Yesterday Shawn Hill confirmed what I already thought--that releasing him was a bone-headed mistake.
If the Nationals were a team like the Rays or the Yankees, sitting on so much starting pitching that talented young guys like Wade Davis and Phil Hughes can't even get a sniff, then I could understand tossing Hill overboard. But for a team like the Nationals, relying on the likes of Daniel Cabrera and Scott Olsen as their "reliable" options, starting John Lannan on Opening Day, and rushing guys like Shairon Martis (I don't care what his spring training numbers are, I'm not at all convinced he's ready, and you sure don't want to be dependent on him)... remind me again why we didn't have room for Hill?
Shawn debuted for the Padres yesterday throwing 5 innings, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk and 3 Ks. His sinker sat at its usual 89-91 mph range, and 47 of his 69 pitches were strikes.
He wasn't dominant, and if a guy named Luke Gregerson hadn't come on after Hill loaded the bases with no outs in the 6th to get a double play and a strikeout to end the threat with no runs allowed, his line could have looked a lot uglier.
Still, Hill now has more wins than the entire Nationals team. He would also be the only Nationals starter with an above-average fielding-independent ERA (FIP) over the past two seasons (4.03 and 4.06). In fact, Lannan is the only Nationals starter who has posted a season-long FIP under 5.00 (!) any time in the last two years (and that was last year's 4.79).
Those of you who were convinced that Hill would never pitch in the majors again: it's time to eat crow. He has one solid start, one more than any of our guys have had, and no matter what happens from here on out he's proven it was a mistake to let him go.