Tag Archive | "Angel Guzman"

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Cubs Trim Maine, Berg from Spring Training Camp Roster — Wrigley Field West Mesa Arizona 3/24/11

Posted on 24 March 2011 by Lou

The Cubs cut 4 pitchers from there spring training camp roster this week.  Lefty Scott Maine and righty Justin Berg were 2 of the casualties and they will start the season at Triple-A Iowa.  There was an outside chance that Maine was going to make the opening day roster, but with a healthy Sean Marshall, John Grabow and James Russell, the Cubs decided not to keep 4 lefties in the bullpen.  Manager Mike Quade had this to say about Maine’s progress – “He pitched great for me last year and he’s had an OK spring but it’s command with him and experience.  He was a starter for a long time and is continuing to learn abuot pitching out of the pen and how to make 18 pitches work for you instead of having 70 or 80 to figure it out.”  Maine appeared in 13 MLB games for the Cubs in 2010.  He had a nifty 2.08 ERA with 11 K’s in 13 innings pitched and looks to have a bright future with the Cubs at only 26 years of age.

Berg, on the other hand, had a rough spring.  He only pitched 4 innings and gave up 10 ER (7 runs in one outing) on 8 hits in the process.  Berg had trouble with his control and keeping pitches down, so he will head to the minors to continue to get ready for the upcoming season.

Todd Wellemeyer and Angel Guzman were the other 2 players cut.  Guzman is recovering from right shoulder surgery and is scheduled to make his first appearance in a game next week.  Wellemeyer was a non-roster invitee and has been bothered by a sore hip all spring.  It is unclear what Wellemeyer plans to do for the rest of the season.

We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything else on who ends up winning the 5th starting spot in the rotation and the 2nd base job that is still up for grabs as well.

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Angel Guzman Back in the Mix in Spring Training 2011 – Wrigley Field 1/29/11

Posted on 29 January 2011 by Lou

Angel Guzman will once again find him competing for a spot on the Cubs opening day roster in 2011.  Guzman is in his 12th season within the Cubs organization and he missed the entire 2010 MLB season with right shoulder surgery before spring training even ended.  In 2009 Guzman was a reliable part of the Cubs bullpen.  Guzman made 55 relief appearances for the Cubs, going 3-3 with a 2.95 ERA.

Guzman can be effective when healthy, but that is the big if.  Not sure if he can get back on track this season, but it would be great to have a veteran like him in the mix during the grueling MLB season…

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Cubs, Angel Guzman Agree on 1-Year Deal – Wrigley Field 11/6/10

Posted on 06 November 2010 by Lou

The Cubs and Angel Guzman have agreed upon a minor league contract and an invitation to Spring Training 2011.  Guzman had a productive 2009 in which he appeared in 55 games as a reliever.  That was a career-high number of appearances for Guzman as he posted a nifty 2.95 ERA and served as a valuable member of the Cubs bullpen.  That effort took its toll on Guzman, however, as he suffered a season-ending injury in Spring Training 2010.  He underwent career-threatening arthroscopic surgery to insert several pins into his right shoulder to repair a torn ligament.  It’s unclear how effective Guzman will be by February, but he has clearance from doctors to be ready for Spring Training.

Guzman had a ton of potential, but injuries continued to stunt his growth and knock him out of the major league ranks.  We’ll keep you posted how his off-season program is going or if Guzman suffers any other setbacks during the winter…

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Angel Guzman to Undergo Season-Ending Surgery

Posted on 21 March 2010 by Lou

Dr. James will perform season-ending surgery on Angel Guzman this week to repair a severely torn ligament in his right shoulder.  Andrews has already performed elbow and shoulder surgeries on Guzman during his injury-plagued MLB career. Guzman’s 2009 season was curtailed last September because of soreness in his right throwing shoulder.  He had hoped that 4+ months of rehab to rebuild the area would allow him to pitch in 2010 without having to undergo surgery.  But right from the start, Guzman experienced pain this spring and he realized surgery was his only option.  Pitchers have returned from this type of surgery before, but given Guzman’s history, who knows how effective he will be upon his return or how long he will be able to keep it up.

This is unfortunate for the Cubs and Guzman.  Guzman had appeared to turn things around during the 2009 MLB season.  He made a career high 55 appearances in relief for the Cubs.  He went 3-3 with a 2.95 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 61 innings pitched. He racked up 47 strikeouts and he was one of the Cubs most dependable pitchers notching 15 holds.  Now it is back to the drawing board for Guzman and his absence will surely be missed as the Cubs will be forced to rely upon even more youngsters to fill up bullpen spots…

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Ted Lilly Making Progress – Good News Cubs Fans

Posted on 08 March 2010 by Lou

Ted Lilly is continuing to make positive progress from his winter left shoulder surgery.  This is great news for the Chicago Cubs pitching staff who has had to deal with injuries to Angel Guzman and Jeff Gray and poor performances from Carlos Silva, Jeff Stevens and John Gaub.

Lilly threw 30 pitches off of the mound on Sunday – the 2nd time that he has tested his arm off of a mound this spring.  Lilly is still not expected to be ready by opening day, but if he continues at this pace with no further setbacks, he should be ready to go by the 3rd or 4th week of the 2010 MLB season.

