Nationals Dump Shawn Hill - NBC4 Washington

Nationals Dump Shawn Hill

Impatient Nats say "enough," release Hill



    Nationals Dump Shawn Hill
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    Shawn Hill probably wants to hit the reset button on his Major League career.

    The Nats shaved about 100 days off their cumulative disabled list time Wednesday by releasing oft-injured pitcher Shawn Hill.

    Hill's got a world of talent when he's healthy.  But he's never healthy.  Over the last three seasons, he's averaged 13 whole starts and about 66 innings pitched (which is about the total a generic middle reliever will give a team).

    He's got a powerful sinker, but for it to be successful, he needs to have command of his breaking pitches to keep hitters off balance.  But it's those pitches that really do a number on his elbow.

    He's had elbow ligament replacement surgery before, but the pain there and in his forearm has never really diminished.  He just seems incapable of throwing pain-free.

    Just two days ago, he was reportedly feeling good.   But that's something Nats fans have heard about 73 times before.

    But if he is feeling good, why is a team that's relying on Danny Cabrera to be decent cutting a starting pitcher?

    As many things do with this team, it probably revolves around business.

    Yesterday was the deadline for cutting players with non-guaranteed contracts without having to pay their full salary.  The Nats were able to cut him while paying only about $130K.

    But their other move Wednesday likely impacted the timing.

    They signed lefty reliever Joe Beimel, who was finally starting to draw some interest from other clubs.

    If the Nats really wanted him, they probably had to be more aggressive in their courtship of him.

    Cutting Hill then -- besides the salary maneuver -- frees up space on the roster for Beimel.  He likely would not have signed unless they guaranteed him money and a roster spot.

    Hill, by all accounts, is a pretty good guy.  But how long were the Nats supposed to wait around for him to finally be healthy?

    He'll probably catch on with someone else on a minor-league deal and try to work his way back.

    John Patterson tried it last year, after having been released under eerily similar circumstances.  And this spring, we got news that he retired due to those injuries.

    Let's hope that Hill doesn't suffer a similar fate.

    Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment.  He hopes Hill doesn't go to the Mets.