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Could Matt Guerrier actually prove a bargain?

April 22, 2011 |  6:53 am

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Matt Guerrier (55) pitches in the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium Monday. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire
At the time, it was a mild head-scratcher.

Three years and $12 million for a 32-year-old middle reliever?

Matt Guerrier had been a very nice reliever the previous six years for the Minnesota Twins. For his career, he had a 3.37 earned-run average, a 1.23 WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched) and had appeared in more than 70 games in each of the previous four seasons.

With multiyear deals for middle relievers almost in vogue during the off-season, the Dodgers signed Guerrier.

So far, he has been a serious bargain.

In nine appearances this season, Guerrier has yet to give up a run and has fashioned a remarkable 0.69 WHIP.

Thursday, he pitched two scoreless innings for the Dodgers, picking up his first victory. He has yet to give up a run in 10 2/3 innings as a Dodger.

With Kenley Jansen and Lance Cormier struggling, Ronald Belisario still doing his Venezuelan visa dance, Hong-Chih Kuo on the disabled list, Ramon Troncoso still unrecognizable and Vicente Padilla just about to make his season debut, the Dodgers have badly needed Guerrier to come through.

Just like a reliever worthy of a three-year deal. And so far, he has been better than even expected.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Matt Guerrier (55) pitches in the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium Monday. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire

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