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2014 Dodgers review: Alex Guerrero

Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

The troublesome 2014 campaign for Alex Guerrero including having trouble finding a defensive position and, at times, a batting helmet that would fit without damaging an injury caused by a teammate.

What went right

Guerrero was on fire in April and May for Triple-A Albuquerque, hitting .376/.417/.735 with 10 home runs, 19 extra-base hits and 29 RBI in his first 33 games.

On the season Guerrero hit .329/.364/.613 with the Isotopes, and he wasn't just a product of the hitters haven in Albuquerque, hitting .348/.380/.674 with nine of his 15 home runs away from home in the Pacific Coast League.

What went wrong

He made the opening series roster in Australia, but suffered the ignominy of "playing" in a game on March 21 in his major league debut without playing in the field or getting a plate appearance. Guerrero was sent up as a pinch hitter in the top of the ninth inning against Arizona, but when left-hander Oliver Perez was replaced by right-hander J.J. Putz the Dodgers sent Mike Baxter up to pinch hit for the pinch hitter.

Unable to find a defensive position suitable for the Dodgers' liking, Guerrero's only call-up after Australia came in September, and even then he received very little playing time. The former shortstop in Cuba mostly played second base in 2014, but didn't impress.

Guerrero was moved around to third base and shortstop, but much more likely as a utility role, which could also include some time in left field, where he played nine games with Albuquerque in 2013.

Guerrero was just 1-for-13 with six strikeouts in his limited major league duty.

Oh yeah, and Guerrero had a chunk of his ear bitten off! By a teammate.

The injury, suffered at the jaws of Miguel Olivo on May 20, kept Guerrero off a competitive baseball diamond for seven weeks, and his time in between games with the Isotopes was long enough to watch Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger have sex on screen.

2014 particulars

Age: 27

Salary: $14 million, including a $10 million signing bonus as part of his four-year, $28 million contract, plus a $4 million base salary.

Game of the year

In the eighth inning of the Dodgers' 17-0 drubbing of the Giants on Sept. 13 in San Francisco, Guerrero lined a pitch from Erik Cordier into left field for his first (and to date, only) major league hit.

Roster status

Guerrero is due $4 million in 2015 and can't be sent to the minors without his consent, giving him an inside track to a bench spot. Guerrero might be able to opt out of his his contract — of which there are three years remaining — after any season he is traded (there are conflicting reports), but that would require a trade market for a player who has yet to establish himself as a major league hitter, and one with no real defensive position at the moment.

By all accounts Guerrero has been a hard worker, from spring training all the way down to rehab in the low minors. He'll need to lean on that attribute to avoid being a bust. But hey, thinking instead about the Dodgers having spent $70 million on Yasiel Puig and none on Guerrero — much like Elgin Baylor and Ray Felix combining for 71 points against the Knicks on Nov. 15, 1960 — that's not so bad.