Notes: Hill to climb mound Tuesday

Notes: Hill to climb mound Tuesday

PHOENIX -- A day after watching left-hander Matt Chico have one of his worst outings of the season, Nationals general manager Jim Bowden changed his mind and decided that right-hander Shawn Hill will be activated from the disabled list and pitch against the Phillies on Tuesday night at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium.

According to a baseball source, Bowden made the decision after boarding the team bus on Saturday afternoon. The original plan was for Hill to have one more rehab start to straighten out his secondary pitches before facing the Mets on Aug. 19.

"We have a responsibility to put our best team out there and our best team has Shawn Hill on the mound on Tuesday. I think we owe it to those teams in a pennant race," Bowden said. "I just literally changed my mind. After thoroughly looking at it, Hill may not be as crisp or 100 percent as we would like, but he is still our best pitcher."

Asked if Chico's bad outing, in which he walked six batters in five innings against the Diamondbacks, played a role in that decision, Bowden said, "It reminds us that Shawn Hill is an important part of our future and he should be on the mound on Tuesday for us and not in Triple-A. I think I made the wrong decision yesterday. I thought about it, changed my mind. Hopefully, this is the right decision."

Tuesday will be Hill's first game since May 11. He missed a little more than three months because of a sore right elbow and left shoulder. Before going on the disabled list, Hill was on his way to being the Nationals' best pitcher, going 3-3 with a 2.70 ERA. Though he hurt his non-throwing shoulder running the bases, he didn't go on the DL until May when the elbow started to hurt.

With Hill pitching on Tuesday, it means that Washington has to make a roster move, which will be announced after Sunday's game against the Diamondbacks. It appears that right-hander Joel Hanrahan will not be the odd man out, after all, because the team announced that he is tentatively slated to pitch against the Phillies on Thursday night.

Two days ago, Hanrahan said that he was prepared to be sent down even though he has pitched very well since his callup.

"I talked to some people about it. I'm going to try to make it tough on them. I'm aware of the circumstances," Hanrahan said recently. "If I'm the guy that has to go, I'm going to be the guy. I'm prepared for it if it's going to happen. But, of course, I would like to stay here and finish out the last two months of the season. If I'm the guy, I will understand."

Chico has stunned the organization in recent weeks with his lack of command. In his last six games, Chico has walked 21 batters in 31 2/3 innings.

After his outing against Arizona, Chico was at the team's computer to see what is going wrong. He noticed that he was too slow during the stretch and needs to speed things up.

Injury report: Dmitri Young will not start against the Diamondbacks this weekend because of left hamstring tightness. He is available to pinch-hit. The Nationals are hoping that Young will start against the Phillies on Tuesday night.

Reliever Jesus Colome (soft tissue infection in his right buttocks), is scheduled to have his first rehab appearance on Sunday. He'll start against the Gulf Coast Marlins.

Stat of the day: The Nationals are 7-7 when they are tied after seven innings.

Did you know? Felipe Lopez has reached base via hit or walk in 10 of 11 games.

Coming up: The Nationals play the finale of a three-game series against the Diamondbacks on Sunday at 4:40 p.m. ET. Washington left-hander Mike Bacsik (5-6, 4.47 ERA) will face Arizona right-hander Micah Owings (5-6, 4.96).

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.