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Thursday, May 22, 2014
Dodgers release Miguel Olivo

By Danny Knobler
Specials to ESPNLosAngeles.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers released catcher Miguel Olivo on Thursday, two days after a dugout altercation in which Olivo bit off part of teammate Alex Guerrero's ear during a Triple-A game.

Today, the Dodgers released catcher Miguel Olivo from their roster.

- Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 22, 2014

Guerrero underwent plastic surgery to reattach a large part of his upper ear, and the Dodgers still don't know how soon he will be able to play. The organization had suspended Olivo from the Triple-A Albuquerque roster Wednesday, then made the decision Thursday to release him.

Dodgers president Stan Kasten said the team completed a two-day investigation into the incident, which took place in the Albuquerque dugout in the eighth inning of Tuesday's game in Salt Lake City.

"It was unimaginable, inconceivable and frankly unforgiveable," Kasten said Thursday at Citi Field before the Dodgers' game against the New York Mets.

Kasten said doctors expect Guerrero to remain hospitalized in Salt Lake City for a few more days. Guerrero, a Cuban infielder signed this past winter for $28 million, then will be moved to Los Angeles for the next step in his recovery.

As for Olivo, he should clear release waivers Saturday. Kasten said the Dodgers might deal at that point with the issue of whether they will be responsible for paying the remainder of his contract.

Sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday that Guerrero could be out for as long as five weeks, but Kasten said the organization has no real estimate. He said doctors expect to know more by Sunday. He emphasized that Guerrero underwent a significant surgery and said the entire upper part of his ear was severed when Olivo bit him.

"This is plastic surgery to reattach and regrow skin," Kasten said.

Kasten said there was no decision yet on whether Guerrero will press criminal charges.

Olivo will not face discipline from the commissioner's office because the Dodgers terminated his contract. Under the collective bargaining agreement, either the club or Major League Baseball can discipline a player, but not both.

Olivo bit Guerrero during an altercation that began on the field during an Albuquerque pitching change. Olivo apparently was upset by Guerrero's failure to put down a tag.

Kasten didn't address whether Guerrero shared any of the blame for the initial altercation.

"The action of removing a part of someone's ear is unforgivable," he said. "We've all seen disagreements and disputes. None of that can be an excuse for what happened."

Neither Olivo nor his representatives have spoken publicly since the incident, but Kasten described the catcher as being "distraught." He said Guerrero also "feels awful" about what happened.

Olivo is a 35-year-old backup catcher with significant big league experience, including eight games with the Dodgers this season. Guerrero, 27, appeared in two games with the Dodgers this season, and seemed headed to a possible call-up with a .376 batting average and 1.152 OPS at Albuquerque.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he hasn't thought about how the loss of Olivo, who was on the 40-man roster, affects the organization's depth at catcher.

ESPNLosAngeles.com's Mark Saxon and The Associated Press contributed to this report.