Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Rest Days for 2019 Examined

Now, a post that is near and dear to our hearts.

Remember when we complained that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was sitting too much this past summer? Well, now there’s more information to support that our instinct was correct in the assessment.

For all the recent talk of ‘load management’ in the NBA, the Toronto Blue Jays’ handling of Guerrero Jr. during his rookie seasons has allowed it to enter baseball talk. Furthermore, a blogger took a nice look at this for us.

First off, excellent work done by Ian Hunter over at Blue Jays Nation.

The Coles Notes version of this schedule is as follows; Guerrero never played more than five consecutive games at third base at any point during the 2019 season. The sixth day was always a “load management” day or a DH day.

After the All-Star break, the Blue Jays used a 2-1-2 schedule where Guerrero never played more than two consecutive games in the field. That pattern happened from July 12 to August 1, when the pattern increased to 3-1-2-1. In September, he worked his way back up to playing five consecutive games at third base, but he went four months in between that pattern. He played five straight games in the field in late May and then didn’t repeat that pattern until mid-September.

Now for my version of it: Guerrero Jr. rested way too fucking much in 2019. Indeed, recent reports have Guerrero Jr. getting thinner and working his tail off in the off-season. That’s great, and the Blue Jays need to find a way in 2020 to have him in the lineup as much as possible, even if it means that he’s serving as the DH.

Durability is important in the game of baseball. In the years to come – if Guerrero Jr. is going to be as great as they said he would be – he must prove that he can play day-in and day-out. That’s always the concern when you have a big man like this in your lineup and as a franchise cornerstone.

If you’re not in the lineup, you can’t put up numbers. A healthy scratch every fifth day or so is so bad for business in a few ways.