Dodger infielder Alex Guerrero appeared to on the verge of being called from the minors in May. But a dugout altercation with teammate Miguel Olivo ended with Olivo biting off a piece of Guerrero's ear, sidelining the Cuban defector for nearly two months and delaying his Dodger Stadium debut by nearly four months.
Guerrero, who was finally recalled from triple-A Albuquerque this week, said he's tried to put that incident behind him and concentrate on what lies ahead.
"My focus is on right here, right now," Guerrero, who struck out in a pinch-hit at-bat Monday, said in Spanish before Tuesday's game. "What happened, happened. It’s out of my hands. Things happen in life that sometimes shouldn’t happen. It’s all in the past.
"I turned the page and focused on the work in front of me."
Guerrero was hitting .376 before the incident with Olivo, who was immediately released by the Dodgers. Olivo finished his summer with Tijuana of the Mexican League.
The Dodgers, who spent $28 million to sign Guerrero 11 months ago, used him at four positions in the minors. But Manager Don Mattingly primarily sees Guerrero, who hit .333 with 17 homers in 77 minor league games, as a pinch-hit option with the team in a pennant race.
"It’s not spring training. It’s not tryout time," he said. "We’re trying to win games."
And the 27-year-old Guerrero said he's fine with that.
"I very happy to be back with the team," he said. "You have to appreciate every opportunity you get to play in the big leagues. It’s really special."