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'Jinxed' Cub has big setback

MESA, Ariz. — Right-hander Angel Guzman, who overcame years of injury problems to finally have the kind of season the Cubs had envisioned, is out indefinitely with a torn ligament in his pitching shoulder.

GM Jim Hendry said Saturday that there was no timetable for Guzman's return.

"You just feel terrible for the kid," he said. "He's had such a history … right when he's had success, something has gone wrong."

Guzman, 28, appeared in 55 games last season, going 3-3 with a 2.95 ERA, and the Cubs were hoping he'd be the top right-handed setup man for closer Carlos Marmol this season.

Hendry has been looking for bullpen help but said there isn't much available now. Manager Lou Piniella has raved about right-hander Esmailin Caridad and has spoken highly of some of the other young arms in camp, but there are few experienced options.

It has been a sad offseason for Guzman, whose brother, Daniel, died in his arms two months ago after being shot in their native Venezuela. Five days earlier, Guzman had sustained a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery.

He began to complain of shoulder pain last month. Every time he thought he was recovering, he had a setback, and he finally had an MRI exam Friday.

"It's a shame," Piniella said. "It seems like the kid is jinxed."

ASTROS: New closer Brandon Lyon, recovering from having a cyst drained in his right shoulder, threw a bullpen session and expects to be ready for opening day.

D'BACKS: Former Rays right-hander Edwin Jackson pitched two innings of two-hit ball in his first start since being acquired in an offseason trade from the Tigers.

DODGERS: Owner Frank McCourt insisted divorce proceedings with his wife are not affecting the team's finances. "The vast majority of it has nothing to do with baseball," McCourt said. … Catcher Russell Martin had an MRI exam of his hip or groin area and missed a pregame workout.

INDIANS: Rookie first baseman/outfielder Jordan Brown will have arthroscopic surgery this week to repair a torn medial meniscus in his right knee, trainer Lonnie Soloff said. Right-hander Jason Grilli is seeking a second opinion on a right quadriceps injury.

MARLINS: Bobby Valentine said he was never offered the managerial job in October, contrary to speculation at the time. He said the rumors were "an unnecessary nuisance" for him and manager Fredi Gonzalez.

METS: Right-hander Mike Pelfrey unveiled an effective split-finger fastball during a three-inning outing against the Nationals.

RANGERS: Rightfielder Josh Hamilton, a former Rays prospect, reported significant improvement with his bruised left shoulder after a full morning workout.

ROYALS: Right-hander Aaron Crow, a 2009 first-round pick, and Edgar Osuna, a Rule 5 draft pick from the Braves, combined for three scoreless innings against the Rangers in their debuts. Crow, 23, struck out three in two innings and sat 95-97 mph with his fastball.

TWINS: Closer Joe Nathan left the game against the Red Sox in the third inning after feeling tightness and soreness in his right elbow. The right-hander, who had surgery on the elbow in October, is to be re-evaluated today.

'Jinxed' Cub has big setback 03/06/10 [Last modified: Saturday, March 6, 2010 10:54pm]

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