Alex Guerrero returns to Triple-A, “has a chance to be up here,” per Dodgers GM.

Alex Guerrero

Alex Guerrero could join the Dodgers in a utility infield role by the end of this season. (Associated Press photo)


SAN FRANCISCO >> Alex Guerrero‘s long road back from a vicious dugout fight in May has taken him back to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Guerrero’s rehab was transferred from Single-A Rancho Cucamonga today to Triple-A. The Isotopes are playing a game tonight in Reno, Nevada. It was in a game with Albuquerque that Guerrero had part of his left ear bitten off by Miguel Olivo in the visitors’ dugout in Salt Lake City.

“There’s a good chance had he not had the incident, he probably would’ve been here by now,” Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said.

Fortunately for the 27-year-old Cuban, doctors were able to surgically re-attach the missing portion of his ear, and subsequent skin-graft treatments were successful.

Guerrero “has a chance to be up here,” Colletti added, but it will probably not be in the second-base role that Dodgers management envisioned for him out of spring training. Dee Gordon won that job and established himself as the Dodgers’ everyday leadoff hitter — then an All-Star.

As for Guerrero?

“We see him as a player who’s going to be versatile defensively — second, third, shortstop, maybe some outfield eventually,” Colletti said.

Guerrero has played those infield positions in the minor leagues this season but hasn’t been used in the outfield.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.