Guzmán, Huff both set for knee surgery

April 23rd, 2021

Rangers general manager Chris Young provided injury updates Friday afternoon, including two surgeries set for Wednesday.

First baseman is having surgery after sustaining a meniscus tear in his right knee on April 12 against Tampa Bay. He was initially placed on the 10-day injured list before a reevaluation suggested surgery.

Young said he’s not sure how the injury affects Guzmán’s future with the club. Offseason acquisition Nate Lowe has been one of the Rangers’ best players in the young season, leading the team in RBIs (17) and home runs (five), while spending most of his time on the field at first base.

Guzmán is out of Minor League options and is arbitration-eligible this offseason.

“More than anything, we care about Ronald making a full recovery,” Young said. “We want him to come back and be the player that we think he can be. What that means long term, I have no idea, but first and foremost we care about Ronald as a person. I certainly know how difficult these things like surgery are. To get hurt in April and miss the whole season, that's a big blow to someone's psyche. We want to make sure that he is in a good place mentally.”

Guzmán’s surgery will be performed by Dr. William Robertson of TMI Sports Medicine in Arlington.

, the Rangers’ No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline, has sustained another injury in Minor League camp. Young, who spent last week in Arizona at Minors camp, said Huff tweaked his right knee in the batting cages. There is a “little loose body of bone” floating in his knee that will need to be removed surgically.

Huff is looking at being sidelined at least eight weeks before he can start hitting in games again as the designated hitter. The likelihood of him catching this season is still to be determined. Huff was sidelined for much of Spring Training with a Grade 2 hamstring strain.

“We're disappointed, but all things considered, we're happy that it's just the scope and expect him to make a full recovery with really no long-term impact to his career,” Young said. “Sam is in a wonderful place mentally. He's obviously disappointed that this happened.

“Nobody wants to have this and he's chomping at the bit to play. But in terms of the maturity that he has shown, the way he's handled the tough news here, it's just another part of his journey and that's what makes great players. For Sam, our expectation is he'll make a full recovery.”

Huff made his Major League debut in 2020, but he was expected to start the '21 season in Triple-A even before the Spring Training injury in order to get more consistent at-bats and time behind the plate. It’s unclear if he will return to the MLB roster this season with Jose Trevino and Jonah Heim holding it down at catcher.

Huff’s surgery will be performed by Dr. Keith Meister of TMI Sports Medicine. Meister is the Rangers’ team physician.

Additional injury updates
• Khris Davis continues to make significant progress on his left quad injury. He’s been sidelined since March 24, after suffering the injury during a Spring Training game. Davis’ return to the Rangers' lineup would add depth to the middle of the order, especially as another right-handed bat.

• Pitchers Demarcus Evans and Brock Burke are making progress with their injuries, and both are fully participating in games in Arizona. Evans is dealing with a right lat injury, while Burke is recovering from a left labrum issue that caused him to miss the entire 2020 season.

Alternate action

The Rangers' alternate training site squad faced off against the Royals’ alternate site team at Globe Life Field on Friday. It was the first of five straight exhibition games against Kansas City, two of which will be in Arlington.

The Rangers' alt site entered the matchup 4-2-1 in exhibitions, all against the Astros' alternate training site team with those games played in Round Rock and Corpus Cristi.

“Everybody's showing up and getting their work in, so for the most part, the staff's done a great job,” said alternate training site manager Kenny Holmberg before Friday’s game. “I could probably mention everybody doing something. They're learning from their mistakes and they're getting better from the success they're having.”

Texas struggled against the Royals, falling 7-2. Rangers hitters were hitless through five innings, while the defense was discombobulated throughout the game, committing three errors in the first three innings and another in the sixth. Starting pitcher Drew Anderson gave up seven runs on seven hits and the Royals scored at least one run in each of the first four innings.

The Rangers’ first hit and run came on an RBI double from Yonny Hernández in the bottom of the sixth inning. It was the first of two doubles for the second baseman. Holmberg pointed to Hernández as someone who has specifically excelled at the alternate site.

“He's swinging the bat, driving the ball a little bit better and making good decisions on the bases,” Holmberg said. “He's been worth the price of admission, I'd say.”