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Hill, Estrada coming along well

Hill, Estrada coming along well

VIERA, Fla. -- Right-hander Shawn Hill pitched batting practice on Friday and he felt pain in his right forearm. However, he plans to pitch two innings in a Minor League game on Monday.

Hill threw hard during the 40-pitch session to see if anything would happen to the forearm and he felt tightness, but he never stopped the session. Hill will start the season on the disabled list because of the forearm injury. The Nationals are hoping that he can pitch in a regular-season game by April 13.

"I had the same tightness I had, basically. I battled through it. I'm still on schedule," Hill said. "I was throwing a little harder to test it. So I wasn't worried about command."

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Meanwhile, Johnny Estrada is expected to play in his first Minor League game on Tuesday. He hasn't played any games this spring because of a sore right elbow.

The Nationals are expected to place him on the disabled list to start the season.

In the meantime, manager Manny Acta said outfielder Elijah Dukes will play nine innings against the Marlins on Sunday. Dukes has missed seven out of the last eight games because of a right hamstring strain.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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