Baseball fans have probably lost count as to how many times they've been reminded just how deficient and impaired the league's service-time rule -- as it pertains to clubs calling up highly-regarded prospects -- really is.
We've seen a herd of MLB teams exploit the loophole that requires prospects to spend 172 days in the big leagues post promotion in order to qualify for a full season of duty. Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the latest young stud to be screwed by this threshold in 2019, and he recently took to Instagram to troll the franchise over his current predicament. At least he's got a sense of humor about it!
Last year, the Blue Jays waited until April 24 -- almost a full month into the season -- to call up Guerrero. By all accounts, the 21-year-old should have started the campaign at the professional level. For context, let's dive into his otherworldly destruction of minor league pitching, shall we?
In 2018, Vlad Jr. hit .402/.449/.671 at Double-A before mashing .336/.414/.564 at Triple-A. In all (95 games), the 6-2, 250-pound third baseman registered 136 hits, 20 of which were home runs, and 78 RBI. What was Toronto's excuse for not having Guerrero in its lineup on Opening Day? That his defense needed to improve.
Because a month longer in the minors would transform him into a Gold Glover!
Guerrero appeared in 123 games for the Blue Jays last year and didn't really come close to eclipsing the 172-day precedent. It's nothing short of an atrocity and fans should be reminded of this loophole that benefits the billionaire owners.