2012 in brief: Proved adage that giving long-term contracts to mediocre relievers is never a good idea as he missed nearly the entire season with arm trouble.
2013 status: Signed for $4.75m in what will mercifully be the final year of his contract.
Well, it’s pretty easy to review a guy who threw only 14 innings around four missed months, isn’t it? Matt Guerrier rarely pitched, and wasn’t all that great when he did. Even when he was out, I can’t say anyone missed him.
In fact, Guerrier was thought of so little around here – other than ongoing questions about how his injury, which was originally thought to keep him out for about two weeks, turned into more than four months – that the only time his name popped up in a significant way was on April 18:
But let’s skip right ahead to the tenth inning, because that’s all anyone is going to want to talk about.
Matt Guerrier came in to pitch, and while I absolutely hate the idea of saving your closer on the road for a lead which may never come, Guerra’s been shaky enough the last two times out that I can’t really say it absolutely positively had to be him in that situation, so, fine. Unfortunately, Guerrier was shaky, walking leadoff hitter Jonathan Lucroy, a mistake which was multiplied by A.J. Ellis sailing a throw into center field when Nyjer Morgan (running for Lucroy) attempted to steal second. With one out (thanks to yet another late-inning bunt fail gift), Guerrier intentionally walked Rickie Weeks in an attempt to set up the double play.
That’s fine, except that then Weeks stole second with little resistance from the Dodgers, eliminating the double play possibility. Guerrier made things even worse by walking George Kottaras, because that brought Ryan Braun to the plate. Say what you will about whether Braun really deserved his 2011 awards, but hey, whenever you can walk a backup catcher to get to the NL MVP in a critical situation, why wouldn’t you?
While it’s probably a little unfair to single out that one moment, it’s what we’ve got, so it’s what we’ll go with. If he’s healthy next year, the contract alone will give him a job, though it’s hard to say he’s more than the fifth-best reliever the team has — at best — even when he’s right. With his velocity down, a year lost to arm woes, and his age-34 season coming up, does Guerrier have enough left to even be mediocre? Still loving that contract, let me tell you.
Next up! Brandon League gets himself paid!