- The Washington Times - Monday, March 20, 2006

VERO BEACH, Fla. — Washington Nationals slugger Jose Guillen is expected to make his spring debut tonight against the Los Angeles Dodgers at the Nationals’ Viera, Fla., spring training complex.

Until today, Guillen has dedicated this spring camp to rehabilitating his surgically repaired left shoulder. But during the rehab process, Guillen was set back by an injury to his left wrist.

An initial diagnosis recommended Guillen have surgery and that he would miss three months. Unsatisfied with his prognosis, Guillen sought a second opinion, which concluded surgery was not necessary and he would have to sit out seven to 10 days.

Guillen started taking live batting practice late last week. Nationals manager Frank Robinson said he would give his star right fielder at least two at-bats in tonight’s game.

“He’s still on for tomorrow night, unless something changes between now and then,” he said. “Again, you know the way things go around here.”

Last season, Guillen was the Nationals’ top offensive threat, leading the team in home runs (24), RBI (76), runs (81), hits (156) and total bases (264).

Robinson, Lopes ejected

Robinson and first base coach Davey Lopes were both thrown out in yesterday’s 9-1 loss to the Dodgers. Home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt ejected Robinson first and then Lopes when he approached home plate in the middle of the third inning.

Robinson said Wendelstedt was not going to tolerate any questioning of his strike zone.

“[Wendelstedt] said I’m not going to have these people in my ear,” said Robinson, who was ejected three times last season. “I said, ‘What ya mean? Just because [outfielder Marlon Byrd] made a comment about the ball being up and away and call it both ways.’ He said, ‘that’s right.’ [Wendelstedt] said that he’s out there to get his timing down and he doesn’t want anybody in his ear.”

Robinson said Wendelstedt heard something from the Nationals bench and threw him out, even though he didn’t say anything. Lopes said he did have words with Wendelstedt.

“I said something I shouldn’t have said,” Lopes said.

New setup man

Gary Majewski returned from the World Baseball Classic with a new role: setup man.

With Luis Ayala’s season-ending elbow injury, Majewski will pitch the eighth inning and set up closer Chad Cordero.

Robinson wasted no time using Majewski, who pitched the fifth inning and allowed two runs on four hits. The right-hander said he hung a 3-0 slider to Ricky Ledee, who hit a two-run homer. Despite Ledee’s blast, Majewski said he was pleased with his performance.

“I felt good, I just opened up a little on some of my pitches and left them over,” Majewski said. “The 3-0 pitch was one of those things. I tried not to walk a guy in spring. [Ledee] was hacking and just sent it to center field. I’m happy with it. I hadn’t pitched in like five or six days. It was just one little thing. My arm feels great and I still have life on the fastball. I just need to quit opening up on the slider.”

Extra bases

Staff ace Livan Hernandez pitched against an Atlanta Braves minor league team yesterday and allowed five runs on 10 hits in six innings. Hernandez threw 89 pitches, struck out seven and walked none, but did give up a grand slam. Catcher Brian Schneider caught Hernandez. In a leadoff role, Schneider went 2-for-4 with five RBI. Schneider had a two-run double and a three-run homer. … The Nationals made three roster moves yesterday. Outfielder Tyrell Godwin and infielder Bernie Castro were sent to Class AAA New Orleans and catcher Brandon Harper was reassigned to minor league camp.

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