Results tagged ‘ Cristian Guzman ’

Guzman to sit out first half of 2011 season

Free agent infielder Cristian Guzman is planning to sit out the first half of the 2011 season because of family issues, according to his agent,  Stanley King, who would not say what those issues were.

King also said if the issues are not resolved in a timely manner, Guzman will not play at all this season. Guzman will attempt to make a comeback next year.

King insisted that two National League teams made offers to Guzman during Spring Training, but Guzman decided a couple of days ago not to play. King declined to name the two teams.

“Hopefully, Cristian will have the family issues sorted out in the next couple of months,” King said via phone.

Last season, Guzman played with the Nationals and Rangers and hit a combined .266  with two home runs and 26 RBIs. On July 31st, the Nationals traded Guzman and cash to the Rangers for pitchers Ryan Tatusko and Tanner Roark.
         
Guzman, 32, played 11 seasons in the big leagues, mostly with the Twins and Nationals. He is a .271 career hitter with 62 home runs and 467 RBIs.
 

Guzman traded to Rangers for prospects

The Nationals have traded infielder Cristian Guzman to the Rangers for pitching prospects Ryan Tatusko and Tanner Roark.

According to general manager Mike Rizzo, the trade is expected to be approved by the league office by Saturday. Guzman is a 10-and-5 player — 10 years in the big leagues and five years with the same club — and needed to approve the trade. He already packed his belongings in the Nationals’ clubhouse.

“Guzzie was upbeat and positive,” Rizzo said. “He obviously had to OK the trade, because he had 10-5 rights. It’s not an official trade until the paperwork goes through. In 24 hours, it will be official by the Commissioner’s Office.”

Guzman, 32, is making $8 million in the final year of his contract this season. It is unclear whether or not the Nationals are taking on some of his remaining prorated salary.

Guzman, an original member of the Nationals, was hitting .282 with two home runs and 25 RBIs this season. He played most of the year at second base after playing his first 11 seasons in the Majors at shortstop.

With the Rangers, Guzman will initially play every day at second base because of an injury to Ian Kinsler. Once Kinsler returns to action, Guzman will be a utility player.

Guzman is a free agent after the season, and the Nationals were not going to give him an extension. Guzman’s best season in Washington was in 2008, when he hit .316 with nine homers and 55 RBIs.

“We decided to move Cristian to the Rangers,” Rizzo said. “They needed an infielder with Kinsler going down. We have two good young Double-A prospects that will help our inventory — two starting candidates. It’s a trade — veteran player for prospects.”

With Guzman gone, the Nationals are going to have a platoon at second base between Adam Kennedy and Alberto Gonzalez. Kennedy, who started the season as the everyday second baseman and lost his job to Guzman by May, is hitting .252 with two homers and 17 RBIs.

Gonzalez has a .294 batting average with three RBIs in 67 games. He was given a chance to become the everyday second baseman last year, but he fell short, ending the season hitting .265 with a home run and 33 RBIs.

After the season comes to an end, trying to acquire a second baseman will be a top priority for the Nationals. There is a possibility that the team could go with Danny Espinosa by late next year.

In Tatusko, the Nationals get a highly touted pitching prospect. He has served as a starter and reliever, going 9-2 with a 2.97 ERA in 24 games — 13 starts — for Double-A Frisco.

Roark also played for Frisco, going 10-5 with a 4.20 ERA in 22 games — 17 starts.

Tatusko and Roark will not be ready for the big leagues until possibly 2012.

Guzman makes up for Triple Play

Nationals second baseman Cristian Guzman did something he would like to forget in the Nationals’ 5-3 victory over the Mets. He became the first player in Nationals history to hit into a triple play.

With runners on first and second, no outs and Washington up, 2-1, in the fifth inning, Guzman took an 0-1 pitch and hit the ball into shallow center field. The runners, Livan Hernandez and Nyjer Morgan, thought the ball was going to drop in for a base hit, but center fielder Angel Pagan caught the ball and the Mets were able to double up Hernandez and Morgan.

“The play was a good one by Pagan. He played real shallow,” Guzman said. “He caught the ball behind second base, but I thank God we came back.”