Pitching Coach Larry Rothschild had this to say about Lilly’s progress since recovering from a nasty flu at the start of spring training — “So far, no bumps in the road and we’ll just keep progressing… You always look for any bumps in the road that might come up and hopefully limit the time if there are any.  He’s already had the virus so hopefully that’s all behind him.”

It looks like Angel Guzman has a torn ligament in his right throwing arm and Carlos Silva was miserable in his 1st appearance this spring against the White Sox on Saturday.  Silva gave up 6 ER on 7 hits in just 2 innings of work, including 2 home runs to White Sox slugger Carlos Quentin.  Ouch.  Looks like Silva might not be ready for the starting rotation after all.  Too bad the Cubs had to take on his $26 million over the next 2 years simply to unload Milton Bradley to the Seattle Mariners this winter.  That could be a major disaster if the Silva doesn’t show enough to even make the Cubs roster at the end of the month.  It would be really hard to waive a player owed that much money and even if the Cubs were able to trade him to a team that desperately needed a starting pitcher, the Cubs would likely have to take on a good chunk of that salary to make the deal work.  Nice work, Jim (Hendry)!

We’ll keep you posted – with the Sunday rainouts against the White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers in split squad action, let’s hope the Cubs can get back on track in today’s game against the Oakland A’s.

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Guzman, Gray Injuries Open up Bullpen Competition

Posted on 07 March 2010 by Lou

Injuries to Angel Guzman and Jeff Gray have opened up competition for a few extra bullpen slots for the 2010 Cubs.

Guzman who has had a history of arm injuries will have an MRI on his sore right shoulder this weekend.  Guzman will likely not be ready for opening day and his 2010 status is now up in the air again.  After a solid 2009 in which he appeared in a career-high 55 games (with a 2.95 ERA), this is a big blow for the Cubs who had thought he put his injury woes behind him.

Jeff Gray has been dealing with a sore groin all spring.  Gray was projected to be the right-handed set-up man for Closer Carlos Marmol, so the longer he sits, the more dire the situation for the Cubs.

Right now, the 3 locks for bullpen spots are Marmol, John Grabow and Esmailin Caridad.  Sean Marshall and Jeff Samardzija could also land spots in the rotation if they do not win one of the 2 open starting rotation spots.

Other bullpen candidates include Jeff Stevens, John Gaub, Thomas Diamond, Blake Parker and Andrew Cashner.  Manager Lou Pinella likes what he’s seen out of Cashner so far: “Cashner’s a nice looking young kid.  That’s going to be up to the organization.  First of all, let’s see how he pitches here.  Let’s see what the organization has planned as far as starter, reliever.  I think Jim will make that decision and rightfully so.”

This is not good news for the Cubs.  GM Jim Hendry might have to work a little magic to pick up a more established reliever once spring training camps break in early April.  If not, we could be looking at a lot of young kids pitching a lot of meaningful innings for the Cubs at Wrigley Field in 2010.

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Jeff Stevens Aiming for Spot in Crowded Bullpen

Posted on 23 February 2010 by Lou

Jeff Stevens is eager to show his stuff this spring and hopefully land a spot in the Cubs crowded bullpen.  Stevens is competing with the likes of Esmailin Caridad, Justin Berg, Angel Guzman, Mike Parisi and Jeff Gray.  Four pitchers vying for 2 spots in the starting rotation could also land in the bullpen at the start of the 2010 season depending on how that competition turns out – Tom Gorzelanny, Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija and Carlos Silva.

Stevens came over from the Indians in the Mark DeRosa trade, and spent most of the season at Triple-A Iowa.  Stevens did make 11 appearances for the Cubs at the major league level, and although he posted a high 7.11 ERA, he held the other team scoreless in 7 of his outings.  Now that he is a little more comfortable in the Cubs organization, Stevens is excited for Spring Training 2010 in Mesa where he can showcase his stuff.  “Last year I was trying to make a good impression.  I was new coming, coming over in the trade.  It’s a little different now because I know everybody, people have seen how I pitch.  You definitely want to come in and make a good impression.”

Let’s hope one or two of these guys really steps it up in 2010 to help out Carlos Marmol and John Grabow in the bullpen.  A few of these guys have talent, so if they can provide consistent and reliable bullpen work during the course of the long MLB season, that could mean good things for the Cubs in 2010.

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Angel Guzman & Jeff Gray Injured – Spring Training Delayed

Posted on 20 February 2010 by Lou

The Cubs did not get good news on Angel Guzman and Jeff Gray at the start of Spring Training as pitchers and catchers reported this week.  Neither player will participate in drills right away.

Guzman injured his right knee during the off-season in Venezuela.  He underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee 2 weeks ago, but the Cubs believe he will be ready for baseball action by Opening Day.

Gray has a mild groin strain and will miss at least the first 2 weeks of spring training drills.  The Cubs will take it slow with the right-handed pitcher who they acquired from the Oakland A’s in the Jake Fox/Aaron Miles trade.

