Taylor Hill Gets The Call (UPDATED)

No, I Said The White PhoneWhile 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).

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.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of NationalsProspects.com. Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

5 thoughts on “Taylor Hill Gets The Call (UPDATED)”

  1. It’s probably Dobbs, because they have to make a 25 man active roster move to bring Hill up today vice Saturday when they can bring up an extra player (almost certainly Treinen) just for the day. Since they need to clear a 25 man roster spot, their choices are the bullpen guys (which the Nationals won’t do; with Detwiler joining the ranks the entire bullpen has been pitching well and they won’t want to lose any of them for the required 10 days), or one of the bench guys. Hairston, McLouth, Frandsen and Leon aren’t going anywhere today (Leon will be gone tomorrow when Ramos is activated). That leaves Dobbs.

    1. Still may add Destin Hood and AJ Cole. Plus Matt Grace according to Kilgore before the season is finished. I guess they have to start thinking about who they are going to protect thinking ahead to the rule 5. They do have some players who might get picked.

  2. Very sad about Garcia but the guy just couldn’t stay healthy. If he can ever do so, I suspect he’ll resurface in the majors but I don’t blame the team for making the move.

    Congrats to Hill. Well earned.

  3. Dobbs was awful (3 for 28 as a PH with no extra base hits). They would be better off using Jordan Zimmerman, Fister or Strasburg as a PH.

    1. At 35 perhaps he’s on the decline, perhaps not? He still is one of the best active pinch hitters. My guess is he became superfluous with the return of Zimmerman who must now be considered the official backup at first base to Adam LaRoche.

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