I won’t go back over the sad story that is Angel Guzman’s professional baseball career. In short: limitless talent that was, in fact, limited by injuries. But Guzman is still trying to come back, and he’s got an incredible attitude about the whole thing.
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.
“I wish I could have his dedication, his mentality of working,” Zambrano said. “He has a strong mentality. Any other person with the type of injuries and what he has been through with his brother, would have shut it down. But he’s still here and he still wants to play and demonstrate he can be good.”
Guzman’s story is one of survival and perseverance, pushed on by his desire and the brief taste of success he had in the Cubs bullpen in 2009.
Why does he keep doing it?
“If you feel like it, you do it,” he said. You really push to do what it takes to be strong. You have to be strong in your mind and stay positive.”
And Guzman has always been the most positive person in any clubhouse he has entered, always smiling.
“What else can you do?” he asked. “There are a lot of worse things in life. You just take it from here and keep going.”
March 22 is a special date for Guzman: the one year anniversary of the latest surgery when he had a major reconstruction of the shoulder. And it’s special because it will be less than a week from his appearance in a rookie league game, the first of what he hopes will be another major league chance sometime this summer.
“I’m actually better than expected,” said Guzman, who Sunday threw again and prepared for the trip to the minor league park. “My arm feels great. Being supposedly a career-ending injury and now I will be facing guys again, it’s a big step.” Chicago Tribune.
Guzman never gave you a reason to dislike him, but if you aren’t cheering as hard for his comeback as possible by now, you’ve got no heart.
Returning to the bigs was always a longshot – and quotes from Mike Quade later on in the article do not exactly suggest optimism – but Guzman is right: he’s already made incredible strides. We might just have to create an “Angel Guzman Inspiration Watch.”