Two days ago, Bruce Levine reported a shoulder injury was sustained by Cub's reliever Angel Guzman which would land him on the 60-day DL. Today, reports are shedding light on a less than favorable situation for the Cubs. A source from ESPN reported today that the injury sustained by Angel Guzman to his throwing shoulder could possibly be career-ending. Guzman, 28, was set to be a key component of the Cubs bullpen this season coming off of a year where he notched 15 holds and a 2.95 ERA. In his 10th year in the Cubs system, Guzman arrived at camp "feeling stronger than ever" but was plagued with arm pain before even stepping foot on a mound. A resulting MRI revealed a severe tear in a ligament near his right armpit, and doctors have told him that a surgery is in no way guaranteeing a return to his previous form. However, Guzman has not given up the idea of someday returning to pitching in the majors. He also acknowledges that there is a very small chance for success as well as a long road to recovery thereafter. He is currently seeking renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion. Guzman hopes a third time is a charm regarding his surgeries: Dr. Andrews performed the other 2 surgeries on Guzman's arm in 2003 and 2007, the latter being Tommy John surgery.
With Kevin Gregg's departure to Toronto and Marmol's move to the closer position, Guzman was set to take over as a late inning specialists from the right side to compliment John Grabow. He could have also served as a solid backup option in the case that Marmol suffered an injury sometime this season. His presence will be sorely missed as the Cubs are already thin in their bullpen. Gregg's departure was accompanied be Neal Cotts and Aaron Hielman, and the Cubs are running out of options in terms of replacements. They can look into their farm system and try to fix the problem from the inside with names like Andrew Cashner, Jeff Samardzija, and Esmailin Caridad. The problem there is that they don't want to rush anyone up without getting enough experience in the minors (remember Juan Cruz and Mark Prior?). They can also try to scoop up a few veterans who have been cut by their teams later in the spring when managers are trimming their final rosters down to 25 to start the regular season. Angel's predicament was an unforseen one, and it leaves the Cubs with bullpen issues to contemplate while still trying to pull together a formidable starting rotation that has been depleated with an injury to Ted Lilly and the departure of Rich Harden.
If we didn't know so already, it turns out that health does not spring eternal for the Northsiders.