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Los Angeles Dodgers minor league infield prospect Alex Guerrero and veteran catcher Miguel Olivo, who are teammates on the Dodgers’ Class AAA Albuquerque Isotopes, got into a fight during the eighth inning of a Pacific Coast League game in Salt Lake City against the Bees on Tuesday.
The Los Angeles Times reports that agent Scott Boras says a part of Guerrero’s ear was bitten off by Olivo.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti says the team is looking into what precipitated the altercation on Tuesday.
Guerrero, a 27-year-old infielder from Cuba, signed a $28 million, four-year deal with the Dodgers in October. He was beaten out for the starting second base job by Dee Gordon in spring training.
Olivo, a former Seattle Mariner, has played with nine teams in his 13 years in the majors.
Olivo has displayed a hot temper on the field before, charging at Jose Reyes and missing with a wild punch during a dustup between the Marlins and Mets late in the 2007 season.
The 35-year-old catcher appeared in eight games for the Dodgers this month, marking his 13th season in the majors.
Colletti said he doesn’t think either player sustained an injury that would keep him from playing. The Dodgers released a statement saying the baseball operations department “is aware of the altercation and is conducting an investigation into the matter.”
“I’ve talked to the coaches, I’ve talked to a lot of different people. They’re still looking into it. So until we know exactly what happened and what precipitated what, don’t have anything else really to add to it,” Colletti said. “I’ll talk to everybody that I think can help us understand what took place.”
The Salt Lake Tribune reported the fight happened in the dugout during the eighth inning of Albuquerque’s 7-4 loss to Salt Lake, briefly delaying the game, and both players were removed from the lineup soon afterward.
The Los Angeles Times reported the disagreement began with Olivo getting upset that Guerrero failed to tag out a runner after a throw from Olivo, according to Boras.
The 27-year-old Guerrero was hitting .368 with 10 homers and 29 RBI in the Pacific Coast League.
“We think offensively that he’s very close. Defensively, he still needs repetition,” Colletti said.
Guerrero was playing second base at Albuquerque, but the club recently started putting him at shortstop to develop some versatility.
“His bat is starting to come to life, and we need to be able to find playing time for him if we bring him to the big leagues, maybe at a variety of different positions,” Colletti said.
“The way he’s hit the last three weeks has obviously drawn attention to that. We’ve had good offensive performance from our infielders here, so it’s not an easy breakthrough right now, but the more versatility he has, the better opportunity he’ll have to play.”