Undeniably, it’s a sad day to be a Los Angeles Dodgers fan. Now forever, the final day of the 2010’s decade will be the day that Rich Hill signed a one year deal with the Minnesota Twins.
The announcement came on Tuesday afternoon from a variety of sources, with the Twins officially announcing it with some pizzaz on their twitter account.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) December 31, 2019
Furthermore, the Twins also signed free agent starting pitcher Homer Bailey alongside Hill. While Jeff Passan has a little more detail on the transaction, he actually calls the process Hill underwent in 2019 ‘modified Tommy John’. Obviously, this is interesting.
The Twins are guaranteeing $10 million to get innings from Homer Bailey and top-end performance from Rich Hill upon his return from modified Tommy John. It’s a low-risk pair of signings — and leaves them room to go big for a Josh Donaldson. Twins are a very well-thought-of org.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 31, 2019
Hill started 13 games for the Dodgers in 2019, striking out 78 hitters in just 58.2 innings pitched. Altogether he had an ERA of 2.45 and a 4-1 record.
It will be interesting to see Hill’s effectiveness in the American league, and also his usage profile. Perhaps it will help prolong his career since so many teams around baseball are now using a starting pitcher as an opener, allowing Hill the possibility to throw just one time through the batting order before being pulled for a reliever.
Remember, Hill came over from the AL in 2016 in a trade from the Oakland Athletics. At the time, it was a move that helped propel the Dodgers to another NL West division title. Hill went 3-2 with a 1.83 ERA down the stretch in six starts for the team that season.
Finally, there’s not a starting pitcher I adore more than Rich Hill. While I can’t say it much better than I did in this post, I’ll sum it up with one final memory.
In the 2018 NLCS against the Milwaukee Brewers, a tiring Hill faced Christian Yelich with the bases loaded. It was in Los Angeles, and one of the bigger spots in that entire series. Hill ended up striking out Yelich – freezing him with several of the nastiest curveballs he’s thrown in his life. The moment gave me chills.
Thanks for the memories Dick Mountain, and congratulations on finding a new home. You will be missed.