Albuquerque second baseman Alex Guerrero needed surgery on his left ear after getting attacked by teammate Miguel Olivo during a dugout fight at Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday, and both Salt Lake police and the Dodgers are investigating.
The game was stopped briefly in the eighth inning when Isotopes Guerrero and Olivo began fighting in the Albuquerque dugout. Both players were replaced in the lineup. Guerrero, according to agent Scott Boras, "is having plastic surgery on his ear right now," Tweeted Jon Morosi of FOX Sports at 6:39 p.m. ET. Boras indicated the surgery was a result of Guerrero being bitten by Olivo.
Morosi reported that Boras said police have gathered evidence about the incident, including witness statements. Guerrero's recovery timetable is uncertain, the agent also told him. "It's not clear yet how many stitches the surgery will require," Morosi said.
A source with the Isotopes said manager Damon Berryhill had called a closed-door meeting with the team following the 7-4 loss to Salt Lake, with Dodgers vice president and director of player development De Jon Watson in attendance. The Dodgers issued a statement about the incident:
"The baseball operations department is aware of the altercation and is conducting an investigation into the matter. The organization does not condone this type of behavior and will have no further comment at this time."
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti confirmed the players involved but was vague about the extent of injuries either player might have suffered.
"I think both will be able to play," he told MLB.com. "Both players were removed from the game, which was delayed briefly. We're still looking into it."
Alex Guerrero (7) appears to have his ear bitten by teammate Miguel Olivo. (StingEmBees.com)
Colletti said he spoke with Berryhill and may also talk to those involved.
The incident stemmed from an argument that occurred during the bottom of the seventh inning when Berryhill called on reliever Colt Hynes to replace Matt Magill on the mound, according to Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune. According to Boras, Olivo was angry with Guerrero for not tagging out Salt Lake's J.B. Shuck on Olivo's throw to second earlier in the frame -- Olivo confronted Guerrero during a pitching change and was restrained by teammates on the mound after charging at the infielder.
At the end of the inning, Albuquerque players continued to argue as fielders returned to the dugout, and with Walter Ibarra batting in the top of the eighth, Luhm said the fight broke out. Isotopes players had to be separated in the dugout, causing a brief stoppage of play in the top of the eighth. One player was pushed backward into the dugout fence, prompting other players to jump in. The fight was loud enough for fans to hear but did not involve prized Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson, who was on deck during the fray.
When the game resumed, with Guerrero was replaced by pinch-hitter Miguel Rojas, one of the players who appeared to try and break up the fight. Rojas remained in the game at shortstop, and Griff Erickson was sent in as a defensive replacement for Olivo.
According to stingembees.com, the fight appeared to involve at least three teammates, with Guerrero being "sucker punched" in the middle of the dugout after being separated from someone else.
Salt Lake police spoke to Guerrero in the hospital, and according to the LA Times, Guerrero has not yet decided whether he wants to file charges against Olivo.
Dodgers No. 2 prospect Joc Pederon (left) watches from the on-deck area as teammates brawl. (StingEmBees.com)
Guerrero, 27, defected from Cuba in 2013 and signed a four-year, $28 million deal that included a $10 million signing bonus with the Dodgers on Oct. 21, 2013. He made his Major League debut March 22 but has spent most of the year at Triple-A, where he's hitting .376 with 10 homers, 29 RBIs and a .417 on-base percentage in 33 games.
Olivo, 35, signed a Minor League deal with the Dodgers in January and has appeared in eight games with Los Angeles this year. At Albuquerque, the free-swinging right-handed backstop is batting .370 with four homers, 19 RBIs and a .410 OBP in 19 games.