Guillen Off To Rough Start

Guillen Is Having Problems With Changeups

Rudy Guillen is Trenton's 21-year old starting corner outfielder who has struggled mightily in the season's first 13 games. Guillen came up to Trenton in the later half of 2005 and put up respectable numbers in his limited appearance, but has not found his rhythm so far in 2006.


Trenton manager Bill Masse believes that Rudy Guillen can help his team and that his age adds to his potential to make it later in his career.

"Rudy's got potential," said Masse. "If you remember, Rudy was one of hottest hitters during Spring Training. Hopefully, in hitting he's just having an off week or a bad ten days and we're hoping he comes out of it."

Guillen knows he has struggled since coming north with Trenton and knows what has caused him to have so much trouble making contact.

"I have to work on staying back," Guillen admitted. "In Spring Training, I was getting mostly fastballs. Up here, I am seeing a lot more change-ups because they know I can hit the fastball from Spring Training."

Guillen is hitting a paltry .128 in Trenton's first 15 games and he is trying not to share the same fate as Eric Crozier and Dee Brown who were released by the Yankees after posting similar averages in Trenton last season. Guillen, though, can only focus on improving and not let himself get caught up in what has already transpired so far.

"I can't worry about what's already happened, I just have to work on it the best I can," said Guillen. "It's a little execution, a little bit mental. I just have to see the ball and hit the ball and forget about everything else."

Guillen said Masse and the coaches have come to him and said they notice a tendency he has to get out on his front foot on a change-up and that he and the staff have spent a lot of time working on getting him to eliminate that aspect of his game.

"They [the coaches] said it and I know it, that I get out front on the changeup."

"I just have to be patient and let the ball get deeper so that I stay back all right. How it works is that when I start with my foot up, I see the change-up, but when I start with my foot on the ground, I have a problem staying back. I just have to make the adjustment," said Guillen.

Guillen will have to make the adjustment soon, or he may find himself looking for work when Eastern League rosters cut down on May 5th. As Masse said, Guillen has potential and it is this potential that could save him the pink slip for his atrocious performance. Guillen needs to learn in a hurry how to handle the off-speed pitch or his career make take a sudden diversion.


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