At about a week into the “Vlad Jr is a Major League Baseball Player” extravaganza, our thicc son is looking a little frustrated at the plate.
The Jays are not really scoring runs and the lustre of the season sweep of the Oakland A’s has worn off. Everything feels heavy.
Watching Guerrero, I’ve noticed a few things: he greets the home plate umpire politely; when he swings and misses, he often politely asks if the pitch was a strike; he has a professional hitter’s understanding of the strike zone; he is getting pitched very, very tough and he is getting umpired tough.
And if pitchers are going to get any borderline or just-off- the- plate pitch called a strike, why would they ever throw Guerrero something in the zone? I don’t know if umpires are trying to make Guerrero earn his stripes or something, but I can’t help thinking their zone gets wider when Jr. steps in the box.
The zone, in general, was terrible last night and it’s not shocking that this happened:
So here’s what I would suggest:
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. should hit in the 2-hole. I want this for a few reasons: I want to give him more at bats. I want him to have his first AB in the first inning, before the starting pitcher establishes a rhythm. I want it to be impossible for Jr. to step in the box for the first time for there to be two outs. And I want it impossible for the pitcher to be out of the first inning if Vlad Jr. hits into a double play. And have one of the more potent bats, say Smoak or Galvis, hitting behind him.
I’m sure there are countless reasons, supported with stats, why Vlad Jr. is hitting fifth, but I think they need to try something new.
And let the plakata come.