SF Giants release power-hitting first baseman after attempted transition to pitching

Texas Rangers v Kansas City Royals
Texas Rangers v Kansas City Royals / Ed Zurga/GettyImages

The SF Giants have bolstered the Sacramento River Cats' roster this week by adding a veteran pitcher and making a rare trade with the A's. However, this usually leads to a domino effect in some sense, which was the case as two-way player Ronald Guzmán was released, per the team's transaction log.

SF Giants release power-hitting first baseman after attempted transition to pitching

The Texas Rangers signed Guzmán as a 16-year-old international prospect way back in 2011 for $3.45 million. He was signed in the same class as veteran hitter Nomar Mazara, who received a $5 million signing bonus. The Rangers expected that both of these players would eventually become staples in the lineup.

That did not necessarily become the case as Guzmán registered a .225/.302/.410 line (84 OPS+) with an 8.8 percent walk rate against a 29.2 percent strikeout rate across five seasons. The left-handed bat did have a promising year in 2020 in which he posted a .244/.314/.436 line (105 OPS+) with four home runs, nine RBI, and 10 runs in 86 plate appearances during the pandemic-shortened season.

However, he was unable to sustain that production and Rangers decided to cut ties with the former top prospect after the 2021 season. Guzmán landed with the New York Yankees in the following season where he spent most of the year with the Triple-A affiliate, but did tally six hitless appearances with New York.

The Giants signed the 27-year-old first baseman this past winter, which included a camp invite. On the surface, it looked like the Giants just wanted to add first base depth to the organization with the addition, but they had a different idea in mind as Guzmán was attempting to transition to pitching.

He had accumulated just 0.1 innings of experience on the mound as a pro prior to this season, but that did not sway the Giants away from the idea. Guzmán came into camp flashing a mid-90's fastball with a good slider. He certainly did not look like a novice while recording five strikeouts across 3.1 innings during the Cactus League before sustaining a pronator strain.

This caused Guzmán to miss the first half of the season. He began a rehab assignment with the ACL Giants Orange but only got reps in as a position player before being released.