Five weeks after Triple-A teammate Miguel Olivo bit part of his ear off in a dugout incident Dodgers prospect Alex Guerrero is almost ready to resume playing.
General manager Ned Colletti told Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles that Guerrero has reported to the Dodgers’ training facility in Arizona and will work on his conditioning there until he’s cleared for game action.
Guerrero required plastic surgery to re-attach the missing chunk from his ear after the since-released Olivo went insane in the middle of a game. At the time he was hitting .376 with 10 homers and a 1.152 OPS in 33 games and the 27-year-old Cuban defector who signed with the Dodgers for $28 million appeared on the verge of being called up to the big leagues.
At some point in the second half Guerrero could emerge as an option to replace Dee Gordon, who’s hit just .224 with a .299 on-base percentage and .345 slugging percentage in his last 45 games following a hot start.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.