Alex Guerrero: slugging machine

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The Dodgers lost yesterday but Alex Guerrero kept hitting the cover off the ball. He was 2-for-3 with a homer yesterday. Of the Dodgers’ six runs in their sweep at the hands of the Giants, Guerrero drove in four of them. His batting line on the young season: .474/.450/1.211 with four homers and 12 RBI.

Those sorts of lines in the early going, especially in limited play, as Guerrero has had, are not terribly unusual. But what is unusual is that, despite that limited play, Guerrero is among the lead leaders in a couple of counting stats.

Guerrero has started only three of the Dodgers’ 15 games and has only 20 plate appearances on the year, yet his four homers have him tied for sixth in the National League, only two off of the league leaders, Joey Votto and Adrian Gonzalez. He is tied for eighth in RBI with 12, only a few behind league leader Paul Goldschmidt, who has 16. He also has a couple of doubles thrown in. He has nine hits in his 19 at bats this year, six of which have been for extra bases.

Of course the whole reason for his limited play this year are his defensive shortcomings. He was a shortstop in Cuba but can’t really play the position. His experiments at second base last year were not very successful. The Dodgers played Guerrero at third yesterday, with Justin Turner filling in for Jimmy Rollins at short as Rollins got most of the day off. Juan Uribe has third base, though.

I’ve taken to advocating for the DH in the National League in recent years. I bet the Dodgers wish they had that option right now too.

The Giants might be ready to part ways with Hunter Pence

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Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.

The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.

Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.