While it may just be an up and back to provide bullpen depth, nevertheless, according to multiple online reports… RHP Taylor Hill will be recalled today to join the Washington Nationals in Milwaukee.
Hill has quietly put together a stellar season for Syracuse (9-2, 1.92/3.44/0.99, 9BB, 65K in 93⅔ IP) which has only recently caught the attention of the mainstream media. Obviously, we’ve known about him for much longer, having put him on the 2012 Watchlist despite having a losing record (0-2) for the 2011 Auburn Doubledays because of terrific peripherals (0.3HR, 0.9BB, 7.8SO).
The 2012 season was a struggle for Hill, as it is for many pitchers in their first full season. He won 11 games between Hagerstown and Potomac but also saw his ERA, HR rate, and H/9IP soar. Even with his resurgence over the past season and a half, the latter stat continues to hover around a hit per inning, which is also not unusual for his primary weapon: a low-90s sinker, complemented.
In 2013, Hill began to develop a curve and a change, which has helped increase his K rate but more importantly has given batters something else to consider, especially when his other two pitches — the four-seamer and the obligatory slider — are closer in speed to his sinker. This resurgence earned him a spot on the 2014 Watchlist, and as aforementioned, it’s continued at Syracuse over 14 starts and a four-inning relief appearance that earned him his first (and thus far only) save.
The corresponding move to make room for Hill on the 40-man roster has not yet been announced. Possibilities include shifting Matt Purke to the 60-Day DL (most likely) or designating a player such as Greg Dobbs for assignment (less likely).
UPDATE: The other shoe has dropped as Greg Dobbs was indeed designated for assignment to make room for Hill. Additionally, Jeff Kobernus was activated from the 60-Day DL, optioned to Syracuse. The corresponding move for Kobernus? The release of RHP Christian Garcia, who never fulfilled the
pipe dream hopes of becoming a starting pitcher and was injured too often to be an effective reliever.