By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
That Washington Nationals right-hander Shawn Hill was placed on the 15-day disabled list yesterday was hardly a surprise. But the reason -- subluxation of his left shoulder -- brought both encouragement and frustration for the man who had been the Nationals' best starting pitcher this season.
Hill had MRI exams of both his right elbow and his left shoulder yesterday, and the encouraging news came in the fact that his elbow is structurally sound and the ulnar collateral ligament is intact. Because the injury is to his non-throwing shoulder, the club expects that Hill -- who is 3-3 with a 2.70 ERA -- could begin throwing again in 10 days to two weeks.
"It is good news that the ligament is intact," Manager Manny Acta said.
The frustrating element for Hill is that the left shoulder injury -- a condition in which the shoulder briefly slips out of the socket, then pops back in -- was initially suffered while diving back into third base when he was caught in a rundown on April 20 in Florida.
"It wasn't like somebody ran into me," Hill said. "I basically did it to myself. Stupid play. So it's definitely frustrating, and especially because things were going pretty well, you'd like to keep on going."
Hill then aggravated the injury May 1 in San Diego while diving to catch a ball thrown behind him as he was covering first base.Casto Demoted Again
With the Nationals preparing to activate right-hander Jerome Williams to make tonight's start against Atlanta, they optioned outfielder Kory Casto back to Class AAA Columbus.
"It's that year that I'm going to be the odd man out when they make a roster move," said Casto, who is hitting .130 in his two stints with Washington. "I'm fine with it." . . .
Though Chad Cordero has returned from bereavement leave and was activated for last night's game -- taking Hill's spot on the roster -- Acta said he would be eased back into his closer's role. Cordero hasn't pitched since May 6 in Chicago, and Acta wants him to work in the middle of games before he faces a save situation.