Jays need Guerrero lift

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie (L) reaches to make the tag on Baltimore Orioles base...

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie (L) reaches to make the tag on Baltimore Orioles base runner Vladimir Guerrero, August 30, 2011. (REUTERS/Joe Giza)

Mike Rutsey, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:51 PM ET

ARLINGTON, TEX. - While the Jays strive for consistency at the plate, the timeline for DH in waiting Vladimir Guerrero would appear to be growing shorter.

The Jays needed somebody to kick-start their up-and-down offence and the arrival of David Cooper isn’t going to do the trick. They need a lift in the clubhouse and at the plate and the presence of Guerrero and his 449 career home runs could supply both.

There is little point in waiting, say, for the Jays to finish with their Interleague play — June 24 is their last game against the National League — as they could be dead and buried by that date if they don’t pick it up.

Guerrero has been with the Jays at extended spring training about 10 days and on Sunday he will take a step up as he will join the class-A Dunedin Blue Jays. After a short stint there, Guerrero will move up to either double-A or triple-A by the end of the week.

“At the end of the week at that point we’ll move him either to New Hampshire or Las Vegas which he’ll be ready for after another 20 at-bats this week with Dunedin,” Farrell said.

So far, the reports on Guerrero have been good.

“His timing continues to improve,” Farrell said. “He’s something like 8-for-26 in extended spring training, and he’s swinging the bat with the typical aggressiveness that people remember him for. He’s running very well and he’s running better than he did a year ago with the Orioles.

“He’s come into our camp in great shape and is moving really well.”

Farrell added that Guerrero, 37, will also see time in the outfield throughout his minor-league stops with the bulk of his time at DH.

“We’re going to try to get a read over the next two weeks, a couple of times a week in the outfield, to see how that plays, to see how he responds physically to it. If he comes here, when he comes here if the outfield is an option once a week it might free up some at-bats for (Yan) Gomes or (David) Cooper or whoever the roster looks like at that given time.”

Farrell is talking two weeks which would have him arriving June 11, the start of a six-game homestand.

Don’t be surprised if it’s sooner.


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