Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Blue Jays Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had a great fall and is day-to-day with a strained side.
Whether it is genetics, conditioning, or just bad luck, some athletes spend more time on rehab than on the field displaying their immense abilities. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. looks as though he is one such athlete.
A few recent names quickly come to mind: Devon Travis, Ryan Borucki, Dalton Pompey, Matt Shoemaker, and Julian Merryweather. We could pull more names if we go beyond last season. Hell, I’m sure we could do an entire series, going position-by-position listing former/current Blue Jays who were/are loaded with talent but never or have yet to meet their potential largely because of injury.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. left today’s Blue Jays intrasquad game after experiencing discomfort in his left side. He’ll be re-examined tomorrow.
— Arden Zwelling (@ArdenZwelling) July 17, 2020
The 26-yr-old was pulled from the club’s intrasquad game on Friday, July 17th after experiencing discomfort on his left side. This may not be anything serious and the Blue Jays’ training staff could be taking an overly cautious approach with the ‘fragile’ budding outfielder.
Yes, I called Lourdes fragile. In 2019, Gurriel broke out in June after spending some time in Triple-A when he struggled at the Major League level in April; unfortunately, he landed on the 10-day IL on August 10th with a left quad strain. An injury that held him out of Toronto’s lineup until September 14th.
I’d like to say everything else that year was rosy. I’d like to say that but I’d be lying. Less than 2 weeks after being activated Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was placed on the 60-day injured list requiring an appendectomy. Bad luck and bad timing, right?
If we dig a little deeper we see a concerning injury history/trend developing.
Signed on November 12th, 2016, Lourdes was penciled in to begin the season in New Hampshire. Instead, Gurriel would remain in Dunedin to begin the 2017 season as a member of the Dunedin Blue Jays after injuring his wrist in Spring Training. He spent about two weeks on the IL but returned to the IL the next day, April 20th. He wouldn’t take regular at-bats until June 19th, missing two and a half months in his rookie season.
The native of Cuba looked healthy in 2018 starting the season with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats where he posted a .862OPS in 14GP before heading to Toronto on April 20th. His first MLB stint lasted 20 games getting optioned to Triple-A Buffalo on May 13th. Gurriel bounced between Triple-A and the majors over the next few weeks. His luck changed on July 15th when Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez kicked Gurriel in the head sliding into first base. He was forced to miss a week, returning on July 22nd. A left ankle sprain suffered on July 31st forced him back on to the injured list.
After returning to the Blue Jays lineup, Gurriel Jr. batted .256 with a .734OPS and 4 HR in 21 games in September.
To recap, that is six separate trips to the IL in three seasons. He suffered from injures to his wrist, knee, quad, head, and appendix.
This was a really long way of saying that I don’t think the Blue Jays should put much faith in Lourdes Gurriel Jr. being a consistent contributor. That is not to say that Gurriel won’t contribute when healthy and provide an impact bat to the Blue Jays lineup. I just feel Toronto’s management team should plan on being without Gurriel for stretches over the length of his contract.
Per Blue Jays, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (“left side discomfort”) showed improvement today but was withheld from baseball activity. He’s listed as day-to-day.
— Arden Zwelling (@ArdenZwelling) July 18, 2020
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn’t cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I’m more right.