Did the Dodgers acquire a Hill of beans or a King of the hill?
Josh Reddick should provide a consistent bat and glove against RHP and is a very known quantity. Rich Hill, on the other hand, is one of the more bizarre baseball stories of the past ten years. He has been brilliant, and he has been so bad that multiple teams have given up on him.
The Hill of beans possibility:
- Rich Hill is 36 years old and hasn’t pitched 100 innings since 2007. He currently has 75 in the book for 2016 and the Dodgers will need quite a few innings from him over the next two months. Can he do it? History says no.
- Over the past ten years, Rich Hill has had about three good months in major league baseball. Last Sept, this April and May. You will notice June and July missing.
- The oft-injured Rich Hill has already had two DL stints this year which account for his meager 75 innings so far in 2016. He had a groin issue in late May that put him on the DL for all of June. He came back to make two starts in July and developed a blister that wouldn’t go away. Hill tried to make a start on July 17th but never threw a pitch. They gave it some rest and tried again. No go so he went on the DL. He is due to come off of DL this week. When he comes off the DL it is just a matter of time before he hits it again.
- His team log might be the longest in baseball for an active player. I stopped count at over 25 teams.
- This spring I watched Rich Hill walk five straight Dodgers in one of the craziest starts I’d ever seen. It was just a spring game, but that stuff stays with you. Mind you this was not his first game of the spring. Oakland A fans all around were moaning.
The King of Hill possibility:
- Last Sept Rich Hill was arguably the best pitcher in baseball. Granted he came out of nowhere but when the Red Sox gave him a shot, he was simply brilliant. It was only a brief four-game run, but one that included his first shutout in ten years. Hill made such an impact that the A’s gave him a $6,000,0000 contract for one year.
- This year Rich Hill proved to the A’s that they had made a wise investment by being one of the best pitchers in baseball in April and May. Hill had an auspicious start and was hammered on April 4th, only able to secure eight outs before being driven from the game. But that was his only misstep, in his next twelve starts he has only given up three runs twice, every other game is two runs or less.
- When Rich Hill is on, he is considered to have one of the best curveballs in the game.
- If healthy Rich Hill can be an important piece of the Dodger post-season rotation
- If Rich Hill stays healthy they will have first shot at signing him for future seasons.
How Rich Hill helps the Dodgers would seem to depend on one thing. Can Rich Hill stay healthy enough to make a difference. Only time will tell, history does not think so, but anyone who has preservered like Rich Hill has something on his side. The Dodger front office is betting on it. They need Rich Hill to succeed, because right now the Giants have Moore on their side.