Tuesday Newsletter time: Ronald Guzman is walking, wants to play again in 2021 for Rangers
The first baseman needed surgery on his right knee in April and started walking without crutches last week.
The last time most of us saw Ronald Guzman was as he was being wheeled off the field at Tropicana Field, his right knee in need of surgery with an injury that was expected to keep him out for the rest of the season.
That was April 12. Adolis Garcia was added to the Texas Rangers’ roster the next day, and on Sunday he was named to the American League All-Star team.
It’s been a big week for Guzman, too. He appeared in the Rangers’ dugout Monday afternoon without the assistance of crutches as he has started taking his first post-surgery steps in the past few days.
Maybe it’s just the buzz from walking on his own again, but Guzman said he wants to play again this season.
“I want to play if I can,” Guzman said. “They said I’ll be ready by late September, so it would be at the end of the season.”
The Rangers’ season ends Oct. 3. Guzman, who is on the 60-day injured list, would have to be added back to the 40-man roster, which the Rangers will be required to do after the season anyway.
If he stays on the IL, he could head to Arizona for at-bats in the instructional league. The reigning MVP of the Dominican Winter League, Guzman hopes to at least play half the season this winter.
His future with the Rangers was cloudy entering 2021 and it remains so after the injury. Nate Lowe has established himself at first base, and the Rangers have more than enough outfielders with Garcia and Eli White emerging in the first half. Don’t forget about Leody Taveras, who hit his 11th Triple A homer Monday night.
“I’m just going to do whatever I’ve got to do to get back and be ready for next year,” Guzman said. “I’ve been through worse.”
The Rangers had a chance to get out of the sixth inning Monday night down only 1-0. Instead, a harmless grounder proved to be the launching pad for a five-run inning for the Detroit Tigers en route to a 7-3 victory.
Here’s how the sixth went down … in flames:
“I don’t know how to explain it,” manager Chris Woodward said.
The Tigers had the bases loaded with one out and former Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara at the plate against Kolby Allard, who induced a grounder to first base.
Lowe charged the ball, possibly to spin toward second to start to attempt a 3-6-3 double play, possibly to throw home to get the slow-footed Miguel Cabrera coming in to score.
It never got that far, as the ball kicked off Lowe’s glove. He retrieved the ball and blindly made an accurate back-handed flip to the bag.
Allard, though, never got close to covering first, and the ball rolled slowly into foul territory. Catcher Jonah Heim ran to retrieve it, but Allard didn’t go cover home and another run scored.
Lowe was tagged with two errors on the play. Allard was removed, and Detroit scored a run on a safety squeeze and then two more on a home run by No. 9 hitter Zack Short.
Joey Gallo kept the Rangers from being shut out by connecting for a two-run opposite-field homer with two outs in the ninth, and Heim followed with a shot into the Rangers’ bullpen.
Woodward wasn’t pleased with how the offense abandoned the game plan against Tigers starter Wily Peralta, who tossed seven scoreless innings.
Allard logged a career-high nine strikeouts, and that performance and the late offense were the bright spots in what otherwise was “probably our worst game of the year,” Woodward said.
“I think everybody on the field should be embarrassed by how we played tonight,” he said.
The big reveal
The Rangers put some good stuff on their Twitter account (@Rangers), and the one below is one of the best. Take a look as Woodward told the team Sunday morning that three players — Garcia, Gallo and Kyle Gibson — had made the All-Star team.
What a player. I hope he doesn’t step is his own Messi. I’ll show myself out. Enjoy. See you Wednesday.