Angel Guzman Emerging as Cubs Reliever

Eli GreenspanSenior Analyst IMay 17, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 04:  Angel Guzman #37 of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the New York Yankees during their game on April 4, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Once considered a top prospect in the Cubs organization, Angel Guzman is beginning to emerge as a solid reliever in the Cubs bullpen.

Guzman was dominant in his first couple years in the minor leagues, but was forgotten after the 2003 season when he went down with a shoulder injury. It took him nearly three years to make it back, and when he did, his stuff was not nearly the same.

Yet the Cubs were not ready to give up on the prized prospect. They used him in the rotation, but again he proved unsuccessful. He was 0-6 in 2006 with a 7.39 ERA, but he recorded more than a strikeout per inning.

It took him nearly three years to record a major league win, but on April 18 of this year he logged it in an extra inning victory.

Guzman had to work hard to earn the role he plays now, mostly because of an awful spring performance.

Now he is the seventh inning man in front of Carlos Marmol, with a 3.32 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 19 innings. Hitters are hitting just .179 against him with a WHIP of 0.95.

While he likely isn't a fantasy option just yet, Guzman is starting to earn the trust of manager Lou Piniella and will likely see more time in those frequent pressure situations.

This story was approved by MLB Rumors.