Hill likely to miss next start

Hill likely to miss next start

BALTIMORE -- Nationals manager Manny Acta said right-hander Shawn Hill most likely will miss his next start, against the Phillies on Wednesday, because of a sore right elbow.

Hill last pitched on Friday against the Orioles, and he acknowledged the next day he was pitching with discomfort in the elbow. Hill had a cortisone shot and fluid taken out of the elbow on Saturday morning.

The good news is the pain in not in the area where he had elbow reconstruction in 2004. The pain is located behind the elbow.

"For the good of the kid, we'll probably end up skipping him," Acta said. "We are not anticipating [him missing] more than one start."

But Hill said it's too early to decide whether he is going to miss a turn in the rotation.

"As far as I know, nobody has said anything to me. I have another day, at least, of doing nothing," Hill said on Sunday. "I'll play catch tomorrow if I can. If not, [I'll do it] Tuesday. If I'm good to go, then I will start. It might be their decision regardless of how I feel."

Along with his ailing elbow, Hill also has a sore right forearm, which has bothered him since Spring Training. Hill and the team still don't know what the problem is. Acta lauded Hill for playing in pain.

"He has always been that way, since we were in Montreal," Acta said. "Sometimes he will go and pitch in pain without letting people know. He is tough."

Acta didn't announce who will start in Hill's place, but he said left-hander Matt Chico is a candidate. Acta also didn't rule out calling up someone from the Minor Leagues.

Chico came out of the bullpen on Friday and didn't give up a run in 2 1/3 innings. He said he was more relaxed on the mound.

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