Guerrero's defense catching up with touted offense

Dodgers infielder put in work during offseason, which hasn't escaped Mattingly's notice

Guerrero's defense catching up with touted offense

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Alex Guerrero looks more comfortable defensively this spring, and the Cuban infielder said he worked all winter to make that happen.

Guerrero said he practiced on his defense at the Boras Sports Training Institute at St. Thomas University in Miami.

"I know people say more about my offense," said Guerrero. "I wanted to level it out."

The academy, founded by his agent, Scott Boras, is supervised by former Major Leaguer Alex Ochoa. Guerrero worked out with a group that included Albert Almora, Kendrys Morales, Jose Iglesias, Everth Cabrera, Elvis Andrus, Champ Stuart and Justin Williams.

Guerrero was signed out of Cuba in the wake of the Dodgers' windfall acquisition of Yasiel Puig. Included in the four-year, $28 million deal was an unconventional clause that grants Guerrero veto power over a Minor League assignment over the final three seasons of his deal.

Guerrero has said he would block any attempt to be sent down, leaving the Dodgers in a roster jam of their own making.

When the organization took its first look at Guerrero after the 2013 season, there was widespread disappointment over his defensive skills, even though he played shortstop, the most demanding infield position, in Cuba.

Since then, amid speculation that they'd prefer to trade him, the Dodgers have focused on utilizing Guerrero's bat off the bench while working him at multiple positions. This spring, he has played second base, shortstop, third base and left field. He said he is most comfortable at shortstop, where he will start Thursday against the Angels.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.