Monday, March 23, 2009

Padres make more roster moves

Monday March 23, 2009

Padres made more roster moves today sending down 7 players.

Of those 7 players, 3 pitchers (Josh Geer, Joe Thatcher & Scott Patterson) and 2 position players (Will Venable and Matt Antonelli) saw time on the Padres big league squad during an injury plagued 2008 season.

Geer had been a front runner to fill the #5 slot in the rotation, but injuries and a loss of velocity on his pitches made him ineffective in spring training. Look for him to be called back up at some point in the 2009 season.

Thatcher was ineffective as a reliever in 2008 and in 2009 spring training, and unless injuries once again devastate the Padres bullpen, he may have made his last appearance in a Padres uniform.

Venable and Antonelli were both late season call ups in 2008. Expect both to be back in San Diego this season. Neither would see much playing time in San Diego to start the season and they will get regular at bats in AAA. Venable should see time as a #4-5 outfielder and if Antonelli can regain his hitting stroke, he should be the 2010 starting 2B for the Padres.

The Padres also sent down catcher Jose Lobaton and left fielder Chad Huffman.

The right hand hitting Huffman was having a good spring and his power numbers should benefit from playing in AAA Portland this season.

Padres sign RHP Shawn Hill

Monday March 23, 2009

Padres signed Shawn Hill to a minor league contract today.

Hill has started only 37 games over the past 5 seasons for the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals.

Injuries have cut short each season since 2004 and Tommy John surgery cost him the entire 2005 season.

In 2007, Hill started the season as the #2 pitcher for the Nationals but emerged as the team's ace early on. In his first seven starts, he lasted six innings or more six times, and allowed two earned runs or less six times. He went on the DL on May 12th, a day after throwing 5 hitless innings, and did not return until mid-August.

In 2008 Hill made several trips to the DL before being shut down for the year at the end of June after just 12 starts. The off season saw him go under the knife once more, having arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs in his elbow.

In spring training this season, Hill pitched 2 scoreless innings before being released.

For his career, Hill has a 4.93 Era and a 4.11 FIP.

Hill's strength as a pitcher is an incredible, low 90's sinker and a plus curve and change up.