From question mark to a fan favorite, Alex Guerrero’s transformation from obscurity to relevance with the Los Angeles Dodgers this season has been one filled with home runs and calls for Guerrero to replace Juan Uribe at third base.
Manager Don Mattingly resisted such change and some of the clamoring for Guerrero has cooled with Uribe putting together an 11-game hitting streak heading into play Saturday. That being said, Mattingly has complimented Guerrero for his development on multiple occasions dating back to Spring Training.
While the Dodgers are encouraged by what they’ve seen from the 28-year-old Cuban, a National League scout isn’t sold on Guerrero, via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Chen:
I’m still not buying. He’s Cuban, so people think he’s Yasiel Puig, but he’s not on the same level. He’s never been a huge power guy, and nothing has changed my opinion. I think he’s just had a really good stretch. People are clamoring for him to get more at bats, but that’s such a talented roster that I don’t blame [Don] Mattingly. [Guerrero] is terrible at second base, and I don’t know where he else ends up. Let’s remember he’s 28, so he’s not exactly a young player on the rise.”
On Monday Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman praised Guerrero for the success he’s had despite sporadic playing time saying, “He’s gotten off to a tremendous start, but even beyond the obvious results, how well he has prepared himself to come into a game, which is incredibly difficult especially for a guy who’s used to playing everyday, speaks volumes about him.”
Since the scout’s opinion was first published, Guerrero has gone 2-for-9 with one home run in 10 plate appearances over five games (three starts). He made headlines recently for being the focus of a Madison Bumgarner outburst after the pitcher appeared to take issue with Guerrero’s frustration over flying out.
While Bumgarner was busy yelling, Guerrero later said he was unaware of it at the time and added perhaps the reigning World Series MVP had the pinch-hit home run he gave up to Guerrero back in his April 22 start on his mind.
Now with the Dodgers losing Carl Crawford to an oblique injury, Mattingly said Guerrero figures to see more playing time in left field than he had with Crawford healthy.
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