WASHINGTON -- Center fielder Rick Ankiel is expected to restart his injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Omaha sometime this week, according to Royals general manager Dayton Moore.
Ankiel was recalled from the assignment last week because of a "little twinge" in the strained right quad, which has kept him out of the Major League lineup since May 3. He has remained with the Omaha club.
"Hopefully we can get him in a game in the middle of this week," Moore said. "He is feeling better, but if he can't go and has another setback, we'll probably get him back into Kansas City and re-evaluated."
Ankiel, who signed a one-year deal worth $3.75 million, plus a $6 million option for 2011, has played just 19 games for the Royals, batting .210. For Omaha, he was in six games, going 8-for-22 (.364) with two homers and five RBIs.
He will begin a new 20-day rehabilitation assignment when he returns to action with Omaha.
It's possible that Ankiel would not return to the Royals until after the All-Star break in mid-July.
Guillen recalls lessons in return to DC
WASHINGTON -- Jose Guillen was back in Washington on Monday with fond memories of his two years with the Nationals.
"I got treated real well here. I had a great manager who really respected me, and I respected him: Mr. Frank Robinson," Guillen said.
"It was a great time. That was after I had the incident at Anaheim and came here, and lot of people thought it was going to be the same. I got a really good manager who really played the game in the past and knew what baseball was all about."
Guillen was suspended for the last eight regular-season games of 2004, after a dispute with Angels manager Mike Scioscia, and was left off the postseason roster. Then, in November, the Angels traded him to the Montreal Expos, soon to move to Washington.
Some observers doubted Guillen could get along with the hard-nosed Robinson, but they meshed and remain close friends today.
"It was a great experience, something I'll never forget. A lot of the stuff I learned from Frank was great," Guillen said.
Robinson changed Guillen's approach to the game, including encouraging him to slide into second base more regularly.
"He said, 'I don't ever want to see you jog into a base. Go hard. If the second baseman stays in there, break both of his knees. That's the way you should be playing the game -- old school. You don't want to see a shortstop standing there,'" Guillen recalled.
"And in the past I used to get mad [when I was hit by a pitch], and wanted to charge the mound so many times. He took me to the side one time and told me, 'If you get hit, just go to first base and hope that a ground ball comes and you can tear into the second baseman and shortstop. That's how you get a payback.'"
There were other lessons during those 2005 and '06 seasons.
"He always told me, too, 'Don't ever argue with an umpire because as the batter, you're always going to lose.' I never do that, I never even look at the umpires," Guillen said.
"He was a great teacher. But you didn't mess with him, you went by his rules. He could get mean, too."
Guillen stays in lineup with work ethic in field
WASHINGTON -- Royals manager Ned Yost continues to play Jose Guillen in right field during these Interleague road games, debunking doubts that the veteran could still patrol the outfield.
"I think his work ethic and his preparation are what's impressed me most," Yost said before Monday night's game against the Nationals.
That marked Guillen's 10th start in right field, after being the designated hitter most of the season.
"His ability to still play the outfield at a pretty high level has been real impressive," Yost said. "When I first came over here, I just heard that he struggled to move out there. But reflecting back on it, with the injuries he had to his legs, I'm sure that was probably the case last year. But he's worked really hard, and I guess that's what's been most impressive to me. You watch his program day-in and day-out, and he prepares himself as well as anybody I've ever seen."
Guillen played just 81 games last season because of various leg injuries. But Monday night was his 71st start -- every one of the Royals' games so far.
"He gets to the training room early, he gets all of his work done that he needs to do. He's on the bike, he's running sprints in the outfield, he's getting himself loose," Yost said. "He's working really, really hard to prepare himself to play every day and it's paid off for me. He's done a nice job in the outfield. He's far more mobile than I thought he would be. He's been getting to balls like anybody you'd expect to in the outfield."
This is the Royals' first game at Washington in 39 years. They last played in the nation's capital in 1971, against the Washington Senators in RFK Stadium. The Royals were 13-5 at that ballpark. Nationals Park is the 49th different stadium in which the Royals have played since '69. ... The Nationals recalled former Royals pitcher Joel Peralta from Triple-A Syracuse, where he was 2-0 with 20 saves in 20 chances and a 1.08 ERA. Peralta was with the Royals from 2006 to '08 with a 3-8 record and 4.54 ERA in 166 relief appearances. ... Minor League third baseman Mike Moustakas got his Texas League-leading 63rd RBI, but Double-A Northwest Arkansas lost to Springfield, 7-6. Moustakas also leads the league with 17 homers and a .348 average. ... Class A Wilmington finished the Carolina League's first half with a 32-38 record, including 18-16 at home.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.