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Vladimir Guerrero works out for Indians in Dominican Republic

Mar 26, 2012, 6:42 PM EST

Vladimir Guerrero Getty Images

Still looking for a job in late March, Vladimir Guerrero worked out for Indians scouts at the club’s academy in the Dominican Republic, sources told Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes.

The source said “there seems to be a genuine interest by the Indians.”

Of course, Cleveland is already locked into a pure DH in Travis Hafner, so Guerrero would only make sense for the club if he could play left field on at least a part-time basis. The Indians have a need there with Grady Sizemore out and Michael Brantley likely shifting to center.

Guerrero hit .290/.317/.416 with 13 homers and 63 RBI in 562 at-bats for the Orioles last season. There’s been speculation that he’ll give Japan a try if no major league offers come soon.

  1. ljl2 - Mar 26, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    let’s be honest, Brantley IS the center fielder and if Sizemore plays for the Indians again, he will be Left Field…the Sizemore as core era is over.

  2. wetmorepsu12 - Mar 26, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    here’s to hoping vladdy finds a job. always marveled at his skills watching him mash phillies pitching.

    • hittfamily - Mar 26, 2012 at 7:54 PM

      I always marveled at his talent, but his skills were awful. Other than Piazza, there has never been a worse swing with better results in the history of baseball. I cringe every time I see his entire upper body bail on an outside pitch, yet still manage to rip a gapper. I hated watching such an unskilled player have such great success.

      • hittfamily - Mar 26, 2012 at 8:00 PM

        Maybe Frank Thomas is above him too. He hit everything off the end of the bat, but had the strength to make it work. That ball could be 2″ inside, and he would extend and flatten his upper body like it was 5″ outside.

        Also, his back foot was usually 6″ off the ground on contact, and his front foot was sliding towards first. He got no torque, and relied solely on those quad sized forearms of his. Terrible hitter, with incredible results.

      • petey1999 - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:05 PM

        “there has never been a worse swing with better results in the history of baseball”
        And you’re telling me that doesn’t take skill?

      • ezthinking - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:29 PM

        Pretty clear you have no idea what great swing looks like when you bash two of the best hitters of the ’90’s. I suppose you think Greg Jefferies is the end-all-be-all of swings?

      • hittfamily - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:40 AM

        Im pretty sure I do. If you want an 18 year old to emulate a great player, you throw these three swings out of your teaching arsenal.

        “Alright. Time to lear to hit like a big leaguer. I want you to hit like Mike Piazza, so get off the balls of your feet. Hit flatfooted, while not bending your knees. Stand up as straight as possible, and rely solely on hips, while your hands lag way behind the rest of your body. Now drop that elbow, and have the longest swing ever.”

        Crap, that didn’t work.
        ” I want you to hit like Vlad Guerrero. Grip the bat like this (as I take his perfectly positioned hands, and torque them so that his elbows almost touch in front of his body) Now swing at everything. If it is above your head, I want you to tomahawk it over the wall. If it is in the dirt, drop your whole body down, and hit it anyway.

        But coach, won’t my head move when my body moves?
        Yes, but that is unimportant. Hit it anyways, and drive it into the gap.”

        Crap. That didn’t work either.
        “Ok. Hit like the big hurt. Heres what I want you to do. When you swing, lift your back foot off the ground. Simultaiously, swivel your entire body towards right field. That is the only way to keep your weight back while hitting one footed. You will get no lower body torque this way, so you will have to hit every ball to left field. Contort your body mid flight, while having no feet firmly on the ground, to ensure every last ball goes to the left of shortstop. Rely solesy on your upper body strength, because your lower body will add nothing. Now hit 500 foot homeruns”

        Have there been any other Frank Thomas’s who hit with the back foot off the ground?
        Any other Vlads, whom even witha good eye, has a terrible approach with his wrists damned near touching each other?
        Any other Piazza’s who stand as tall as possible?

        Maybe, rather than a one sentence response of “Pretty clear you have no idea what great swing looks like when you bash two of the best hitters of the ’90′s.”, you would be so kind as to offer your wisdom of the art of hitting. Otherwise, let the adults who know a good swing from a bad swing do the talking!

        Terrible swings. Terrible skills. Incredible talent.

      • ptfu - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:06 AM

        Add Cal Ripken Jr and Jeff Bagwell to the list of players who produced with ugly stances and swings. One easily made the Hall of Fame and the other should be in.

        It’s laughable that hittfamily thinks Piazza, Vladdy, and the Big Hurt were terrible and lacked skills because their swings were ugly. Too bad he/she/it wasn’t the hitting coach for these terrible skill-free players or else they could have really done something with their Hall of Fame-caliber careers.

      • hittfamily - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:23 AM

        Your mistake is that you confuse approach with swing. Bagwell’s swing was one onf the best ever, no matter how stupid it started, locked his front leg, kept his weight back, and torqued the bejesus out of those hips. He kept his weight back, head still, and lead with his hands. Unfortunately, he got hit a lot and broke his wrist a few times because he was so good at leading with his hands. Good hitters lead with the hands, and being vulnarable on the wrist tends to happen.

        There is a difference in what a player looks like just before a stride and just after. Unfortunately, you, like the people who put Bagwell’s swing in the bad category, don’t know the difference. He had a strong base, still head, and correctly positioned hands. Piazza swung like a golfer, Vlad Swung like a stick baller, and Frank just got lucky.

