After an injury plagued season in 2012, Guerrier looks for a rebound in the final year of his contract with the Dodgers.
Matt Guerrier had a pretty typical Matt Guerrier season in his first year as a Dodger, in 2011, but battled injuries in 2012. He heads into 2013 looking to regain the form that made him one of the most reliable setup men in baseball prior to 2012.
Guerrier went into last year with five consecutive seasons of 70 games or more, and he had seven straight seasons of at least 66 innings. But he began to develop inflammation in his right elbow during spring training in 2012, and by April he hit the disabled list. After four months on the shelf Guerrier returned but was not used in many high leverage seasons down the stretch. He pitched a total of 14 innings in what was a frustrating, lost season.
"I started off fairly normal last year and hurt my back in the middle (of spring training). I'm just trying to stay healthy with that. I ended up having to catch up in the last week and a half of spring," Guerrier said. "I'm just trying to stay healthy any way possible."
Part of that trying to stay healthy was a slight change in his workout routine, strengthening his core muscles. In addition, Guerrier began throwing earlier than normal in his offseason program, and estimated he threw four or five times off a mound before reporting to camp.
But this year with the extra-long spring training, thanks in part to the World Baseball Classic, there is much more time during spring. Is it too much time?
"It's good to get out here and get in a routine," Guerrier said. "If you feel like it's long you can take it slow and pace yourself so you're ready for the start of the season and not worn out by the end of March."
Guerrier is fifth on the Twins all-time list with 393 games pitched. ... With no saves in 2012, he snapped his major league record last year of six consecutive seasons with exactly one save. ... Batters hit just .120 against Guerrier at Dodger Stadium in 2012, but two of his three hits allowed were home runs: a game-winning shot by former teammate Jason Kubel on Aug. 31, and a game-tying blast in the eighth inning by Yasmani Grandal on Sep. 4.
Guerrier was also with the Twins when they moved into Target Field in 2011, and has a similar excitement for the newly remodeled clubhouse at Dodger Stadium.
"I was in Minnesota when we opened up the new stadium. It's a fun feeling to check out all of the stuff on the inside," Guerrier said. "It's kind of cool to be a part of Dodger Stadium, which isn't going to be a new stadium but there are things that will make it feel kind of new and different."
Guerrier also likes the privacy offered by the new digs, with opponents no longer needing to come through the Dodgers' private area to workout or hit in the batting cage.
"There was never a moment where there wasn't somebody walking by that hallway. To have it a little bit closed off and not having to worry about that is a good thing," Guerrier said. "It's nice that they'll have their own (cage & weight room), and we'll have full access to our own stuff."
Guerrier is in the final season of a three-year, $12 million contract that will pay him $4.75 million in 2013.
Previous Player Profiles
2011: Ready for a new frontier
|2013 Projections - Age 34 Season|
Those projections look like a return to 2011 levels for Guerrier, or in other words a typical Matt Guerrier year. I'll guess 56 innings with a 3.70 ERA and 43 strikeouts.
Be sure to guess how you think Guerrier will perform for the Dodgers in 2013. Include ERA and whatever else you wish to guess.