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Shawn Hill

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Shawn Richard Hill

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[edit] Biographical Information

Shawn Hill pitched for Team Canada in the 2004 Summer Olympics shortly after making his Major League debut with the Montreal Expos.

Hill was selected by the Expos in the 6th round of the 2000 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Alex Agostino and moved to the top prospect ranks within the organization with two outstanding seasons in the minor leagues in 2002 and 2003. In 2002, playing for the Clinton Lumber Kings of the Midwest League, he went 12-7, 3.44 in 27 starts, then with Brevard County and Harrisburg the next season, he was 12-5, 2.69.

Hill's career was derailed by a number of injuries. He underwent Tommy John surgery for the first time in the fall of 2004. As a result, he did not pitch at all in 2005 and missed half of 2006. He returned to the majors with the Washington Nationals late in 2006 - the Expos had moved to Washington, DC while he was out of action - and in 2007 pitched very well for the Nats, going 4-5 with a solid 3.42 ERA in 16 starts before arm woes got to him again. He underwent two surgeries that offseason, one on the labrum of his left shoulder, and the second on a nerve in his right forearm. He made 12 starts in 2008, but again had to have surgery at the end of the year, this time to remove bone spurs in his pitching arm.

Hill was released by the Nationals in spring training of 2009, but caught on with the San Diego Padres. He made three starts for the Padres, going 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA before being shut down and undergoing a second Tommy John surgery in June. After the season he signed a minor league deal with his hometown Toronto Blue Jays - he was born and grew up in suburban Mississauga, ON - and received an invitation to spring training. He made for starts for Toronto in 2010, going 1-2, 2.61 after going 6-2, 1.61 in the minor leagues.

He joined Team Canada again for the 2011 Baseball World Cup, notably tossing five scoreless innings to help Canada defeat Japan 3-1 on October 3rd. Even more impressive, he allowed one run in 6 1/3 IP to beat Team USA six days later; the only run came on a homer by Matt Clark. He started against Cuba with a trip to the Gold Medal game on the line, but got pummeled in a loss. He was the only pitcher to win multiple games in the 2011 Pan American Games, posting a 3.60 ERA while topping both Mexico and Puerto Rico; Canada won their first baseball Gold ever in the Pan American Games.

In 2012, he spent the season with the AAA Las Vegas 51s, going 9-2, 4.52 in 15 starts in a heavy-hitting environment. He was a member of Team Canada's squad for the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers in Regensburg, Germany, starting and winning Canada's opening game against Great Britain. He was rewarded with a call-up by the Blue Jays and on September 29th, in his first major league game in more than two years, relieved an injured Ricky Romero in the 4th inning of a game against the New York Yankees. He pitched three hitless and scoreless innings to be credited with his team's 3-2 win, which allowed the Baltimore Orioles to catch the Yankees atop the AL East with the season almost wound down.

Hill allowed two runs in 2 2/3 IP in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, losing a start against Italy; Scott Mathieson had relieved and dug the hole deeper. In the 2015 Pan American Games, he helped Canada defend their title from 2011. Canada thus joined Cuba as the only teams to win multiple Pan Am Games. This time, Shawn only got one start, against the still-dangerous Cubans. He allowed three hits and one walk in six shutout innings before Andrew Albers relieved; while he fanned none, he got 10 ground-ball outs to get the win. When the Gold Medal game rolled around, Hill was rested, but manager Ernie Whitt went to Jeff Francis and Canada beat Team USA in extra innings.

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