CHICAGO -- Pitcher Angel Guzman is tuning up for the future this winter in Mesa, Ariz.
Guzman, 22, was throwing at the Chicago Cubs' Spring Training facility as part of his rehab from shoulder surgery July 8. The right-handed Venezuelan pitcher will be in the Cubs' camp this spring and even though he was not likely to appear in any Cactus League games, he could be part of the rotation before long.
Guzman is 24-9 with a 2.33 ERA in four seasons in the Cubs' minor league system. Last March, he won the first Ron Santo/Billy williams Rookie of the Spring award after compiling a 1.13 ERA in five Cactus League outings.
In 2003, Guzman was 3-3 with a 2.81 ERA in 15 starts for Double-A West Tenn. before being sidelined with a sore right shoulder. Dr. James Andrews performed arthroscopic surgery on July 8 to repair a small tear in the back of his labrum.
"Guzman is coming along fine," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "We think he will be a quality rotation guy, and hopefully it's sometime this year (in 2004). He would've been in the big leagues in August (2003) if he hadn't gotten hurt. I don't want to do anything about him except get him ready."
In his five starts before his injury, Guzman was 3-1 with a 1.01 ERA, giving up four earned runs over 35 2/3 innings. He struck out 37 in that stretch. On April 21, Guzman struck out 12 against Chattanooga and fanned 11 May 29 at Greenville.