General manager Nelson Cruz (San Diego Padres), who leads the national team of the Dominican Republic, opened the possibility of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Toronto Blue Jays) participating in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC)안전놀이터, who left due to a knee injury.
According to ESPN, Cruise general manager said at a press conference held on the 8th (Korean time), “We are in contact with Guerrero Jr. If the knee injury heals smoothly, Guerrero Jr. will be able to compete in the WBC 2nd round (quarterfinals).” .
Guerrero Jr. was selected as a key player in the national team of the Dominican Republic, a candidate for the championship.
After entering the big leagues in 2019, he hit a batting average of 0.284, 104 homers and 310 RBIs in 504 games. He hit 48 arches in 2021, and hit 32 home runs last year as well.
However, on the 4th, during the Tampa Bay Race and demonstration game, he felt discomfort in his knee during base running and was replaced, and an MRI scan found mild inflammation, so he gave up participating in the WBC.
The possibility of wearing the Dominican Republic national team uniform is not completely gone.
The WBC can replace a player on the 50-man interest list in the event of an injury during the tournament. Instead, substitute players for positions other than catcher may play from the next round in progress.
If an injured player comes out in the first round of the Dominican Republic, it means that Guerrero Junior can be put in from the quarterfinals.
Regarding the voices criticizing Guerrero Jr. for failing to join the national team, Cruz said, “I don’t understand why they are criticizing him. He was injured. When a player is injured, it’s natural for the team to try to protect them.”
He went on to add that he “talked to Guerrero Jr., and I’m getting ready to play, just in case.”
Meanwhile, the Dominican Republic is tied in Group D with Venezuela, Israel, Puerto Rico and Nicaragua. Starting with the match against Venezuela on the 12th, the WBC journey will begin in earnest.