Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Alex Guerrero turns 28 today and is expected to finally become the big-league player many thought he would be.
Guerrero was signed last October out of Cuba and was supposed to be the everyday second baseman. That was before injuries, visa problems and the emergence of Dee Gordon pushed the Cuban infielder to the minor leagues. His chance to finally reach the majors was ruined when he got into a disagreement with Albuquerque Isotopes’ teammate Miguel Olivo and the result left Guerrero missing part of his ear. With injuries to the Dodgers, Guerrero would have likely been promoted to the team.
After surgery to reattach the ear, the now 28-year-old worked his way back to the field and spent the final month of the year with the Dodgers. He notched his first career hit in San Francisco and finished the year just 1-for-13 in 11 games. His only defensive play came in left field, as he was moved around to increase his versatility.
A natural shortstop, Guerrero’s plan was to work at second base last winter and come in ready to take over the position after Mark Ellis was not re-signed. He played in the winter leagues, but was unable to overcome a hamstring issue. Guerrero then came to the United States later than expected and that caused him to be behind in his development.
This offseason, Guerrero will continue working on his defense and should be a candidate to make the 25-man roster as an infielder off the bench. If Hanley Ramirez is not re-signed, Guerrero could be considered at shortstop, but that is unlikely. Also, the Dodgers could use his value as an unknown commodity in the trade market.
Regardless of what happens, Dodgers Nation would like to wish Alex Guerrero a happy 28th birthday.