Toronto Blue Jays star slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. underwent an MRI on his right knee Wednesday night after being left out of the team’s 6-1 win over the New York Yankees, per Keegan Matheson of MLB.com.
“He’s grinding, I think,” Schneider told reporters before Wednesday’s game. “His knee’s barking a little bit. Nothing patellar or anything. Just kind of dealing with the length of the season. So we got him out of there (Monday).”
He also said at the time he thought Guerrero might serve as the designated hitter for the game, though ultimately he was scratched.
Any injury to Guerrero is a huge blow for a Blue Jays team (85-67) fighting for its playoff life. Toronto is currently in the No. 2 Wild Card berth in the American League, and that’s as high as they’ll get with the Tampa Bay Rays (93-60) comfortably ahead of them.
Behind them, however, both the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners are each 84-68 and just one game back. And if either of those teams catches the Houston Astros (85-68) in the AL West, it’ll be the Astros gunning for a Wild Card berth.
In essence, the Blue Jays are one of three teams fighting for two final Wild Card berths. It promises to be an exciting close to the regular season.
Guerrero, 24, is one of the reasons the Blue Jays are battling for a postseason berth in the first place. The young star is hitting .264 with 24 homers, 90 RBI, 71 runs and a .781 OPS.
No, he hasn’t come close to replicating his epic 2021 campaign (.311 with 48 homers, 111 RBI, 123 runs and a 1.002 OPS, all easily career highs and good for a runner-up finish in the AL MVP voting behind only two-way marvel Shohei Ohtani). But he’s still a feared bat in the middle of Toronto’s order, leading the team in homers and RBI.
And without him, Toronto’s already tenuous playoff hopes will be dealt a major blow.