Blue Jays 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s Hand Injury Diagnosed as Contusion

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2019

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leans back to avoid an inside pitch from Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 31, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Toronto Blue Jays rookie third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. left Friday's game against the Houston Astros after getting hit in the hand by a pitch.

Guerrero was hit by a Gerrit Cole fastball in the top of the first inning and remained in the game defensively in the bottom of the first before getting replaced by Eric Sogard in the bottom of the second.

The Blue Jays announced X-rays were negative, and Guerrero was diagnosed with a left hand contusion.

Entering Friday's contest, Vlad was hitting .268 with seven home runs and 19 RBI in 39 games this season.

The 20-year-old son of Baseball Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero Sr. began the season on the injured list with an oblique strain, but after recovering and seeing some action in Triple-A, he was called up in late April.

Guerrero had an up-and-down first month in the majors, but he seemed to be finding his stroke entering Friday's action.

In June, Vlad had been slashing .325/.349/.475 with one homer and seven RBI in 10 games.

Although the Jays don't have another player with the ability to hit for a combination of average and power like Guerrero, they do have several options to replace him at third base if he is forced to miss additional time.

Sogard is a veteran utilityman who could see extended action at third. Brandon Drury and Cavan Biggio, who is the son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, are capable of playing a solid third base as well.

Toronto entered play Friday with a 25-43 record, which put it 16.5 games behind the American League East-leading New York Yankees. If Guerrero lands on the IL, his absence could hurt the Jays from an attendance perspective since he is by far their biggest draw in the midst of a rebuild.