Notes: Guillen gets day off

Notes: Guillen gets day off

TORONTO -- Washington manager Frank Robinson promised changes to the lineup in the wake of Wednesday's 6-1 loss to Toronto, but Thursday's batting order revealed only one notable omission.

Jose Guillen received a day off, with Daryle Ward taking Guillen's usual place in right field. Guillen has only hit .196 (10-for-51) since coming off of the 15-day disabled list on June 10. He is 2-for-25 (.080) on Washington's current road trip.

Robinson said on Tuesday that if he did remove Guillen from the lineup, it may be for two or three games to allow the right fielder a chance to rediscover his swing. On Thursday, however, Robinson didn't say whether Guillen's absence from Washington's batting order was long-term.

"When I was a player, they always said you can't hit sitting on the bench," Robinson said. "You can't come out of a slump from the bench. I wouldn't do that [sit Guillen for an extended period] without talking to him and telling him why I'm doing it."

Guillen has been taking extra batting practice during the Toronto series, and Robinson said Wednesday he was working with his right fielder to correct some differences in how Guillen is holding the bat.

"His hand position is important to him," Robinson said. "I think he's got his hands up too high and it's become a good feeling to him. I'm just trying to get him to feel comfortable with his hands down."

The only other alterations to Thursday's lineup was the insertion of Robert Fick at catcher and Marlon Anderson at second base. Jose Vidro was penciled in at designated hitter for the second straight game -- a move Robinson said was part of a continued effort to rest Vidro's sore knees on Rogers Centre's artificial surface. Robinson said he didn't want to sit Vidro during the next series at home against Tampa Bay, so he put him at DH to keep one of Washington's few hot hitters in the lineup. Vidro is hitting .550 (11-for-20) in his last five games.

Hill holding up: Right-hander Shawn Hill left Wednesday's game against Toronto with some stiffness in his right elbow. It was a moment of worry for the Nationals, since the 25-year-old hurler missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery on his throwing arm.

A day later, however, Hill reported that his elbow is still stiff, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Hill said team trainers gave him anti-inflammatory medication and massaged his elbow in order to keep the swelling down. He said he expects to make his next scheduled start on Monday against the Marlins.

Knorr back in Toronto: Nationals bullpen coach Randy Knorr may have to take a trip over to the Blue Jays bullpen to relive one of his best baseball moments.

Knorr, who played for Toronto from 1991 to 1995, was in the bullpen when Joe Carter hit his ninth-inning home run in Game 6 to clinch the 1993 World Series for the Jays.

"I actually never saw it," Knorr said. "I was in there catching Stott [former Jays pitcher Todd Stottlemyre] because he was going to go in if we tied the game in the ninth."

"Joe hit the home run off the back wall [of the bullpen] and I picked it up. Our bullpen guy was there, and I flipped it to him and then I ran onto the field and jumped onto the pile."

Knorr was named as the Nationals bullpen coach on June 16, after former 'pen coach John Wetteland was relieved of his duties. The former 10-year Major League catcher began the season managing at Class A Potomac.

Did you know? Entering Thursday's action, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman's 48 RBIs and 21 doubles leads all Major League rookies in both categories.

Stat of the day: With his 1 1/3 inning outing on Wednesday, Washington reliever Mike Stanton moved into a tie with Hall-of-Famer Hoyt Wilhelm for fourth on the all-time appearance list. Stanton will tie another Hall-of-Famer, Dennis Eckersley, for third place all-time with his next appearance.

Coming up: The Nationals open a 10-game homestand with their final Interleague series of the year. Southpaw Mike O'Connor (3-4, 3.39) takes the mound for Washington against Tampa Bay right-hander Tim Corcoran (1-0, 2.16) at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday at RFK Stadium.

Mark Polishukis an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.