Dodgers prospect Alex Guerrero was the victim Tuesday of a Mike Tyson-like ear chomp by triple-A teammate Miguel Olivo, according to Guerrero’s agent, Scott Boras.
Guerrero, a Cuban infielder who is in the first year of a four-year, $28-million contract, was scheduled to undergo plastic surgery to reattach the part of his ear that was bitten off by Olivo in a dugout altercation, Boras said.
“This is a first for me,” said Boras, who has represented players for more than three decades.
Boras said he was uncertain when the hot-hitting Guerrero might return to the field.
The incident occurred in Salt Lake City, Boras said, where the Dodgers’ Albuquerque-based affiliate dropped a 7-4 decision.
Olivo became steamed after his team allowed a stolen base in the seventh inning, according to Boras. Olivo blamed Guerrero for failing to tag the baserunner in time, the agent said. A video posted on the Albuquerque Isotopes’ website showed Olivo attempting to charge Guerrero during a pitching change later in the inning. The players exchanged words as they walked off the field at the end of the inning.
“Guerrero was in the far end of the dugout,” Boras said. “He went to the front to get his bat and helmet to hit. As he walked across, Olivo decked him.”
Guerrero and Olivo had to be separated by teammates, according to Boras. When players pulled off Olivo, he had a piece of Guerrero’s ear in his mouth, Boras said.
Criminal charges could be filed against Olivo, a 35-year-old journeyman catcher who has played 13 major league seasons. Whether that happens could depend on whether Guerrero wants Olivo to be prosecuted, according to Det. Greg Wilking of the Salt Lake City Police Department.
When an officer spoke to Guerrero on Tuesday, the infielder was uncertain of how he wanted police to proceed.
“He wants to talk to a lawyer and talk to league officials,” Wilking said.
Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti was evasive when asked about the incident, other than to say he was looking into it. He wouldn’t say whether either player would be disciplined.
Guerrero and Olivo both played in the major leagues this season. Guerrero was on the major-league roster for the Dodgers’ season-opening series in Australia, after which he was sent to Albuquerque to continue working on his transition to second base from his lifelong position of shortstop.
With Dee Gordon playing better than expected at second base, the Dodgers now think Guerrero could contribute in a utility role, which is why he started at shortstop for the last two days. Colletti said the Dodgers might also ask Guerrero to play third base.
From an offensive standpoint, Guerrero is close to major league-ready, according to Colletti. He is batting .376 with 10 home runs and 29 runs batted in.
Olivo recently spent two weeks with the Dodgers and was sent back to Albuquerque when A.J. Ellis returned from the disabled list last week.