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Notes: Hill to have shoulder surgery

Notes: Hill to have shoulder surgery

WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Shawn Hill will have his ailing left shoulder surgically repaired by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Oct. 4.

According to Hill, it was general manager Jim Bowden's decision to get the procedure done right away. Hill is expected to throw a baseball by mid-to-late December and be ready for Spring Training. The recovery period also means Hill will not play winter ball to make up for the time lost because of injuries.

Hill has been bothered by shoulder discomfort since he dove back into third base against the Marlins on April 20. He aggravated the injury a couple of weeks later covering first base against the Padres.

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The shoulder injury caused Hill to alter his mechanics. Before he knew it, Hill's elbow started to hurt him, and he had to be placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 14. Hill ended up missing three months of action.

Hill still has some problems with the elbow, but he feels it will not prevent him from missing his next two starts. His next start is on Friday night against the Phillies.

"When the play happened, I heard the shoulder [pop]," Hill said about re-injuring the shoulder in San Diego. "That was the play that really hurt it. I was able to get through it. My mechanics started flying open -- big time. It put a lot of stress on the elbow. With the left shoulder, I'm fine 90 percent of the time, but if I swing and a ball is over my head, I kind of feel it."

In the cage: Cristian Guzman (left thumb injury) had a simulated game against left-hander Ross Detwiler and looked decent. He hit some line drives and some fly balls into the outfield.

Pitching coach Randy St. Claire took over and broke three of Guzman's bats. Guzman will have another simulated game on Saturday and hopes to play in a Major League game sometime next week.

Offseason plans: Right-hander Jason Bergmann will play for the Licey Tigers in the Dominican Winter League this offseason. The Nationals want him to go down there to pitch more innings. Bergmann missed more than two months of action because of elbow and hamstring injuries.

"We need to stretch him out because of the innings he lost due to the injuries. He is going to get five to six starts and come right back [to the United States] to rest," manager Manny Acta said.

Injury report: Right-hander Jason Simontacchi had a small bone spur removed from his right elbow on Tuesday in a procedure performed by Andrews. A three to four month recovery period is expected.

Minor League news: Outfielder Michael Burgess, one of the Nationals' sandwich picks in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, was named the top prospect in the Gulf Coast League by Baseball America.

Burgess hit .336 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs for the Gulf Coast Nationals.

Stat of the day: Since Wily Mo Pena was acquired in a trade on Aug. 17 from the Red Sox, the Nationals are averaging 4.93 runs per game. Before he arrived, the team was averaging 3.88 runs per game.

Did you know? Entering Thursday's action, the Nationals are 32-32 since the All-Star break.

Coming up: The Nationals play the second game of a four-game series against Phillies on Friday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Hill (4-4, 3-01 ERA) will face Philadelphia right-hander Adam Eaton (9-9, 6.36).

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

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