Blue Jays' top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. sidelined three weeks with oblique strain

Some news from Blue Jays camp regarding top overall prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ... 

Three weeks would take us right up to Opening Day or thereabouts, and that almost certainly means that Guerrero will not crack the active roster to start the season. 

To be sure, Guerrero is ready for baseball at the highest level. Sure, he's just 19 (he turns 20 on March 16), but he's dominated at every stop in the minors. That includes putting up a 1.120 OPS at Double-A last season and then a .978 OPS at Triple-A. GM Ross Atkins is dutifully pretending that Guerrero isn't ready for the bigs, but that's only because the Jays want to delay the start of Guerrero's service-time clock and thus ensure team control for an additional year. This injury, though, gives them the cover they need to undertake such manipulation. 

Barring the wholly unexpected, Guerrero is going to reach the majors this season. Prior to this injury, mid-April or so (after which point he would be unable to gain a full year of major-league service time in 2019) was the best guess as to his promotion date. This injury, though, has clouded that timeline a bit. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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