The Ronald Guzman era with the Rangers appears to be over.
He tore the meniscus muscle in his right knee on the first play in the first game he ever started in left field. He was in left field because he lost his job as the Rangers first baseman to Nate Lowe. He lost his job to Nate Lowe because he cannot hit major league pitching.
It’s not like Guzman wasn’t given the chance. His defense at first was so great, the Rangers hoped he could be their first baseman of the future.
In his first attempt to hold down the job, in 2018, in 123 game he hit .235 with a pedestrian .722 OPS.
He was handed the job again in 2019 and did worse. Batting .219 with an OPS of .723.
He struggled to hold onto his job in 2020 as well. He had a horrible spring and was given one game to show what he could do. Apparently, the Rangers didn’t like what they saw, sent him down to Oblivion, then eventually called him back up at the end of August. He did slightly better, hitting .244 with an OPS of .750, but not well enough to change any minds. That’s why they traded for Lowe.
He came into 2021 with no real position, but a spot on the Rangers roster because he was out of options. In 16 at-bats, he mustered one hit, a home run, for an .069 average and a .368 OPS.
He will come into 2022 in no man’s land. Out of options, with no real position to play on this team, and in his arbitration years.
It’s doubtful the Rangers keep him. Shake a tree and you can find a .227 hitter with an OPS+ of 85 anywhere. Why pay any more than league minimum for that, assuming you’d even want that anyway?
It hurts because Guzman was a fan favorite. But there is on prerequisite to being a major league player. You need to be able to hit major league pitching.