The start of baseball training camps in the Major Leagues, allows Latin American baseball players to become protagonists such as the young Dominican Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who impresses, and his compatriot Michael Pineda, who hopes to return to the fullness after having overcome two serious injuries.
Guerrero Jr., 19, does not worry about whether he will start the season with his team from the Toronto Blue Jays, his only goal is to progress to become a great player, as was his father, Vladimir Guerrero, member of the Salon of Fame.
The young player, considered the greatest promise that appears in the season of 2019, does not think at all if he will be with the first team when the opening day or in the minor leagues, so that he can later become an agent free (2025).
“Control what I can control and then work hard every day,” declared Guerrero Jr. on the first day of training for the Blue Jays. “Do your best, try to be better every day and give the best of me, that’s what worries me and what I have control over”.
Guerrero Jr. batted .402 in Double-A and .336 in Triple-A last year, with 20 homers and 78 RBIs he contributed at the end of his work.
The way Guerrero Jr. manages the pressure and his willingness to work hard has impressed the Puerto Rican driver Charlie Montoyo, who makes his debut in the position with the team and in the Major Leagues.
“I can not relate that he is 19 years old and as calm and great as this guy is,” said Montoyo. “I’m impressed, to tell you the truth, that’s the mark of a star, it’s going to be a star someday, as we all know.”
Guerrero Jr. participated in defensive drills and made several clever moves during a touchdown session.
His actions deserved the congratulations of pitcher Justin Shafer after attacking a touch and collecting the ball with a clean hand, followed by a strong and accurate throw to first base.
In the practice of batting, Guerrero Jr. connected the ball with authority to all the gardens with 28 swings for six rounds.
“He’s really talented,” admitted the shortstop of the Blue Jays, the Venezuelan Freddy Galvis. “He looks like a really good guy, good mentality, he’s a mature guy, his father was a hard worker, so he has the same mentality from what I’ve seen so far.”
Guerrero Jr. is convinced that the only thing that will have value will be when the real competition arrives and I can help the team.
For his part, Pineda does not have to demonstrate all the good that he is from the mound, he did it before, his mission this season is to recover the fullness of form.
Pineda is considered ready to return to the majors, now with the Minnesota Twins, after an inactivity of a season and a half.
The Dominican required a Tommy John surgery – the worst for a pitcher – in 2017, when he was with the New York Yankees.
He then signed with the Twins in December 2017 but, when preparing to return last season, he broke the meniscus in his right knee.
Pineda, 30, has not pitched in the majors since July 5, 2017. Nine days later, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman revealed the injury.
The right was operated on July 18 of that year by the medical director of the Cincinnati Reds, Timothy Kremchek.
“For now I feel very good,” said Pineda. “I arrived early here, to the training camp with the mentality of being ready to start my resurgence again.”
Pineda, of more than two meters high, has generated high expectations for years. However, he had a 40-41 mark and a 4.05 ERA with the Yankees, including an 8-4 record when the injury occurred.
The Dominican right-hander declared himself a free agent after the campaign and signed an agreement for two years and 10 million dollars with Minnesota, which included a salary of two million dollars in his first season.
Pineda completed four starts in the minors, as part of his rehabilitation in the summer, before injuring his knee, and the Twins continue to trust in their class and what they can provide.
“It’s very hard and frustrating to do the rehabilitation,” said Pineda. “No one likes me, my mentality has always been strong, because having a life in baseball is a gift, no matter what happens, you must be mentally strong and always expect the best.” (USA), (EFE) ) .-