Notes: Guillen returns to Anaheim
Both player and Angels have put last season behind them
ANAHEIM -- Nationals outfielder Jose Guillen made his first appearance in Angel Stadium of Anaheim on Monday since the Angels suspended him for the last week of the 2004 season and the postseason because of inappropriate conduct following his removal for a pinch-runner on Sept. 25 against the A's.The conduct was one of the reasons the Angels traded Guillen to the Nationals for outfielder Juan Rivera and infielder Maicer Izturis last November. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Guillen was traded because center fielder Steve Finley was available and Garret Anderson need to be shifted from center to left field, which Guillen played for the Angels. "There was a lot more that went into that decision," Scioscia told the Angels press corps. "Not only did it free up some money, but it makes us a better organization. We all grow from our experiences and I think [Guillen] has. "I talked to [Guillen] the day of the trade. We had a nice conversation. We are doing well and he's doing well. We have moved on." Guillen addressed the media about his only season in Anaheim, and the session was monitored by Nationals manager Frank Robinson, who did not want Guillen to relive his past. Robinson wanted Guillen to stay focused and help the Nationals remain in first place. "It's not just this Angels series I want him to get through," Robinson said, meaning that he wants to get Guillen through the whole season. "What is important to me, him and this organization is not what happened to him last year or the year before. What is important to this kid is what is happening now, not the past." Guillen was careful with his words when talking about the Angels. He said he was glad to be back in Anaheim and had some great times. When asked which Angels players he spoke to, Guillen said he spoke to outfielder Vladimir Guerrero on the phone. "Things happened and it's time to move forward and forget about what happened last year," Guillen said. "I'm with the Washington Nationals and we are doing great. Let's go from there. "I have some great friends over there. I have nothing bad to say about any of those guys and the Angels organization. It's a pleasure to play here again." Guillen and Robinson have formed a great relationship. Asked if Robinson is the first manager to understand him, Guillen said, "Frank is an old-school manager. Frank just lets us play. ... We have been given great support by this coaching staff and Frank. We have a lot of players, who just want to play." Guillen played in Monday's game and received a round of boos. He struck out in the first inning against right-hander Paul Byrd. On the bench: First baseman Wil Cordero was not in the lineup for the Nationals on Monday as a designated hitter. The role, instead, went to outfielder Marlon Byrd. Robinson said that he wanted to go with the hot hand. Cordero is 0-for-7 since being activated from the disabled list, and Robinson acknowledged that Cordero needs at-bats to get going. Robinson plans to have Cordero start against the Angels or Rangers this week. Cordero has not complained about lack of playing. He realizes that Robinson is going with the players who have helped the Nationals go on a 10-game winning streak. "Right now we are playing well. We are winning ballgames. That's all that really matters. We are hot right now. You don't want to change a good thing. I'm just glad to be a part of it," Cordero said. He's here: Robinson managed Monday's game even though he had LASIK surgery on his right eye in the afternoon. He was wearing a clear eye patch before the game and shades during. Try this: Outfielder Brad Wilkerson has some soft tape around the knob of his bat in hopes that it elevates some pain in his right forearm. Keep an eye on him: Robinson believes that reliever Gary Majewski may be tired. Majewski has given up five earned runs in 5 1/3 innings during the month of June. While Majewski is still being clocked at 94 mph, Robinson noticed that Majewski is not blowing hitters away. Majewski said he is not tired. He just has to get his slider down in the strike zone. Stat of the day: The Nationals' 26 come-from behind victories are the most in the Major Leagues. Did you know: Closer Chad Cordero collected a school-record 34 career saves for Cal State Fullerton. On deck: The Nationals play the second game of a three-game series against Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on Tuesday night. Right-hander Livan Hernandez will get the start for the Nationals. Hernandez is looking to win his ninth consecutive decision. He will face the Angels for the second time in his career. Hernandez has given up two runs in seven innings against them. In his last outing, Hernandez pitched eight innings and gave up two runs on seven hits against the Athletics. He struck out five batters and walked one, throwing 127 pitches -- 79 of them for strikes. The Nationals won the game, 4-3. The Angels will start rookie Ervin Santana in the 10:05 p.m. ET game.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.