Los Angeles Dodgers utility man Alex Guerrero was one of the hottest hitters in baseball in April, as Major League pitchers were still working to solve how to pitch the rookie.
In just 26 April at-bats, Guerrero had 11 hits, five of which were home runs and 13 RBIs. But since April his production has dropped tremendously, as pitchers have adjusted to the Cuban native, largely realizing it isn’t necessary to throw strikes in order to get him out as Guerrero has a tendency to chase pitches outside of the zone.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly recently called on Guerrero to adjust to what pitchers are doing against him:
You are what you eat,” Mattingly said. “When you don’t swing at strikes, it’s hard to hit. In a sense, the league’s not throwing any strikes and he’s continuing to swing. He’s going to have to get strikes to hit. He’s an aggressive guy. Teams are pitching you one way, all of a sudden you hit homers and teams look deeper into you and pitch you different and you have to make the adjustment back.”
Overall on the season Guerrero is batting .237 with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs. Since April he is hitting just .205 with four walks in 158 plate appearances. He is also in the midst of the worst slump of his young career as he is 4-for-36 since June 29.
Guerrero’s last walk came June 3 against the Colorado Rockies and his 2.7 walk percentage is further indication of an overly aggressive approach at the plate.
With Justin Turner still on the disabled list due to an infection in his leg, Guerrero has received a slight increase in playing time. He appeared in all three games against the Pittsburgh Pirates, though two were as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning.