Vlad Jr. turns down Home Run Derby invite to protect wrist

Mark Blinch / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vlad Guerrero Jr. rejected an opportunity to participate in the 2022 Home Run Derby in order to avoid reinjuring his wrist.

"My wrist is fine right now but I've got to be careful," The 2021 AL MVP runner-up said Monday through his interpreter, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. "There are too many swings in a home run derby. I don't want to take a chance that my wrist gets hurt again and it gets bad and I won't be able to help my team win, which is what we're trying to do here. I don't want to risk it."

Guerrero was never placed on the injured list but missed a couple games in May due to left wrist soreness. He was held to a below-average .217/.333/.348 slash line with three homers for that month.

The 23-year-old participated in the 2019 Home Run Derby, finishing as the runner-up to New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso. Guerrero didn't participate when the derby returned from a one-year hiatus in 2021 but did win All-Star MVP honors.

The 2022 All-Star Game gets underway July 19 at Dodger Stadium, with the derby taking place the day prior. Guerrero leads all first basemen in fan voting with 1.6 million votes. He has the fourth-most votes among AL players, behind only Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, and Alejandro Kirk.

Despite struggling in May, Guerrero is having another strong season at the plate, hitting .268/.360/.506 with 18 homers and 45 RBIs.

No one has officially committed to participating in the Home Run Derby yet.

Vlad Jr. turns down Home Run Derby invite to protect wrist
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