After the Mets tied the score at 2 in the sixth, the Nationals scored three runs in the bottom seventh inning. Guzman highlighted the scoring with an RBI triple. Guzman ended up going 2-for-4 in the game.

“Every time you have a good game, you feel good,” Guzman said.

Despite coming off the bench this season, Guzman is now hitting .328 and leads the team in hits with 42. Guzman acknowledged that coming off the bench is not easy.

“I feel good about myself,” Guzman said “This game is real hard. It’s not easy coming off the bench and playing a lot of different positions. But I have the confidence to do my job.”

Guzman plays second base

Cristian Guzman started at shortstop against the Marlins on Tuesday. By the bottom of the seventh inning, however, he was switched to second base.

It was the first time Guzman has played the position in his career. He wasn’t challenged in the game, however, catching a pop up off the bat of Mike Lamb. 

Guzman was able to get one more at-bat in the top of the eighth before leaving the game.

Manager Jim Riggleman said Guzman will start at second against the Cardinals on Wednesday at Roger Dean Stadium.  

Guzman making a case to be starting shortstop

Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman played the first of two consecutive games Friday afternoon and was able to throw the baseball without any problems in a 7-4 victory over the Cardinals.

Guzman, who is recovering right shoulder surgery, had three assists and made two putouts in the game. Manager Jim Riggleman was encouraged by what he saw from Guzman. For most of the exhibition season, the team was concerned that Guzman’s shoulder wasn’t strong enough to make tough throws. Now, it appears Riggleman isn’t worried about Guzman’s shoulder.

“He is playing fine. His style of throwing is not to get up there and gun it. It’s not what he does,” Riggleman said. “The ball is getting across the infield nicely. He has a good velocity on his throws. Guzzie is doing fine.”

Entering Saturday’s action, the battle for the starting job at shortstop is between Guzman and Ian Desmond. So far, Desmond has the lead, hitting .300 and leading the team with 12 RBIs. If he is not the starting shortstop, Desmond will go to Triple-A Syracuse and play every day at the same position.

Guzman has played only 10 games this spring because of shoulder issues and he had to deal with family matters in Washington. He is 7-for-30 [.233] with a home run and four RBIs.
 
Riggleman said that he has to make a decision between Desmond and Guzman soon. If Guzman is not the everyday shortstop, the plan is to make him a utility player. Riggleman acknowledged that Guzman would have to take a “crash course” on how to play second base, a position Guzman has never played in his life. Guzman has played third base once and that was during the All-Star Game in 2008 at Yankee Stadium   

“If one of those two guys were on the ballclub and not be the shortstop, we need to get him some work some other places,” Riggleman said. “We need to make a call on it pretty soon.” 

Guzman to play often; Dunn may get defensive replacement

Cristian Guzman will start consecutive games at shortstop, according to Nationals manager Jim Riggleman. Guzman’s first game will be Friday against the Cardinals at Space Coast Stadium.  

Guzman has yet to start in consecutive games this spring because of family matters in Washington D.C. and he is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

Guzman must show Washington that he can throw the ball hard on tough plays. If not, Ian Desmond will start the season as the everyday shortstop, while Guzman ends up as a utility player.

Trying to trade Guzman would be hard for the Nationals because he is making $8 million this season and has the right to veto any trade because he played in the Major Leagues for 10 years and five years for the Nationals.

* Riggleman said if the season were to start Thursday, he would use a defensive replacement in the late innings for first baseman Adam Dunn.

Riggleman declined to name the replacement, but Mike Morse and Josh Willingham are guys who have experience at the position.
 
“We have enough choices to do it,” Riggleman said. “But I’m not really having a lot of people do that kind of stuff yet because I want Adam to take it upon himself to convince us we don’t need to be doing it anyway.”      
                  
* Right-hander Garrett Mock pitched against the Astros in a Minor League game Thursday and was hit hard. 

After having a solid first inning in which he threw 10 pitches, Mock left the ball up in the strike zone and gave up three home runs. He left the game after four innings.

“It was windy, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the groundball outs were hit fairly hard,” pitching coach Steve McCatty said. “He got some balls up and didn’t get ahead in the count. And that’s what happened. It really wasn’t a good start.”

Mock pitched in the Minor league game in order to give right-hander J.D. Martin a chance pitch on the big-league side.            

