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Guerrero awaiting games to test progress

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Wednesday's Cactus League opener cannot come soon enough for manager Don Mattingly, who is searching for a starting second baseman.

The Dodgers signed Cuban Alex Guerrero to a four-year, $28 million contract in October with hopes of him being their second baseman. But after a hamstring injury kept the former shortstop from playing second during winter ball, his ability to make the transition became questionable this spring.

Mattingly needs the live-game situations to know for sure.

"It's hard for us to tell, to be honest," Mattingly said Sunday. "Everything we've asked of Alex, he's been wonderful. This kid has worked and worked. But I don't think until we get these games going on and get at-bats under his belt that we'll start to kind of see what it's going to look like. So that's the objective, to get him on the field as much as possible."

Guerrero made the only two plays offered him during the team's intrasquad game, including turning a 5-4-3 double play with Yasiel Puig sprinting down the first-base line.

"From the beginning, we talked about him playing second; our guys in international scouting think he can do it," Mattingly said. "But with that we know he's got a lot on his plate right now. He's in a new county; he's trying to get adjusted to us, a new position and all new teammates. He's got a lot going on. We'll be patient with it, but we feel like he's going to do it.

"When someone comes with the right attitude and works like this, it gives you the best chance of success."

Chris Gabel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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