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Remember Angel Guzman?


Before the Andrew Cashners, and Trey McNutts of the Cubs farm system there was Angel Guzman. Guzman was once a top tier pitching prospect for the Cubs. However, Guzman could never find success in the major leagues as a starting pitcher. In part, his failures as a starting pitcher could be attributed to the rash of injuries he sustained earlier in his career. The Cubs eventually decided to turn Guzman into a reliever, thus putting less strain on his arm. After posting a 2.95 ERA out of the bullpen in 2009, Guzman figured to be a cornerstone in the Cubs bullpen for many years to come. But as the case when he was a starting pitcher, Guzman suffered another setback. As he was required to undergo shoulder surgery in March of 2010 and has been sidelined since then.

Guzman has spent most of this season in Arizona, rehabbing his shoulder in extended spring training. But the time has come where Guzman has finally been cleared to pitch in a professional game. Guzman made his season debut with the Peoria Chiefs last night. In his first professional regular season appearance since 2009, Guzman threw 21 pitches–14 strikes–while striking out two over two innings of work. That definitely is a very encouraging sign for Guzman. Though the real test will come in the days after this start, and how Guzman’s shoulder responds to the increased work load.

While this is indeed positive news, don’t expect Guzman to return to the Cubs anytime soon. Over the next two months, Guzman will likely continue rehabbing his shoulder as he goes through the different levels of the Cubs farm system. At this point, I would say that a September Call-up would be possible for Guzman. But the fact that we are talking about Guzman possibly returning at all during the 2011 season is impressive in it’s own.