Does Alex Guerrero Have a Place With The 2016 Dodgers?

There probably will be little suspense this spring while the Dodgers build their roster. Most of the positions are spoken for. There will be a few spots up for grabs. Sure maybe the last spot or two in the bullpen or the final place on the bench. Speaking of that final bench spot, what should the Dodgers do with Alex Guerrero? Will he have a place on the club in 2016?

We know that Howie Kendrick is not returning, (Update) (Kendrick is returning, according to Ken Rosenthal) and the Dodgers resigned Chase Utley this winter. Between Kendrick, Utley, and Enrique Hernandez the Dodgers are covered at second base. Of course rookie wonder boy Corey Seager has finally grasped the shortstop position, and Justin Turner will be manning the hot corner again.

We can reasonably expect for Utley to receive the majority of the time at second base. I think he’ll probably split time with Kike, as the banana man is better served as a super utility guy that can fill in all around the diamond at second, short, and center field. The question I have is who’s going to be the second reserve infielder?

This is where Guerrero could come into play. The Dodgers will need another infielder that can backup at short and third in case Seager or Turner get hurt and or need days off. The Dodgers will be looking at a few guys as bench pieces this spring. This will likely pit Guerrero against non-roster invites Elian Herrera, Charlie Culberson, and third string catcher Austin Barnes. Guerrero has to have the advantage over them despite his second half struggles last season.

In 230 plate appearances last year Guerrero posted a .233/.261/.434 (51 for 219) slash line with 11 home runs and 36 runs batted in. The problem was that Guerrero’s on base skills were poor because of his lack of plate discipline. He walked just 7 times all year while striking out 57 times.

Looking at the numbers we can see that Guerrero swung at just 41.8% of pitches outside of the strike zone. So it’s not like he was chasing pitches outside the strike zone. His line drive percentage was 19.5% which is just below league average. It’s possible he had some bad luck, but lack of contact really hurt him. The big issue with Guerrero were his home/road splits. Guerrero was terrible at Dodger Stadium but hit very well on the road. Just how big of a split? Check it out

Guerrero at home –

122 PA .172/.197/.345 (20 for 116) 5 HR 17 RBI .542 OPS

Guerrero on the road –

108 PA .301/.333/.534 (31 for 103) 6 HR 19 RBI .867 OPS

That’s over a hundred point difference in batting between his home and road stats. I don’t know why he hits so much better on the road. Maybe he doesn’t see the ball well at Dodger Stadium?

His defense was always the weak part of his game. Defensive metrics rated him very poorly at third base and in left field. It’s hard to see him getting much if any time in the outfield next season unless something goes very wrong. Remember when he got off to that hot start in April and the Dodgers played him in left field in order to get his bat in the lineup?

Indeed Guerrero’s April was very good. He batted .423 (11 for 26) with 5 home runs in the month of April. Then he hit .239 in May, .220 in June and went 2 for 22 in July.

There was no way that Guerrero was going to be able to sustain his hot April start. We know he was going to come back to Earth and eventually the league was going to adjust. Guerrero never got back on track after that. Nor did he get enough playing time to make those adjustments.

The Dodgers could always end up trading him, but he could still play an important role for the Dodgers for infield depth. He can play second, short, and third. He’s still young and he has power. I still like him as a power bat off the bench. If he can work on his on-base skills then he could become more valuable than you think.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda’s Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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21 thoughts on “Does Alex Guerrero Have a Place With The 2016 Dodgers?

  1. Do we know Kendrick is not returning? Rumors says the Dodgers are considering it. Is that just a con being floated so somebody, ANYBODY, will sign him? We know FAZ prefers picks, but if Kendrick doesn’t get signed that’s two QO moves that backfired.

    1. Rosenthal just tweeted that this morning Badger. I don’t know if it’s happening or not, but he hasn’t signed with anyone yet. Maybe he’s willing to take more money to stay with the Dodgers because his market shrunk? I don’t know, but I want to wait until we know for sure before I post on it

  2. Tough call with Guerrero. Maybe an AL team might try to use him as a DH. It’s pretty obvious he can’t play SS. Looks like 2B didn’t work out. The “metrics” say he wasn’t a very good 3B or LF. Maybe as a backup 1B? Doesn’t look like a valuable trade chip. Oh well let’s root for him to have a good a spring!

    1. I saw him make a few mental errors at 3rd but he passed my eye test for his physical play. I like him as backup at 1st and 3rd.

    2. Maybe one of the stupidest contracts ever. He’s practically worthless. With Kendrick back in the fold (and even if he wasn’t), they’ll probably have to dump him. Can’t imagine even a desperate team trading anything for him with that stupid opt out clause. Someone will pick him up when the Dodgers DFA him.

  3. If Kendrick is coming back, to me that raises concerns about Turners knee and when he will be ready to play. Plus it moves Hernandez to the super sub role he’s better suited for. I would like to see Guerrero, Crawford, Zach Lee, Chris Anderson and a boat load of cash sent to Cleveland for Danny Salazar. Not sure it would be enough for Cleveland to bite, but they need help in the outfield and at third.

