Nearing callup, Vlad promoted to Triple-A

Nearing callup, Vlad promoted to Triple-A

Nearing callup, Vlad promoted to Triple-A
TORONTO -- Vladimir Guerrero is one step closer to getting back in the Major Leagues.

The veteran designated hitter was promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday morning following a successful stint with Class A Dunedin. While playing in the Florida State League, Guerrero recorded four home runs with a .450 (9-for-20) average and a 1.550 OPS in four games.

The Blue Jays opted to skip Guerrero past Double-A and right into the Pacific Coast League, where he will face pitchers who have a little more experience.

"Little bit more of a veteran approach where breaking balls are going to be maybe a little bit more regular for him," manager John Farrell said. "But the one thing that we all know: This is a Hall of Fame-type hitter, so I think it's a matter of seeing a different type of pitching in the progression he's going to."

There is still no timetable for a promotion to the Major Leagues, but it now appears as though it will just be a matter of time. Guerrero could join the Blue Jays on Tuesday in Chicago, but it's also possible the club will opt to choose to take an extended look at the Dominican native in Las Vegas.

Guerrero spent some time in left field with Dunedin, and that work will continue in the PCL. The club originally stated it viewed Guerrero as a DH, but if the reports about his defense come back positive, it's also possible the 37-year-old will see some action in left.

More than anything else, though, Guerrero's abilities will be judged on how he looks at the plate.

"His timing has become more consistent," Farrell said. "A lot of hard contact, and that's not just because of the four home runs in the short period of time there, but in talking with [Dunedin manager] Mike Redmond, his bat speed is good and his batting practice and everything about his game has been pretty impressive."

Guerrero signed a Minor League contract with the Blue Jays in early May. He appeared in 145 games for the Orioles last season while recording 13 home runs and a .290 average with a career-low .733 OPS.