Shoulder injury sidelines Cubs reliever Guzman
Angel Guzman, who overcame years of injury problems to finally
have the kind of season the Chicago Cubs had envisioned, is out
indefinitely with a torn ligament in his pitching shoulder.
GM Jim Hendry said Saturday there was no timetable for Guzman’s
“You just feel terrible for the kid,” he said. “He’s had such
a history … right when he’s had success, something has gone
The 28-year-old Guzman appeared in 55 games last season, going
3-3 with a 2.95 ERA, and the Cubs were hoping he’d be the top
right-handed setup man for closer Carlos Marmol this year.
Hendry has been looking for bullpen help but said there isn’t
much available now. Manager Lou Piniella has raved about Esmailin
Caridad and also has spoken highly of some of the other young arms
in camp, but there are few experienced options.
Two of the four pitchers (Jeff Samardzija, Carlos Silva, Sean
Marshall, Tom Gorzelanny) vying for spots in the rotation likely
will end up as late-inning relievers, Piniella said.
It’s been a sad offseason for Guzman, whose brother, Daniel,
died in his arms two months ago after being shot in their native
Venezuela. Five days earlier, Guzman had sustained a knee injury
that required arthroscopic surgery.
He began to complain of shoulder pain last month. Every time he
thought he was recovering, he had a setback, and he finally
underwent an MRI on Friday.
“It’s a shame,” Piniella said. “It seems like the kid is
Hendry said Guzman probably will work on strengthening his
shoulder for the next four to six weeks. If that’s successful, he
could start throwing again. Surgery would be a last resort because
the required procedure would be invasive and wouldn’t guarantee a
Guzman joined the organization as a 17-year-old in 1999, two
years after the Cubs signed his countryman, Carlos Zambrano. While
Zambrano has gone on to be a three-time All-Star with well over
$100 million in career earnings, Guzman has been hurting.
In 2009, he struck out 47, walked 23 and allowed only 41 hits in
61 innings. He ended the season with an eight-outing scoreless
streak but was shut down for the final two weeks with a muscle
strain near his right armpit.
“At one time, this kid was as good a prospect as (Zambrano) on
the way up in the system,” Hendry said. “Your heart goes out to