Traber optioned; Bacsik sent to 'pen
Righty Hill expected to be activated and start Tuesday
PHOENIX -- Following Sunday's victory over the Diamondbacks, the Nationals optioned left-hander Billy Traber to Triple-A Columbus and are expected to reinstate right-hander Shawn Hill from the disabled list on Tuesday.
Traber, 27, went 2-2 with a 4.76 ERA in 28 games. He went 2-0 with a 4.22 ERA in 26 relief appearances and 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA in his two starts. Opposing left-handed batters hit just .176 (9-for-51) against him.
"The main thing is to stay healthy and be versatile. That's probably the only thing I have going for me -- go for a hitter or go for a few innings than most," Traber said. "I'm going to keep pounding the glove and take the ball as many times as I can."
As for Hill, manager Manny Acta said the right-hander has nothing to prove, believing that the record (3-3, 2.70) he put up before he hurt his right elbow and left shoulder was not a fluke.
"He could struggle the rest of the way. We know his stuff is there. It's just about him being healthy," Acta said. "He doesn't have to prove anything to me regarding performance."
On Tuesday, Hill will throw no more than 80 pitches against the Phillies.
With Hill expected back into the rotation, it also means that left-hander Mike Bacsik will be moved to the bullpen.
Bacsik lasted four innings and gave up five runs on eight hits.
"I threw the ball pretty bad. That's the worst I've thrown the ball since I've been here," Bacsik said.
Bacsik took the news about his new role very well.
"Last year, I was in the bullpen before," Bacsik said. "It's not a big adjustment for me. It will be a new challenge. I'm excited to join those guys. Everybody is throwing the ball down there great. Hopefully, it will rub off on me and I can have some nice outings for us."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.