Angel Guzman is one of the more intriguing arms that Ned has brought into this spring as an NRI. The Venezuelan was originally signed by the KC Royals but for reasons unknown to me his contract was voided by MLB, so the Cubs swooped in and signed him.
At one time he was the plum of the Chicago Cubs pitching prospects, hitting the Baseball America top 100 three times from 2003 - 2005, reaching as high as number 26 in 2004. Some thought he would be better then Carlos Zambrano.
By the age of 24 he was starting 10 games for the Cubs but would eventually get moved into the bullpen. Guzman had brief stints in the majors from 2006 - 2008 but made it full time in 2009. Headed into the spring of 2010 he was expected to be a mainstay of the Cub bullpen but he blew out his shoulder and two years later, here he is trying to resurrect what was once a promising career.
Click here for a nice story about Guzman by Dave van Dyck in the spring of 2011 as he attempted his first comeback from his shoulder surgery.
Evidently his surgery was a bit complicated as well as other parts of his life:
The latest setback was a shredded shoulder, requiring a delicate surgery that no pitchers have ever really overcome. That is on top of another shoulder surgery, Tommy John elbow surgery and the tragic death of a brother all spread over the past few years.
In 2009 before his shoulder surgery he was hitting 94-95 MPH on his fastball.
There have been eighteen major league players with Angel as their first name. The only one who might qualify as being any good is Angel Pagan who is now a Giant. However four players were All - Stars and had Angel as their middle name.
Mike Angel Cueller
Miguel Angel Montero
Ruben Angel (Garcia) Sierra
Jose Angel (Cetty) Vidro
There is a lesson here, if you want your son to be a ballplayer don't look to the heavens for his first name.
|2012 Projections - Age 25 Season|
Has little more than a zero chance to make the major league roster, he's simply hoping to impress in spring training, show his arm strength is back, provide depth in AAA, prove he can still pitch. If the big league team has some injuries, he might get a shot with the Dodgers. I'm rooting for him, March 22nd will be the 2nd anniversary of his surgery. We should know by then if he has anything left to offer on the mound.