Hill Thinks He Can Make His Next Start
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.”
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.