A continuing look at the Rangers 40-man roster.
Left-Handed Hitting First Baseman
In spring, the Rangers tried to give away Guzman’s roster spot but they couldn’t find anyone who could hit.
Greg Bird couldn’t. Ronald Guzman couldn’t.
But since Isiah Kiner-Falefa was hitting, they moved Todd Frazier over from third. Then, when they traded Frazier, Guzman got his job back. But he’s just a temp.
The Rangers trade for Nate Lowe pretty much makes Guzman expendable.
Guzman has been given every chance in the world to win the job and he hasn’t been able to do it. His defense is amazing, of course. But first basemen need to hit. And hit for power. Neither of which are characteristics Guzman possesses.
The good news is, Guzman put up the highest batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage in 2020. The bad news is, the numbers he put up were pretty lackluster, especially for a first baseman: .244 AVG, .314 OBP, .725 OPS.
So, Guzman, in his best offensive season, was just mediocre.
Where it gets bad is when he has to hit against left-handed pitching. He has a career slash line of .177/.239/.556. Those are Jeff Mathis numbers. (No, really, they are, Mathis’s career slash line is .194/.253/.553.) So when Ronald Guzman faces a lefty, the Rangers would have been better off pinch hitting with Jeff Mathis.
Guzman has a glove. And he has that condor stretch. He doesn’t have much else. Except for a spot on the Rangers 40-man roster.