Toronto Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. puts MLB pitchers on notice

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs the bases after his first inning home run against the New York Yankees. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs the bases after his first inning home run against the New York Yankees. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is showing that last season was just the beginning for the Toronto Blue Jays slugger after a special night at Yankee Stadium.

It appears the stage is never too big for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. as he gave the Toronto Blue Jays the offensive firepower they needed to beat the New York Yankees best pitcher in Gerrit Cole.

When the Yankees ace tipped his cap to the Blue Jays slugger, he pretty much summed up what everybody watching that game was feeling. Whether you were cheering for Vladdy or against him, you can’t help but feel impressed by what you saw.

“Did you see the night?” Cole told reporters after the game. “If you had a cap, you’d tip it, too. It got better after that, too. My goodness.”

Hitting three home runs all while having to get repairs on his hand after getting stepped up while making a play on first base. It also shows how Guerrero Jr. can take over a game like only a few stars in the league can.

Many remember that quote from spring training when Guerrero Jr. said that last season was the trailer and this year will be a movie. Safe to say that just one week into the season, Blue Jays fans have been getting full value whenever they tune into a game.

Guerrero Jr. had to get two stitches in his hand and hopefully, this isn’t something that will be a problem going forward. The 23-year-old has four homers in six games this season and constantly getting praise from his opponents.

That’s because there aren’t many in MLB right now who make it look as easy as Guerrero Jr. does. He’s also helping the Blue Jays win games that have always been a struggle for this team in the past.

After putting up 48 home runs to lead the league last season, you wonder what the ceiling is for Guerrero Jr.?

Hitting 60 home runs in a single season hasn’t been done since 2001 when Sammy Sosa had 64 and Barry Bonds led the way with 73. The closest a player has gotten recently was Giancarlo Stanton in 2017 when he had 69 with the Miami Marlins.

At this rate, 50 home runs seems like the floor for Guerrero Jr. and as long as he stays healthy, he could put himself in the conversation to hit 60 homers.

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitching will take time to get on track

After failing to get out of the first inning in the season opener, it could only get better for Jose Berrios who went five innings allowing six hits, three runs while striking out five.

Was it a perfect outing? No but it’s something the Blue Jays’ presumed ace can build off of because the team is going to need him to.

As good as this team’s offence is, pitching remains a vital component for any contending team. The Blue Jays assembled a rotation that has depth and talent needed to compete in the AL East but there are some question marks starting to show up.

One is Hyun-Jin Ryu who had a nightmare inning against the Texas Rangers that have magnified the struggles he went through last season. Yusei Kikuchi seems like a bit of a wild card but this is a pitcher the Blue Jays have had their eye on for a while.

Right now, the Blue Jays most promising arm might be Alek Manoah who was stellar in his season debut but even he would will look at ways to improve. Kevin Gausman was also neat and tidy in his season debut too.

With the lockout delaying the start of spring training, pitchers definitely playing catchup as many are a creature of habit and have a routine to get themselves up to their standards. So for some on the Blue Jays staff, this might require some patience and more support from the offence to give them the runway they need.

Safe to say, Guerrero Jr, is prepared to provide that for his teammates right now.

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What are your thoughts on Guerrero Jr.’s start to the season? Can he potentially push for 60 home runs this season? Let us know in the comments below.