We should see Guzman in the bigs at Wrigley Field during the 2010 MLB schedule, but the odds of Gray making the club out of the gates is unlikely.  We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything else on Cubs players as the Spring progresses.

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Cubs Agree to 1-Year Deals with 5 Players; Theriot, Marmol & Marshall Still to Come

Posted on 19 January 2010 by Lou

The Chicago Cubs have agreed to 1-year deals with 5 players – infielders Mike Fontenot and Jeff Baker; catcher Koyie Hill; and pitchers Angel Guzman and Tom Gorzelanny.  Each player was in his first year of being arbitration eligible.

Fontenot signed a $1 million deal for 2010.  After a great 2008 in which he hit over .300, Fontenot came back down to earth in 2009, hitting just .236 in 135 games played.

Baker signed a $975,000 deal for 2010.  The Cubs acquired Baker from the Colorado Rockies in July and he hit over .300 in 69 games for the north siders.  Baker and Fontenot will be competing for the starting 2nd baseman job in Spring Training in Mesa, Arizona.  If neither stands out, Manager Lou Pinella could implement a platoon.

Catcher Koyie Hill signed a $700,000 deal to be the Cubs backup catcher behind Geovany Soto in 2010.  While Soto was injured in 2009, Hill made 26 consecutive starts from July 7th through August 5th.  Hill only batted .237 but he handled the pitching staff very well.

The Cubs acquired Tom Gorzelanny from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a deal that also brought over John Grabow.  The Cubs and Gorzelanny agreed upon an $800,000 deal for 2010.  Gorzelanny appeared in 13 games for the Cubs, going 4-2 with a 5.63 ERA.  Gorzelanny actually fared better in relief, holding opponents to just a .192 batting average during those 6 appearances.

Angel Guzman signed an $825,000 deal after arguably his best season as a Cubs reliever.  Guzman appeared in 55 games posting a 2.95 ERA (2.03 ERA at home at Wrigley Field).  He held opponents scoreless in 40 of his 55 appearances, including 34 of his last 42 games.  Assuming Guzman can stay healthy, he will play a pivotal role in the Cubs bullpen during the 2010 MLB schedule.

The final 3 Cubs players who are arbitration eligible will make a huge impact on the success of the 2010 squad.

Carlos Marmol will be the Cubs opening day closer.  Marmol made $575,000 in 2009 and he will become a free agent in 2013.  Marmol took over the closer’s role from Kevin Gregg at the end of the season and provided a stable force at the back end of the ‘pen.  Marmol ended up saving 15 games, while holding 27 games in 79 appearances.  His 65 walks in 74 innings, however, is still a major concern.

Ryan Theriot will be the Cubs opening day shortstop and will likely lead off for the Cubs.  Theriot made $500,000 in 2009.  Theriot hit .284 with a .343 on-base percentage in 154 games for the Cubs.  His games played, at-bats (602), triples (5), home runs (7) and RBI’s (54) were all career highs.

Sean Marshall will either be in the starting rotation on opening day or serve a vital role in the Cubs bullpen as a lefty reliever.  Marshall made $450,000 in 2009 and will be a free agent in 2013.  Marshall can start and come out of the bullpen, so his versatility is invaluable.

GM Hendry still has his work cut out for him.  Let’s hope he can ink smart deals with Marmol, Theriot and Marshall soon.

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Could Cubs Make Play for Starter Ben Sheets?

Posted on 12 January 2010 by Lou

Ben Sheets is still on the market and the longer this drags on his asking price could continue to come down.  So far, it doesn’t appear that anyone is in a bidding war for the often-injured starting pitcher, so who knows – maybe he could find himself pitching on the North Side at Wrigley Field after spending most of his career pitching just north of the Illinois border in Milwaukee.

Sheets’ “handlers” have indicated that the pitcher is looking for a 2-year deal worth about $10-12 million per year.  Given where the Cubs are right now payroll-wise, that seems like way too much money to take a flyer on an injury risk like Sheets.  Sheets did not pitch at all in 2009 because he ended up testing the free agency market after the 2008 MLB season and then discovered he needed surgery in January to repair torn flexor tendon in his right throwing elbow.  Sheets could have come back for a contender at the end of the 2009 MLB season, but he decided to take a full year off to fully heal the injury.  In 2008, Sheets pitched 198 1/3 innings in 31 starts, going 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA.

The Cubs expect their 2010 MLB payroll to hit $140 million.  They have $125 currently committed and still have 8 arbitration-eligible players who will get raises in 2010.  The Cubs have 3 starters inked in for the start of the 2010 MLB schedule – Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells.  Ted Lilly had surgery in early November to repair his left throwing shoulder and will be evaluated this weekend in Chicago to set a timetable for his 2010 start – hopefully by early-to-mid May.  Four Cubs players will compete for the final 2 starting spots – Carlos Silva, Tom Gorzelanny, Jeff Samardzija and Sean Marshall.  As for the bullpen, the Cubs are set with closer Carlos Marmol and lefty-set-up man John Grabow.  The Cubs still need a veteran right-handed set-up man to complement Grabow, as the rest of the bullpen is very young – Angel Guzman, David Patton, Esmailin Caridad and Justin Berg.

We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything new out of Cubs camp…

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