Hill Thinks He Can Make His Next Start

The Washington Post Sunday - - High Schools - By Barry Svr­luga

MI­AMI, April 21 — Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als right-han­der Shawn Hill had his left shoul­der — which he in­jured while div­ing back into third base in Fri­day night’s 6-5, 14-in­ning vic­tory — ex­am­ined be­fore Satur­day’s game. The di­ag­no­sis was a sim­ple bruise, and Mar­lins physi­cian Dan Kanell didn’t think it would pre­vent Hill from mak­ing his next start, sched­uled for Thurs­day in Philadel­phia.

“It was stiff when I woke up, but as soon as I started mov­ing around, much bet­ter,” Hill said. “It’s go­ing to be sore for a cou­ple days, but I should be fine.”

Hill is sched­uled to throw a bullpen ses­sion Sun­day. Of greater con­cern, per­haps, is lin­ger­ing tight­ness in his right fore­arm that was re­cently di­ag­nosed as a nerve prob­lem. He is tak­ing med­i­ca­tion to quell the prob­lem, and said Satur­day it feels much bet­ter.

“It hurts, but they told me you can’t hurt your­self by do­ing this,” Hill said. “It’s just a lit­tle bit of dis­com­fort from the nerve.”

Man­ager Manny Acta, how­ever, ac­knowl­edged that “you’re al­ways con­cerned when things like that come up be­cause you’re afraid that those things can move to a more crit­i­cal part of the arm.”

Cordero’s Prob­lems

Strug­gling closer Chad Cordero watched video with pitch­ing coach Randy St. Claire on Satur­day af­ter­noon. St. Claire said he be­lieves Cordero has two prob­lems. First, his hand is on the side of the ball, caus­ing his slider to spin rather than bite and his fast­ball to tail over the plate. Sec­ond, St. Claire would pre­fer that Cordero throw more fast­balls; Cody Ross’s game-ty­ing homer in the ninth on Fri­day came on a slider.

“He’s a fast­ball pitcher,” St. Claire said. “That’s what he is. He uses his break­ing stuff to keep them off the fast­ball oc­ca­sion­ally. But he shouldn’t be throw­ing three or four off-speed pitches to one guy.” . . .

Al­most lost in Fri­day’s af­fair was Robert Fick’s fail­ure to run hard af­ter he laid down a bunt in the 12th. The ball turned into a 1-6-4 dou­ble play. “I locked up,” Fick said. “It was a brain cramp.”

Acta said he talked about the play with Fick “be­cause Robert is not that type of player.” Fick apol­o­gized, Acta said. “It’s a ter­ri­ble feel­ing,” Fick said.

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