I needed a pre-med degree to cover this team right now.
"It feels much better right now.," he said of his forearm. He'll throw five innings or 80 pitches tomorrow at Class A Potomac.
Target date has been this Sunday, is that still it?: "As far as I'm aware, that's the gameplan still. I talked to Lee, and it's obviously going to depend on how things go tomorrow, if I get my amount of pitches in, ups and downs, that kind of stuff. And also, effectiveness. But assuming things go well, that's the plan."
In terms of effectiveness, how are your pitches right now?: "They're fine. The one I threw on Thursday, everything was fine. The intensity wasn't quite 110 percent. The umpire's ... standing behind you calling balls and strikes. It's not a proper game. I got four outs one inning, six outs another inning. It's not a proper game situation, so the intensity's not quite there.
"Aside from that, everything's pretty much where it needs to be."
Is 80 pitches enough to get ready for the season?: "I think it's enough because the natural progression from that would be 95, be going up 50. So you could basically say I'm good for 90-100, which should be good enough to get me through five if not six. It's enough that if I pitch effectively I should be able to pitch."
Itching to pitch?: "I am, but at this point, I got to get through tomorrow first. If things go well tomorrow, on Wednesday, if you ask me the same questions, I'll probably be very excited. But right now I want to get through tomorrow first with no problems.
"Part of the reason I wanted to do this was to get through the cold weather. ... We'll see how that affects me, if it does at all. So we'll get through tomorrow first."
Do you have the same amount of discomfort?: "It's been getting better, to be honest with you. It's not gone. I still have a little discomfort, a little tightness and that, but a very little of that sharp pain that I had, which I said before - three weeks ago or whatever - if I could just get rid of that stabbing pain, I would be content pitching the rest of the season with a little discomfort. I'm hoping with whatever it is, throwing through it, maybe in a couple of weeks I'll have no symptoms."
If/when Hill comes back for Sunday's start, the Nationals will have a decision to make. Manny Acta said the club will not keep six starters in the majors. So ... could the clock be ticking for Matt Chico, one of Hill's best friends.
He threw about 35 pitches in a bullpen session today - 15 fastballs, five sets of fastballs and then sliders, five sets of fastballs and then changeups. "Everything felt good."
He says the weakness he felt in his right shoulder is getting better. "It's definitely getting stronger," Cordero said.
His goal: An inning on Wednesday in Potomac, and then to be back in the majors on Friday.
Dmitri Young: Still on target to do "baseball activities" on Wednesday.
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