Guzman Begins Rehab

DAYTONA BEACH – After throwing simulated games in Arizona for six weeks, Angel Guzman is ready to start his trek back to Wrigley Field. Guzman made his first official start of the season on a rehab assignment at Class High-A Daytona Saturday.

His Daytona start is just that — a new start — and Guzman is taking advantage of it. He was given a 35 max pitch count for the night and had good control of his fastball, reaching velocities up to 95 miles per hour.

"His control was good, his power was good, and as soon as he can start locating the ball how he wants, he will be ready to go," said Daytona pitching coach David Rosario.

Guzman pitched two innings, allowing one earned run with two strikeouts against the Vero Beach Rays.

"I didn't want to overdo things tonight," said Guzman. "When you come back from injuries, you don't want to overdo anything. I've always had good mechanics, but it's always about your control when you come back from rehab."

Guzman has been with the Cubs' organization since 1999, but has had a series of arm injuries since 2003, when his season was cut short to repair a small tear in the back of his labrum.

His career prior to that was impressive; Guzman's ERA was under 2.90.

But since then, Guzman has been jumbled around. He logged his first major league action on April 26, 2006 against the Florida Marlins, then split time between Chicago and Class AAA Iowa in 2007 before undergoing Tommy John surgery in September.

He had been rehabbing and throwing simulated games in Mesa this season prior to joining Daytona.

"He is really excited after all of the rehab processes to finally be able to get out onto the field and perform and to get where he feels like he belongs," said Rosario. "He feels lucky to get out there and be on the field; he is a talented young pitcher."

Through all the injuries, the 26-year-old Guzman continues to keep faith.

"You have to continue to be strong," said Guzman. "The most difficult thing to see is your teammates playing and you're hurt. But I think that if you continue to think positive, that's the key to getting back."

Guzman has been with the Cubs organization for over eight years. He continues to be loyal to the club, and vice versa.

"This is where I want to be. I am ready for the chance and I'm taking it day by day to get back up to Chicago."

Guzman will more than likely stay in Daytona for one more start, Daytona manager Jody Davis said.

Canzler Sparks Cubs Victory

Russ Canzler set off some fireworks of his own Saturday, driving in a career-high seven runs for Daytona in a 13-4 victory on fireworks night at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.

Canzler sent two home runs into the batting cages behind left field and also doubled and singled. He finished 4-for-5 and is batting .278 through 78 games this season.

"I was seeing the ball so well (Saturday), it was like a beach ball out there," Canzler said afterward. "These kind of nights are few and far between, so I'm trying to visualize what I did and keep doing it."

The game was tied, 4-4, headed into the sixth inning when Davis ordered a squeeze bunt by Cubs third baseman Jonathan Mota that scored Yusuf Carter from third base, putting the Cubs ahead, 5-4.

"At that point in the game, I wanted the go-ahead run. Little did we know Russ would give us all the insurance we needed," said Davis.

True enough, Canzler would club his second three-run homerun of the night in the seventh inning, putting the Cubs (59-49) ahead for good at 8-4.

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