Alex Guerrero homered in his first game since Miguel Olivo bit off his ear

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Dodgers prospect Alex Guerrero returned to game action yesterday, nearly two months after Triple-A teammate Miguel Olivo bit his ear off during a dugout incident. And in his first game back, Guerrero homered.

That’s fitting, because before having his ear bitten off by a maniac Guerrero was knocking around Triple-A pitchers to the tune of a .376 batting average with 10 homers and a 1.152 OPS in 33 games. This time he homered (and had two other hits) off a rookie-ball pitcher, because Guerrero is officially on a rehab assignment for now.

Dee Gordon was just selected for his first All-Star game, so Guerrero won’t be replacing him at second base in Los Angeles anytime soon, but if the 27-year-old picks up right where he left off surely the Dodgers can find a spot for him somewhere in the lineup after giving him $28 million to sign out of Cuba.

Martin Maldonado and Willson Contreras say they’re willing to pay fines rather than follow new mound visit rule

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On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.

Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”

Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.

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Update (4:43 PM ET): In response to this, Manfred said that if a catcher or coach made a seventh mound visit, there would have to be a pitching change (via Fletcher). However, chief baseball officer Joe Torre said (via SB Nation’s Eric Stephen) that the seventh visit cannot trigger a pitching change. The umpire would simply have to prevent the seventh mound visit.