ARLINGTON -- Vladimir Guerrero will take another step forward in his road back to the Major Leagues on Sunday night when he debuts with Class A Dunedin.
Guerrero, who signed a Minor League contract earlier this month, has been taking part in extended spring training but will now get his first opportunity to appear in an official game.
The 16-year veteran is expected to receive approximately 20 at-bats in the Florida State League before moving up to either Double-A New Hampshire or Triple-A Las Vegas.
"I think, more than anything, his timing continues to improve," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "He was 8-for-26 in the at-bats that have been accounted for while in extended spring. He's swinging the bat with the typical aggressiveness that people remember him [having].
"He's running very well and he's running actually better than he did a year ago. When he was with the Orioles, you could tell there were some times when it looked like his knees didn't feel the best. But he came into our camp in great shape and is moving very well."
Guerrero will spend some of his time in Dunedin at designated hitter, but also is going to play some left field. The Blue Jays mostly view Guerrero as a DH, but this is an ideal opportunity to see whether he still has the ability to make spot starts in the field.
The 37-year-old Guerrero hasn't played in the outfield since 2010. But with his knees reportedly in better condition than last year, it's possible he will work his way into defensive duty, as well.
"What we're going to try to get a read on over these next two weeks is [playing him] a couple of times a week in the outfield to see how that plays," Farrell said. "To see how he responds physically to it, so if he comes here, when he comes here, if the outfield is an option once a week or something like that."
Dunedin has an off-day on Monday, so Guerrero will return to extended spring training for one day before re-joining the club on Tuesday.
The Dominican native hit .290 with 13 homers and 63 RBIs while posting a .733 OPS in 145 games last year in Baltimore.
Blue Jays put Texas opener behind them
ARLINGTON -- Brandon Morrow and the rest of his teammates will do everything they can to completely forget about Friday night's debacle in Texas.
Morrow surrendered six runs in just two-thirds of an inning in the shortest start of his career, en route to Toronto's lopsided 14-3 loss.
The Blue Jays' No. 2 starter had difficulty locating his fastball and slider, while also not possessing his typical overpowering arsenal. It was the type of outing that doesn't provide much of an overall learning experience, and one that is best left in the rear-view mirror.
"Three starts ago, I thought he learned more about [himself] in that game where he got through six innings [against Oakland] and on a day where he didn't have his best overall stuff, he really found a way to manage the lineup," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "Used all of his pitches, his secondary pitches a little more frequently in that outing.
"When you do have your best stuff and you can make reference and pull from the experience of days when you have to pitch more than just rely on sheer stuff -- that's where the total package of Brandon continues to evolve."
When a pitcher doesn't have his best stuff on the mound, the Rangers possess the type of lineup to make the opposing team pay. Friday night marked the fifth time this season Texas recorded 18 or more hits in a game, and was the sixth time they scored at least six runs in an inning.
It's the type of loss that has the potential to stick around for a long period of time, which is why Farrell was thankful his club was back on the field less than 24 hours after the unfortunate series debut.
"The one thing about this game is that you can put yesterday behind you quickly and get ready to go, particularly [for] a day game after a night game," Farrell said. "But still, those games like last night, they have somewhat of a lingering effect -- particularly as much as we have been using our bullpen [as] of late.
"When you have seven innings needed out of the bullpen -- and that's not to be critical of anyone -- it was unfortunate that Brandon had an outing like he did. But we're rested enough in our bullpen today to get through it and compete at our highest level that we can put it out there."
Igarashi has rough first game with Blue Jays
ARLINGTON -- Japanese right-hander Ryota Igarashi's debut in a Blue Jays uniform didn't exactly go as planned on Friday night.
Igarashi surrendered a pair of runs on four hits and two walks in one inning of work. He was also forced to throw 41 pitches, and didn't have the type of typical command that made him the most valuable reliever on Triple-A Las Vegas' roster this season.
"Pitches up in the strike zone," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "He had plenty of power to his stuff, but fastballs found their way over the middle of the plate. Whether it was a check swing by [Yorvit] Torrealba for a base hit or a walk mixed in -- 41 pitches to get through the inning, that's a long one."
The 32-year-old Igarashi posted a 1.29 ERA in 21 innings with Las Vegas, while striking out 28 and walking just three. He posted similar numbers last year in the Mets' farm system but has yet to see that success translate to the Major League level.
Igarashi has a 5.91 ERA in 70 career innings in the Major Leagues with the Mets and Blue Jays.