      • hittfamily - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:28 AM

        As for Cal, you may be right. Everything was perfect, til it came to his right arm. It lagged behind, and added very little. Luckily, the back arm adds very little. I adds no power, and acts as a guide arm. When your grandpa, dad, and brother are all great players, a weak back arm is acceptable. I would never teach Cals’s swing though, and any coach who does is terrible!

      • hittfamily - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:02 AM

        @ptfu
        You said “It’s laughable that hittfamily thinks Piazza, Vladdy, and the Big Hurt were terrible and lacked skills because their swings were ugly. Too bad he/she/it wasn’t the hitting coach for these terrible skill-free players or else they could have really done something with their Hall of Fame-caliber careers.”

        I said a hall of fame hitter had a terrible swing. I know how to teach a swing, and you avoid teaching these tendancies of these players. Somewhere along the line, copying and pasting fangraphs WAR values determines who the more knowledgable baseball authority is.
        I said these were incredibly talented baseball players. I intentionally chose great baseball players when discussing ; my words”worse swing with better results” and “Terrible hitter, with incredible results”. I could have chosen to compare Vlad to Rafael Belliard, but that would have been unfair. Vlad had the better wing.

        I chose 3 of the 90’s best hitters, hell, 3 of the greatest hitters ever. To say I thought they were terrible is unfair and untrue of what I said. I compared one of the greatest hitters to one of the greatest hitters ever. I said his swing sucks compared to his peers, but he got incredible results. Do you compare one of the greatest ever to one anything else in any other context? Warren G Harding to Abraham Lincoln? Kenneth Lay to Bill Gates? Shamwow inventor to Edison?

        Sorry that I didn’t meet your context. Frank Thomas was a much better hitter than Sid Bream. Mike Piazza was a much better hitter than Joe Girardi. Vlad Guerro was a much better hitter than Steve Jobs.

        Compared to their peers, their swings suck. Skills…awful. Talent…incredible. You are unable to tell the difference, and don’t hold me responsible for that,

      • paperlions - Mar 27, 2012 at 7:47 AM

        Talent is a natural ability. A skill is a derived ability based on practice or simply the ability to do something well. Vlad had natural talent (strong, quick wrists, great hand-eye coordination) and turned that into a great skill (hitting a baseball). Trying to force the word skill to mean having some version of an idealized swing is narrow minded and smacks of arrogance/snobbery.

      • alcondigas - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:51 AM

        You know, I’ve heard these old stories about what a perfect swing looks like, for many many years… Hitting coaches, pro and college scouts, even minor league coaches have waxed poetic on this subject for decades. And, they still will be trying to dissect the picture perfect baseball swing forever… The bottom line is, everybody’s different, and everybody has different mechanics. There is no “One Real Way” swing the bat, and there is no such thing as the perfect swing. That’s the problems with all of these so-called hitting coaches. They actually think they know what the hell a perfect swing should look like, yet they always end up screwing up the player they’re supposed to be helping. They try to change what comes naturally for that batter, and then the poor kid is lost, because he can’t get back to where he was as a natural hitter. I’m so tired of hearing what athletes are supposed to look like. How they’re supposed to throw a baseball or a football. How they’re supposed to stand, and how they’re supposed to use they’re feet… It’s ridiculous. There have been so many unorthodox players in all of the history of sports. And, some of the very best of all time didn’t look all that pretty doing it… Get over yourself. If you only realized how stupid you sound trying to dissect these great hitters swings, you would shut up forever on the subject. Because, it really doesn’t matter what you think.

        If this guy were that all-seeing, and all-knowing, and he was actually able to discern the perfect swing, If that were the case, if there was somebody that was able to teach some player how to swing perfectly, and hit everything hard and far, drive everything into the gaps or over the fence, don’t you think somebody would have actually discovered this already? That there would already be a player with the utmost ability to hit consistently, never go into a slump, and mash everything that is hittable… To bat 1.000.

        It’s the raw talent to hit a baseball that makes a swing perfect. To hit a ball that’s being pitched with movement is one of the hardest things, if not the hardest thing in any sport to do. It’s the player that drives the ball to all fields that possesses his own perfect swing. With that, it doesn’t matter what you think of Vladdy, Piazza, or Thomas… I know they wouldn’t think too much of you and your asinine comments. Stick to trying to teach little leaguers how to try to make the J.V. team at your local High School.

  3. gcbball3 - Mar 26, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    as an indians fan i love this, i truly hope they sign him. and no one knows how well grady will comeback from injury he is still relativley young and was an amazing player for us not too long ago so im not ready to give up on him. hes a beast in center so thats not brantleys job just yet. the best lineup honestly would be for vlad to dh and pronk to play first with santana behind the plate, but the kotchman in town, vladdy will have to play young again. i see him in right not left though due to his strong arm. choo is versitle.

    bring vlad to cleveland please we need all the pop we can get

  4. brownsapologist - Mar 26, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    I once saw him hit a home run off a pitch that was a foot outside and in the dirt. He went 1 for 5 that game with 4 Ks and 10 LOB. Let’s sign him!

  5. deathmonkey41 - Mar 27, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    Did he wow them with his incredible plate discipline?

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