    On Hot Stove this morning Gammons said Utley was brought back for his leadership. On a Saturday last season a bunch of players were watching college football, Utley came in the clubhouse and said don’t we have a baseball game to prepare for? The players quit watching the games and started getting ready to play baseball. Gammons also had high praise for George Lombard who is the first base, base running and outfield coach. He is married to a Cuban and speaks fluent Spanish. Gammons feels this will be a big plus helping Puig this year.

    1. I think if Guerrero is played in the proper way, he will fill in fine. Guerrero can hit, and when he showed he could hit, what did it get him? Guerrero was suppose to get more playing time, when Uribe was traded, but that didn’t happen. Instead, Mattingly had Calaspo to fill in, on the days that Turner was rested, not Guerrero. And at this time, Guerreo wasn’t asking for playing time, Guerreo had earned the playing time. But once Calaspo was brought to the Dodgers, Guerrero’s playing time diminished, and he was hardly used. After this, Guerrero was mostly used for a pinch hitter, and most of his at bats, were against the other team’s closer. Pinch hitting is not an easy task, and it is even harder to hit aganist a closer. And Guerrero actually had a decent average, as a pinch hitter. I think if Guerreo could get some consistent at bats, he will hit, and he might suprise a lot of people. He did hit well, in AAA, and has hit, every where, he has played for the Dodgers. And the Dodgers can use Guerrero’s bat, and his right handed power. And I think Roberts, will play Guerrero, if he starts hitting, especially like he did last year, at the begining. And Roberts will find a way, to get Guerrero’s bat, in the line up, if he is hitting and hot, unlike Mattingly. And what manager doesn’t get a hot bat, in a line up? I think Guerrero checked out last year for a while, because of the way he was played, and handled. And you have to remember, that Mattingly, started playing Calaspo, right after Guerrero had hit that pinch hit grand slam, that helped the Dodgers, salvage that series aganist the Rockies.

      1. His glove leaves a lot to be desired. He cannot play the position he was signed to play…2B, due to a lack of range. He did ok at 3rd, but Turner is a superior defender. He is unsure and does not really have a strong enough arm to play the outfield. He is a player without a position. His defensive skills suggest he would be better suited as a DH in the AL

      2. He can’t field at any position. The Dodgers are in the National League. There is no place for a hitting only player in the National League. Carrying him, takes a space a more valuable player could occupy. They’ve got to cut their losses with him and they will before the season starts.

  4. In 232 at bats it feels safe to say Guerrero has been judged. Good thing that didn’t happen to Mike Schmidt.

    I agree about Utley being a good clubhouse presence, and that’s important with the whole “get young” thing that FAZ might eventually get around to doing. But we need guys in the lineup that can rake. He usta could. Haven’t seen it for a while. For me he falls into the “if” column. If he hits again, it’s going to be very helpful. If he repeats last year’s numbers, then he won’t help much. Maybe he can get back some of his 35 year old mojo and give the team 2 WAR as a platoon player. Here’s hoping.

    1. I know that the article said, that Joc was training in the same way is Agone. I finally saw how built Joc is. Joc doesn’t have the big fore arms that Gravey had, but from his biceps up, he is built.

        1. Bum I had no idea that he was built like that. I just hope he hits. It is very furstrating to see a player like Joc, who hit for a high average in AAA, not hit like that, in the bigs. I think he got caught up, with trying to hit HRs, over just hitting. And I don’t think the Dodger’s hitting coach helped, as well as Mattingly. I just want him to hit. Now I can see the power, goes beyond his big swing. He has to be strong. He almost won the HR derby, and it wasn’t even fair, because Joc got no time to rest, like Frazier.

  5. I just read on mlb.com that the Dodgers are reportedly working to re-sign Kendrick.
    Why now? I thought Utley is getting 7 mil to play second base?

  6. I am against signing Kendrick, but it appears that no one want to pay his price and if he doesn’t sign with another team, the Dodgers lose a pick. Maybe they think he is not gonna’ get signed. It’s more flexibility but how much more flexibility do we need.

    Maybe A2Z is the new Baseball Wal Mart: “I’ll take 2 pitchers and an outfielder and maybe a second-baseman!”

  7. Kendrick’s market was never as big as many thought due to his significant decrease in athleticism. He should have taken the LAD offer and now he will get much less. He is now only worth no more than $10 mil on a 1 year deal. I hope that he regains his form and has a great year wherever he plays.

  8. Statement from Vin Scully guys:

    “I am overwhelmed. I was raised in the streets of New York and to have a street named after me in Los Angeles is almost too much to comprehend. I am eternally grateful to the Los Angeles City Council and especially Councilman Gil Cedillo. A path to Dodger Stadium is a path way to my heart. For 55 years it has been an honor to walk that road to one of the greatest entertainment centers in the world, a place that has brought so much joy to all of us. I thank God for this great honor.”

  9. It is awesome the Dodgers would name a street Vin Scully, why not one around staple center for chicky baby,and Bob Miller .That would add class to LA sports.

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