Danny Knobler of ESPN Los Angeles reports that Dodgers prospect Alex Guerrero could miss five weeks following yesterday’s dugout altercation in which Triple-A teammate Miguel Olivo bit off part of his ear.
According to Knobler for now at least Guerrero has chosen not to file formal charges against Olivo, but he’s currently hospitalized and needs plastic surgery. And how exactly did an argument that led to someone’s ear being bitten off by a teammate begin?
Well, agent Scott Boras told the Los Angeles Times that “Olivo became steamed after his team allowed a stolen base in the seventh inning” and “blamed Guerrero for failing to tag the baserunner in time.”
So, you know, a perfectly reasonable justification for biting off someone’s ear.
Olivo apparently punched Guerrero in the dugout and then, according to the newspaper, “when players pulled off Olivo, he had a piece of Guerrero’s ear in his mouth.” Yeesh.
Guerrero signed a $28 million deal with the Dodgers this offseason after defecting from Cuba and is hitting .376 with 10 homers and a 1.152 OPS in 33 games at Triple-A, so if not for having an ear-biting maniac as a teammate he likely would have been in line for a call-up soon.
José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.
Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”
In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”
Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”
Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:
Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”
I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.