Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Alex Guerrero has had a pretty impressive first two starts. In his first career Major League start on Sunday, he went 3-for-5 with four RBIs, including a two-run homer that helped the Dodgers earn a 7-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. He followed that up on Monday by hitting a walk-off single to right in the 10th inning to beat the Seattle Mariners.
The Dodgers signed Guerrero to a four-year, $28 million deal out of Cuba after the 2013 season. After spending most of the 2014 season in the Minor Leagues, he came into Spring Training knowing that the Dodgers could not demote him to the Minors without his consent.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the 28-year-old believes he is on the big league roster because he earned it, not because he was out of options:
No, I think I earned the job in Spring Training,” he said. “I took advantage of the fact the manager put me in the lineup.”
Guerrero made the Opening Day travel roster last season and was with the Dodgers in Australia. He struck out in his only at-bat. After that he was sent down to Triple-A and his season was derailed after an incident with teammate Miguel Olivo that left him without part of his ear. Guerrero ended up getting back to the big leagues during September call-ups, but he was mostly a pinch-hitter.
Despite the tough 2014 season, Guerrero knew he would get to this point in his career:
There’s never been a doubt in my mind I could play in the Major Leagues,” he said. “There is always an adjustment when you come to a new country and are switched to a new position [from shortstop to second base]. But I never doubted that.”
The Cuban infielder has settled in at third base, looking as comfortable as he’s been since joining the Dodgers. If he continues to hit, he will make it hard for manager Don Mattingly to keep him out of the lineup.
Dodgers 2015 Spring Training – Scott Van Slyke