero as the No. 1 prospect across baseball, a sentiment that is shared by almost all prospect evaluation publications.

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

Max Scherzer
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Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.

It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.

While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.

If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.