Nats, in a very interesting move, released Shawn Hill today. When I first read the headline, I thought maybe there was another guy named Hill on the team. I find this a little shocking, although it parallels a bit what happened to John Patterson last spring. The difference was, Hill came back this spring and was pitch effectively. How effectively? I don’t know, I wasn’t there to watch, so maybe he lost life on his pitches. Maybe there was some other reason, but it seems odd to me that he was let loose. Let the man pitch and see what he can do, if he gets hurt again, then you let him go. The only thing I could imagine is that he came in and said “I’m hurt again, can’t throw Friday” which was when he was scheduled to go. And then Mike Rizzo said “GET OUT!” Who knows, either way, he’s no longer on the team.
In his 4 seasons pitching with Montreal and Washington, Hill only threw 206 1/3 innings. He struck out 130 and walked 67, he had a 4.93 ERA, and a 7-15 record. His best year was nice, but we forget that even that season he only started 16 games. Last year he started 12. Good luck to Hill, I hope he figures out how to pitch well without being in pain, wherever that may be.
Here’s some more color on why they released him. It’s in an article in the Nats Chatter section of the Washington Times, which, if you don’t check out, you should. Zuckerman knows what he’s doing. Rizzo was quoted in the article as saying, “The main reason behind Shawn being released is just the uncertainty that his track record brings to the clubhouse every day. It’s hard to pencil him into the rotation every fifth day when you’re not sure what you’ve got when he gets to the ballpark.”
And then there was 1… Nick Johnson is now the only remaining player on this roster that played on the 2004 Montreal Expos squad. The purging is almost complete.
Of course, it’s important to note that if nobody claims Hill off of waivers, the Nats can resign him and send him to Triple A. If that happens, forget the preceeding paragraph.