110 IP gets you 3/48
By many accounts, Rich Hill is a great guy, great competitor, fun to watch pitch, and now very wealthy.
Perseverance paid off for Rich Hill when he inked a 3/48 deal with the Dodgers today. For the time being, Hill slots into the number two behind Clayton Kershaw in the Dodger 2017 rotation.
As noted earlier today, Rich Hill is all sorts of an enigma. It might be fair to say that no one has taken the route that Rich Hill did to success. Even if that success was 110 innings. When he pitched in 2016, he was one of the best pitchers in baseball. Problem being, he only threw 110 innings. And that was after pitching all of 54 professional innings in 2015.
His history is so checkered with red flags he could be working the Daytona 500, but you can’t discount how far he has come in the last fifteen months. In July of 2015 he was still pitching Independent baseball but refused to give up. His story was barely a flicker, but when he wakes up tomorrow it will be a full blown flame fueled by almost $50,000,000 buckaroos.
The Dodgers decided that they will only look at his recent history and that 2016 was an indicator of what he could bring to the team from 2017 – 2019.
This will be the fourth time in three years the Dodgers sign a health risk to a contract. Brett Anderson, Brandon McCarthy, and Scott Kazmir have not worked out so well though they did get one good year from Anderson before doubling down with a QO last winter.
Hopefully, the fourth time pays off for the LAD front office.
Hill has made the curveball cool again, and until he hung one against Jose Lobatron he was looking like Don Sutton in game two of the NLDS. His home run rate in 2016 is why he had such sparkling numbers. To keep those numbers sparkling he’ll need to make sure that hanging curveball is a rarity, and I’m just not one of those who think you can throw it as often as he does (42%) without hanging them just enough to offset all that great stuff he can do.
Time will tell if this curveballer is the real deal. The LAD front office is betting on it, I’m hoping they are right, but I’m not betting they are right.