Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Outlines Benchmarks For Alex Guerrero Rehab Assignment
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman/left fielder Alex Guerrero began a rehab assignment with High-A Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday. Guerrero started at third base for the Quakes and batted cleanup, going 1-for-5 with one RBI and two strikeouts.

Guerrero opened the season on the disabled list due to a lingering knee injury he suffered from throughout much of Spring Training. He batted .238/.238/.571 with one double, two home runs, two RBIs and four strikeouts in 21 plate appearances over nine Cactus League games.

Specifics of Guerrero’s knee trouble were never provided, though Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said in early April that a MRI revealed ‘minimal damage,’ but that surgery was not necessary.

Although Guerrero has officially started down the comeback trail, it’s uncertain how quickly — or slowly — he’ll be ushered along. “We’ll see how he responds with the health,” Roberts said on Tuesday.

“He has to get hits and be healthy, so we’ll see. I want him to be healthy and play well.” The maximum length Guerrero’s rehab stint can last is 20 days. Given the clause in Guerrero’s contract that prevents him from being optioned to the Minors without his consent, he figures to have a spot earmarked on the Dodgers’ roster.

Under the assumption Guerrero makes a successful return, he figures to see time at third base. “I think his best position is third base, for us and for him,” Roberts said. “It’s where he’s most comfortable.”

Guerrero logged 29 games in left field last season, and also played 22 at third. It’s a position Los Angeles first tried him at during Spring Training in 2015, with Guerrero proving to be serviceable.

He got off to a hot start last season, batting .423/.429/1.077 with five home runs and 13 RBIs in April. However, he slowed down considerably after the first month of the regular season, and finished the year hitting .233/.261/.434 with nine doubles, 11 home runs, 36 RBIs, a .297 wOBA and 89 wRC+.

It’s plausible the Dodgers would explore trading the 29 year old, though a clause in his contract allows Guerrero to opt out of his contract after any season in which he’s traded. Guerrero is owed $7.5 million this season and $7.5 million in 2017.