The Washington Nationals likely will be without right fielder Jose Guillen when they open a pivotal three-game series at Atlanta tomorrow. Guillen, who leads the Nationals with 19 home runs and 54 RBI, was hit by a pitch on the right wrist in the ninth inning yesterday and was taken to a hospital for X-rays, which were negative.
He is listed as day-to-day with a contusion, though Manager Frank Robinson said he doubts Guillen will be available to play in the Atlanta series.
Guillen was hit by Dan Wheeler in Washington's 4-1, 14-inning loss. He fell to the ground in pain, and Robinson said that he feared the worst.
"That's the worst place for a hitter to get hit, other than maybe the head or face," he said. "That's what he works with, his hands. You worry about it, because there are also small bones in there. X-rays are negative but next time around you never know. We'll keep our fingers crossed and see on Tuesday."
These have been painful days for Guillen. On Thursday night, he took an anti-inflammatory shot to help alleviate pain in his left shoulder. On Saturday, he ran into the tarp while chasing a foul ball in the sixth inning; he bruised his left knee and left the game in the ninth to rest.
Castilla Back in Lineup
Third baseman Vinny Castilla had been saying for the past week that he would be ready to return to the lineup tomorrow. But a short-handed bench forced Castilla back earlier than planned.
When Guillen left the game, the Nationals had no outfielders available on their bench, since Kenny Kelly was used as a pinch runner and Ryan Church as a pinch hitter.
So Robinson moved Brad Wilkerson (who started at first base) to right field and Carlos Baerga (who started at third) to first for the 10th inning. Castilla, who hadn't played in the field since July 19 because of tendinitis in his left knee, stepped in at third. He went 0 for 2 at the plate, but made a nice defensive play in the 13th inning when he charged a slow roller and threw out Lance Berkman at first.
"I feel good," he said. "I feel better than what I thought I might feel. I'm going to play Tuesday."