Taylor Hill was called up to D.C. yesterday to work out of the Washington Nationals' bullpen in the series finale with Cincinnati, but the third game of three with the Reds was rained out, and this morning he was optioned back to Triple-A Syracuse to make room for David Carpenter's return from the Paternity List.
Hill has to be used to the trip from upstate New York to the nation's capital and back at this point since he's been back and forth between the Nats' top minor league affiliate and the nation's capital repeatedly over the last two seasons.
He's also likely getting used to making the transition between starting and relief work since he's working exclusively as a reliever with the Nationals while starting with the Chiefs.
Through six appearances out of the Nationals' 'pen this season, the 26-year-old right-hander has a 3.75 ERA, a 5.00 FIP, four walks (3.00 BB/9) and nine Ks (6.75 K/9) in 12 IP.
In 12 starts at Triple-A this season, the 2011 6th Round pick is (3-3) with a 4.68 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 12 walks (1.60 BB/9) and 35 Ks (4.68 K/9) in 67 ⅓ IP.
While he was in Nationals Park, he did have an opportunity to talk to MASN's Dan Kolko about the difference between starting and relief work.
"It's more mental than anything," Hill said. "It's still the same game, you're just coming out of the bullpen. You're still doing the same thing, you've still got to make the pitches. You might only face the guys one time, depending on the situation, so I think the real difference is probably sometimes the first time through the order you don't really want to show them everything you have, but when you're relieving it could be a little bit different, you know, because you might not face them again, you obviously want to be able to get them out, so for me that's probably the biggest thing."
Asked how he feels about the work he's done so far in his fifth professional season, Hill said he's happy with the results though there is still work to be done.
"I feel pretty good about it," Hill said. "There's still some stuff I'm definitely working on just as far as staying closed more and just really working on getting my slider down in the dirt when I'm ahead in the count, but other than that I feel pretty good about it."
The #Nats have reinstated RHP David Carpenter from the paternity list and optioned RHP Taylor Hill to Triple-A Syracuse.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 9, 2015
Carpenter, 29, and his wife Brittny, announced the birth of their son, Darrell David Carpenter IV on July 6th.
In eight appearances out of the Nationals' bullpen since he was acquired from the New York Yankees, the five-year veteran has put up a 1.50 ERA, a 4.91 FIP, two walks and four Ks in six innings.