Toronto Blue Jays: Present and Future shine in win over Orioles

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. /

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette made their respective debuts in Spring Traning and helped the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles.

The Toronto Blue Jays were set to take on the rival Baltimore Orioles in a routine warm-up to the regular season, where the two AL-East foes will meet regularly throughout the 2018 campaign.

It might have been just another Spring Training game for those in attendance at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, FL.

The difference, however, was the hype surrounding the names in the Blue Jays lineup on Thursday.

Before the game, it was announced that both Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette would be making their spring debuts for Toronto, with the former starting as the Designated Hitter and the latter coming off the bench to replace Richard Ureña.

As you would expect, the hype was high among Jays fans, and the teams two top prospects didn’t disappoint.

Guerrero Jr. went four-for-five on the afternoon, with all four being singles. Bichette, on the other hand, went two-for-three, with two RBI and a stolen base.

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They weren’t the only big performers for the Jays, though. Anthony Alford got the start in right field. He had two doubles, a triple, three runs and an RBI.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. started the game at second base before being taken out for Bichette, who came in as a pinch-runner. The 24-year-old had two hits including an RBI single, but appeared to roll his ankle trying to make a defensive play as reported by’s Gregor Chisholm.

Aaron Sanchez took to the mound for the Jays and had another strong outing, allowing four hits and an earned run, while walking one and striking out five across three innings of work.

Despite being on short work in this outing, Sanchez was still credited with his first win of the spring as the Jays would go on to beat Baltimore 9-3.

Sanchez spoke to reporters following the game, to reflect on his performance after increasing his workload to three innings:

"“I think for me, today was just to build off what I brought in from my start on Saturday. I felt like there were some obstacles early on that I got to overcome, in terms of being on the road and getting that routine down. Sitting before I go out and pitch. The mound was a little bit higher than I’ve pitched on in recent outings. I think all of those in play, overcoming that, and finishing strong like I did, I would say it was a pretty good day.”"

The Jays still have a few weeks in the sun before they return home to open the season against the New York Yankees.

Guerrero, Bichette, and even Alford will likely find themselves spending the majority of the season in the minor leagues. For now, and the rest of Spring Training for that matter, Jays fans will get to see what lies in the not too distant future with their budding prospects.

Next: Jays better prepared to battle the injury bug in 2018

What did you make of the debuts for Bichette and Guerrero Jr.? Does it provide more intrigue towards their future with the Toronto Blue Jays, or should we wait for a larger body of work? Let us know in the comments below.