Junior Guerra

From BR Bullpen

Junior Jose Guerra Maurera

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 213 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Junior Guerra was a minor league catcher and pitcher. He has played in the Dominican Republic, USA, Spain, Mexico and Venezuela and added Italy to the list in 2014. After that long and exhausting journey, he made it to the major leagues as a pitcher at the age of 30 in 2015.

Guerra hit .165 for the 2002 DSL Braves 1. In 2003, he batted .193/.233/.333 for the GCL Braves with 19 strikeouts and no walks in 57 AB. For the 2004 GCL Braves, the youngster hit .216/.255/.341 He spent 2005 with the Danville Braves, improving his batting line to .261/.289/.426.

Guerra was just 6 for 50 (3 2B, HR) for the 2006 Rome Braves and Atlanta decided to swithc him over to pitching. He allowed two runs in two innings for Danville (0-1), one run in 2 2/3 IP for Rome (one save) and was 0-1 with a save and a 6.75 ERA in 14 games for the GCL Braves, walking 16 in 24 innings.

Let go by Atlanta, Guerra played for Venezuela in the 2007 Baseball World Cup. He tossed a shutout relief inning against Germany and struck out the side against Thailand (hitting two batters). He was less effective facing Australia. He relieved Erick Arteaga in the 11th inning of a tie game with a runner on second. After getting Tom Brice on a bunt, Guerra walked Matthew Kent. Luke Hughes then hit a game-winning 3-run homer for the Aussies.

Guerra signed with the New York Mets and bounced around their system in 2008. He had stops with the St. Lucie Mets (4 IP, 0 H, 4 K), Kingsport Mets (4 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 3 K), the Brooklyn Cyclones (1/3 IP, 2 R) and the Savannah Sand Gnats (1-1, 2 Sv, .156 opponent average, 34 K in 25 2/3 IP).

Guerra rejoined Venezuela for the 2009 Baseball World Cup. He went 2-2 with a 4.32 ERA, with 14 BB and 18 K in 16 2/3 IP. He beat China, lost to the Dutch national team and Team USA then beat Taiwan, getting decisions in all four of his starts.

He signed with CB Sant Boi in Spain for 2010. He made his debut on February 27th, fanning 14 and allowing 3 runs in 7 innings, walking six. Guerra got the 13-3 win over Pamplona. He went 11-1 with a 0.89 ERA, 122 K and 47 H (a .153 opponent average) in 91 IP. He was third in ERA (behind José Guanchez and Hector Perozo), second to Guanchez in opponent average, 6th in strikeouts, tied for 3rd with 17 wild pitches and second in wins (two behind Ivan Granados. He pitched in the 2010 European Cup, losing a pitching duel with the Konica Minolta Pioniers' Eddie Aucoin. With the Wichita Wingnuts in 2011, he went 9-3 with a 3.57 ERA but walked 72 in 128 2/3 IP. He was 9th in the American Association in ERA, 7th in strikeouts (103), tied for 6th in wild pitches (10) and led in walks.

In 2012, he was 1-3 with a 5.46 ERA for the Leones de Yucatan, walking 22 in 28 IP. With Wichita again in 2013, he had a 9-4, 3.30 record with 126 K and 58 BB in 122 2/3 IP. He was 5th in the AA in ERA (between Mark Hamburger and Billy Spottiswood), tied for 10th in wins, was second to Ben Moore in strikeouts and tied Joe Newby for the lead with 18 wild pitches. He signed with T&A San Marino for 2014, replacing Jim Magrane as their foreign starter. He had an excellent Italian debut, facing Padova BSC; he struck out 11 in 6 shutout innings and allowed just one hit and two walks before Yovani D'Amico relieved. Guerra got the win.

He finally made his major league debut in June of 2015 with the Chicago White Sox, although it lasted only three games and 4 innings. On May 3, 2016, he returned to the big leagues as the starting pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers in a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and ended up a 5-4 winner after tossing 6 innings. he then was the team's best pitcher the rest of the way, making 20 starts with a record of 8-3 and an excellent ERA of 2.81. In 121 2/3 innings, he gave up only 94 hits and struck out 100 opponents. That surprisingly good performance earned him the nod as the Brewers' opening day starter in 2017, but things di not go well against the Colorado Rockies on April 3rd. He pitched only 3 innings, giving up a pair of runs on a homer by Mark Reynolds, then injured himself in trying to lay down a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the 3rd. He strained his right calf and was immediately placed on the disabled list.


Further Reading[edit]

  • Adam McCalvy: "Guerra's remarkable journey takes him to win column", mlb.com, May 4, 2016. [1]

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