Guillen back in saddle for Seattle

Posted: Thursday, October 18, 2001

SEATTLE -- After a battle with tuberculosis, Carlos Guillen had his job back. At least for a day.

He started at shortstop for the Seattle Mariners in their 4-2 Game 1 loss to the New York Yankees in the AL championship series.

But Guillen showed it will take some time to get back to his true form, and manager Lou Piniella will start Mark McLemore in his place in Thursday's Game 2.

Guillen had not played since being diagnosed Sept. 28. He was added to the roster for the ALCS, and went 0-for-3 in his return. He was greeted by a standing ovation for his first at-bat.

''I feel really good right now,'' Guillen said. ''I think I can play every day. For me, I feel better than before.''

Piniella had said he might start Guillen, but probably not in every game of the best-of-seven series. McLemore played shortstop in the division series against the Cleveland Indians.

Guillen, a switch-hitter, hit in the No. 2 spot in the batting order against Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte. Guillen had been hitting .467 (7-for-15) lifetime against Pettitte.

''We got him out there, he got his feet wet,'' Piniella said. ''Carlos has had really good success against Pettitte. He did fine. He got three at-bats and played well in the field. About the only thing we might do when we face Pettitte again is I might move him further back in the lineup.''

New York's Chuck Knoblauch even went out of his way to ask Guillen how he was feeling when New York's leadoff hitter got to second base. Guillen appreciated it.

He is undergoing treatment and takes 14 pills a day.

In addition to Guillen, Seattle added rookie right-handed pitcher Joel Pineiro. With the moves, shortstop Ramon Vazquez and infielder Ed Sprague were taken off the roster.

Guillen, 26, did not make the road trip to Cleveland for the third and fourth games of the division series. He stayed in Seattle to practice hitting and fielding.

''I think that's important,'' second baseman Bret Boone said of getting Guillen back. ''Carlos has been here all year, he's been our shortstop all year. It was unfortunate what happened but we needed him back healthy.''

Guillen was hospitalized for five days. He lost 10 pounds but has gained back eight.

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