Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. decided to switch things up today after grounding into an out in the eighth inning. He did not return to the dugout as batters normally do. Instead, he walked all the way down the first base line to his team's bullpen and joined the relief pitching staff for a half inning.
In a way, Guerrero was simply continuing his forward momentum after hustling to first base on the groundout. But then his running slowed to a deliberate walk toward the bullpen.
Both players on the field and the Blue Jays broadcast team were confused, and they even questioned where Guerrero was going.
"Vladdy is heading down to the bullpen," said Pat Tabler, Blue Jays color commentator. "Where's he going?"
"After his ground out, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. decides to hang out in the bullpen." - The Score
Guerrero proceeded to pass the rest of the top of the eighth inning in the bullpen. He did not return to his team's dugout until it was time to grab his glove for the bottom of the inning.
"Going to hang out down there for a little bit, I guess, for the rest of this half inning," said Blue Jays commentator Dan Schulman. "No rule against it. If he gets up on the mound and starts throwing, we'll have a story."
Guerrero appeared to be socializing with the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen staff to pass the time.
Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. passed some time in his team's bullpen today
Although his march to the bullpen seemed casual, Guerrero could have been venting some frustration over both his own and his team's recent slump. Heading into today's game versus the Oakland Athletics, the Blue Jays had lost five straight.
"Vlad Guerrero Jr. just grounded out weakly to SS & proceeded to bust his a** down the line & then just kept walking to the bullpen down the line in RF. Chilled for an out, strolled back down to the dugout & it’s business as usual back out at 1B." - Dallas Braden
Guerrero Jr. has been hitting relatively well over that stretch, but not while in Oakland. During the team's first two games at the Oakland Colliseum, Guerrero hit .167 and struck out twice. Against one of the worst team's in the league, that's bound to frustrate the star.
Guerrero has put together solid numbers this season. Despite being down from 2021, Guerrero is still batting .265 with 19 home runs and 53 runs batted in.