As Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly indicated prior to Friday’s series opener against the San Diego Padres, Alex Guerrero was in the lineup Sunday at third base in place of Juan Uribe.
For a team that sits in first place in the National League West, the Dodgers’ biggest concern is the health of their pitching staff, but the greatest intrigue is the competition between Guerrero and Uribe.
The 28-year-old Cuban native again made the most of his opportunity, driving in the Dodgers’ only run by hitting his fifth home run of the season, which ranks second on the team behind Adrian Gonzalez’s seven.
Guerrero’s path to the Majors has had its share of bumps and it’s one he believes came with being underestimated, according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
Asked if he might have been underestimated by many coming out of Cuba two years ago, he said in Spanish, “Of course – they haven’t seen me. You have to see me first.”
Guerrero furthered his comments on being predjudged to purchasing a house without first examining all the bedrooms:
Roughly translated, he offered this analogy, “If you’re going to buy a $2 million house with seven bedrooms, you want to see all seven bedrooms before you buy it.”
Through 11 games (four starts) Guerrero is batting .500/.500/.1.773 with the four home runs and 13 RBIs in 24 plate appearances. Guerrero’s hot bat has led to many clamoring for him replacing Uribe at third base on a full-time basis, which Mattingly has said isn’t on the table at this point.
The primary knock against Guerrero has been the claim he doesn’t bring the same Gold-Glove caliber defense at third base that Uribe does. That being said, Guerrero hasn’t committed an error, albeit in limited chances, and he eased some of the concern over his glove with a diving backhanded stop in Sunday’s loss.
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