Guzman likely to return Saturday

Cristian Guzman’s wife, Evelyn, gave birth to a baby girl Thursday at 4:30 p.m. ET., according to Guzman’s agent Stanley King,  The couple named their daughter, Crisangelie Maria Guzman. 

The proud father is expected to return to the Nationals on Saturday and play against the Cardinals the next day.   

The Nationals’ shortstop has played in three exhibition games and is 2-for-10 [.200] with one RBI this spring. 

Guzman goes home to be with wife

Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman has returned to Washington D.C. to be with his wife, who is expecting a baby girl any day. It’s not known how long Guzman will be away from the team.  

“I think it’s induced labor so I think it’s not like he’s going to get there and have to all of a sudden wait for four more days,” Riggleman said. 

Guzman has played in three exhibition games and is 2-for-10 with an RBI. He has played two games at short, but hasn’t been challenged in terms of his throwing ability. Guzman, who had shoulder surgery during the offseason, admitted Sunday that he still needed to build arm strength. 

Riggleman believes Guzman is still tentative when it comes to airing out his throws.
                  
“He’s throwing fine in the drills and all, but just a little tentative,” Riggleman said. “I think he’s a little concerned to really air it out yet. He really hasn’t had any plays where he’s had to air it out. I think Guzzie  wants to play, and he is playing. He said, ‘Oh, I’m fine, I’m fine.’ but my guess is he’s probably at about 90 percent.”

Guzman, King will take wait-and-see approach

On Sunday, Cristian Guzman declined to comment about the possibility of Ian Desmond being the everyday shortstop for the Nationals. But Guzman’s agent, Stanley King, said Monday only the team has control of who plays the position.

King declined to say if he would asked the team to trade Guzman if the latter starts the season on the bench. Trying to trade Guzman would be difficult because he’s making $8 million this season.

“That is not my decision,” King said. “We have to take a wait-and-see approach. All Cristian can do is work hard and help the team in any way possible.”
 
King said the team has not talked to him about a contract extension for Guzman, who is a free agent after the 2010 season.

“There are no hard feelings toward the Nationals. He has had [five] good years there.” King said. 

Meanwhile Guzman played shortstop Monday against the Marlins. It marked the first time he played the position since having right shoulder surgery this past offseason. Guzman didn’t see much action except getting an assist in the second inning. 

Guzman most likely will get more action at the position either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Desmond could be utility man; Lineup all but set

Manager Jim Riggleman reiterated Wednesday that the Nationals are thinking about making Ian Desmond an all-purpose utility man — playing all three outfield positions, shortstop and second base.

Riggleman, however, wants to make sure that shortstop Cristian Guzman is healthy before putting Desmond in a utility role. Guzman is coming off right shoulder surgery and foot problems. 

“If Cristian Guzman is physically moving around good and his arm feels good, we plan on him being at shortstop,” Riggleman said. “Then it just becomes a matter of getting Ian Desmond enough action to warrant keeping him in the big leagues.

“He’s a comforting guy to have on the ballclub because he can play multiple positions; but the multiple positions are going to be tested. “We’ve got to get him time; he hasn’t played in the outfield a lot.”

The Nationals are playing split-squad games against the Astros and Marlins on March 4. Desmond will start at shortstop and then move to the outfield in one of those games. 

* Riggleman indicated that the starting lineup is all but set. If the season were to start Wednesday, Guzman would bat second. While Riggleman never named the entire the Opening Day lineup, the Nationals would look like this barring injuries:

Nyjer Morgan — CF
Guzman — SS
Ryan Zimmerman — 3B
Adam Dunn — 1B
Josh Willingham — LF
Elijah Dukes — RF
Adam Kennedy — 2B
Ivan Rodriguez — C

“The downside of naming names and saying that is, aren’t we just full of ourselves after losing 103 games? It’s kind of, pretty much, 30 teams in baseball know,” Riggleman said. “There’s not many — there’s a spot here and there. I can pretty much tell you who the Yankees and [Phillies] and [Red Sox] will have in their Opening Day lineup.”
      
* Infielder Pete Orr did not go to the Instructional League to learn how to become an emergency catcher last fall. The team felt that Orr would be better off learning how to be an emergency catcher during Spring Training.

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