By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 21, 2007
When Shawn Hill takes the mound tonight for the penultimate start of his 2007 season, he will do so with a left shoulder that won't allow him to lunge for a line drive back up the middle or swing the bat aggressively. Thus, Hill and his employers, the Washington Nationals, have decided that he will have surgery on the should er -- his non-throwing shoulder -- on Oct. 4, four days after the season concludes.
"If I have a possible hiccup in rehab or something, it gives me more time," Hill said.
Because he has thrown just 92 2/3 innings in his 15 starts, the club wanted Hill to pitch in winter ball to make up the lost innings -- a tactic they'll take with last night's starter, right-hander Jason Bergmann, who made two trips to the disabled list this year.
With the surgery -- which will be performed by noted orthopedist James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. -- Hill won't be able to play winter ball. He hopes to be throwing without problem in mid- to late-December, which is when he would normally begin building up for spring training.
Hill still has discomfort in his right elbow and forearm, which was diagnosed as tendinitis and "quieted down" with a cortisone shot.Guzman Takes Cuts
Shortstop Cristian Guzman faced 30 live pitches from rookie left-hander Ross Detwiler in a simulated game yesterday afternoon. Guzman, who Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden would like to play over the last week of the season, will check with the team's medical staff today. If his injured left thumb is all right, he'll have another simulated game tomorrow, and then the club will decide when and if to activate him.
"Here and there, he said he feels a little stinging in the thumb," Manager Manny Acta said. "But he feels nothing out of the ordinary."
Guzman hit right-handed off Detwiler, then took some swings left-handed with pitching coach Randy St. Claire on the mound. . . .
The Nationals are preparing to dress up rookies in various costumes and drag on Sunday, when the club departs for its last road trip.