Carlos Osorio/Associated Press
One of the youngest infields in baseball will go through an adjustment for the start of the 60-game MLB season.
The Toronto Blue Jays announced Friday that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will move from third base to first base. And he could also spend some time as the team’s designated hitter.
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo noted that Guerrero was practicing on the right side of the diamond before the season’s start was postponed, per MLB.com’s Keegan Matheson.
“We’ve been talking about that since Spring Training, before we got shut down,” Montoyo said. “He was already taking ground balls at first base with [third-base coach] Luis Rivera. Talking to [general manager Ross Atkins] and Vladdy, Vladdy feels motivated to do it.”
Guerrero played third base in 96 of the 123 games in his rookie season. The others were spent as Toronto’s designated hitter.
Travis Shaw is expected to play the hot corner in 2020, but the move should open up a pathway for another top prospect to join shortstop Bo Bichette, second baseman Cavan Biggio and Guerrero on the infield.
Toronto’s No. 2 prospect, according to MLB.com, Jordan Groshans, is listed as a shortstop, but it would make sense if the team shifts him to third base in the future to fill the open spot.
2020 first-round draft pick Austin Martin may also play third in the coming years. He can also play shortstop and outfield.
Guerrero’s shift across the diamond should not have a major effect on his hitting numbers. He hit 15 home runs and recorded 69 RBI while hitting .272 in 2019.
Even though there could be some growing pains as Guerrero adjusts to the position, the move seems ideal to get the best out of Toronto’s young stars in the future.
Yoan Moncada Placed on Injured List
Yoan Moncada was one of two Chicago White Sox players placed on the 10-day injured list during an eventful Friday of roster decisions.
The White Sox did not provide a reason why Moncada or right-handed pitcher Jose Ruiz were put on the injured list in their team statement.
The American League Central side also learned Friday that pitching prospect Michael Kopech, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, opted out of the 2020 season.
Danny Mendick, Andrew Romine and Leury Garcia are among the options the White Sox can turn to at third base if Moncada is not ready for Opening Day.
It would be hard for any of those three players to replace Moncada’s impact in the lineup, as he hit 25 long balls and drove in 79 runs in 2019. In addition to totaling those two career highs, Moncada produced personal bests in all four offensive splits a year ago.
If he is ready for the July 24 opener against the Minnesota Twins, Moncada could be a part of one of the most exciting lineups in the AL that also includes Jose Abreu, Edwin Encarnacion, Eloy Jimenez and top prospect Luis Robert.
Gavin Lux Reports to Dodgers Camp
According to SportsNet LA’s Alanna Rizzo, Gavin Lux reported to Los Angeles Dodgers camp Friday and started at second base in a scrimmage.
Lux was one of a few Dodgers players who did not initially report to Dodger Stadium.
2020 was supposed to be Lux’s first full 162-campaign in the majors after he made 23 appearances at the back end of 2019. Instead, his first season as the starting second baseman features a shortened calendar.
Where Lux lands in the Dodgers lineup will be the biggest question surrounding him going into the July 23 opener versus the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers are projected to have one of the most talented lineups in baseball. Lux could hit at the top behind Mookie Betts or he could be a valuable piece to turn the order around from the bottom third.
With the universal designated hitter in play, Lux could even bat ninth in some situations and act as a second leadoff hitter with Betts at the top.