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.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.