Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Padres Shawn Hill may return from DL in as little as 3 weeks

Wednesday April 29, 2009

Starting pitcher Shawn Hill may return to San Diego Padres rotation in as little as 3 weeks after encouraging test results on Monday according to Owen Perkins of

Hill left Sunday's game after the 2nd inning with tightness in his elbow and bicep and went through an MRI and stress testing in San Diego on Monday.

Doctors found fluid on Hill's right elbow and tendinitis in his forearm, but no structural damage according to Padres Manager Bud Black.

This is very encouraging news for a Padres pitching staff that has been beset with injuries that have forced 4 other pitchers onto the DL already this season. Padres starters Cha Seung Baek and Walter Silva are both currently on the DL.

The oft injured Hill is in his 6th major league season and has never started more than 16 games in any of those seasons. His career has been punctuated by missing the entire 2005 season after Tommy John surgery in September 2004, missing substantial time in 2006 and 2007 to injuries and after starting the 2008 season on the DL Hill ended the season with elbow surgery last September.

This is not a new situation for Hill to be in, but it looks like it will be a short lived trip to the DL for a change.

With Baek and Silva both expected to begin rehab assignments this week and Hill returning in a few weeks, the Padres will be in an enviable position of having depth at the 3-5 slots in the starting pitching rotation.

Hopefully this bodes well for a Padres team that has won just two of their last 8 games and has had to maintain 8 men in their bullpen due to starting pitching that has averaged just over 5 innings per start.

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