Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/18/12

After blowing a save on May 6 at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs, pitcher Javy Guerra was demoted from the closer role. Guerra now pitches in middle relief, a role that is quite different for him.

"It's different, but I like it. From the fourth inning on, I'm pretty in tune with the game and know what's going on. I'm trying to figure out the situation and just be ready," Guerra said. "I had that routine of the sixth, seventh getting ready to go, the eighth watching, and ninth throwing. Now, from the first inning I'm stretching and moving around and getting going."

Guerra's blown save on May 6 was his third in a 14-game span and saw his ERA rise to 5.84. Since the demotion, Guerra has pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings to lower that ERA to 4.32.

"What we're trying to do is get his confidence built back up," said manager Don Mattingly. "When we first started this process, we tried to get him in a game where the game wasn't totally on the line every time he had his hands on the ball."

Guerra has been used in increasingly challenging situations -- including with the bases loaded in two straight games, on Tuesday against Arizona and Wednesday against San Diego. In each game, Guerra allowed just one of three inherited runners to score.

"In his last two outings, I've put him in bad spots. I've put him in bases-loaded jams," Mattingly said. "If you can get out of that with one (run scoring) twice, that's pretty good."

Guerra has handled his demotion well and embraced his new role.

"I just look forward to coming in every game in any situation.," Guerra said. "It does feel good to go in there and have people on, with a situation to get out of. It's pretty rewarding."

Guerra has impressed his manager with how he has handled it.

"He's an important guy for us," Mattingly said. "We're going to need Javy to do his thing, and to me he's on that path."

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