Rich Hill (pitcher)
Hill with the Boston Red Sox
March 11, 1980 |
|June 15, 2005 for the Chicago Cubs|
(through 2014 season)
|Earned run average||4.74|
Richard Joseph Hill (born March 11, 1980) is an American professional baseball pitcher who is currently a free agent. He has also played in MLB for the Chicago Cubs, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Hill made his MLB debut in 2005.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Playing career
- 3 Personal
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Hill played for Milton High School's Varsity baseball team when he was a freshman. He is one of four to do that in the school's history. He was originally drafted by the Reds in 1999, however he decided to play collegiately for the Michigan Wolverines.
Hill was a fourth round pick out of the University of Michigan in the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft. Hill made his major league debut on June 15, 2005. As a minor leaguer, Hill compiled high strikeout totals, and had an excellent curveball. He threw an 88–92 MPH fastball and a changeup as well. Hill spent part of the 2005 season with the Cubs, posting an 0–2 record. Again, in 2006, Hill split his season between the minor leagues and the majors. Despite his rookie status, Hill was the oldest member of the Cubs starting rotation during the second half of the 2006 season until the addition of Wade Miller.
Hill arrived in the big-leagues in 2005, gaining his first major league action on June 15, 2005 against the Florida Marlins. He pitched one inning of relief, giving up two runs on three hits and did not factor into the decision. His first start was on July 25, 2005 subbing for the oft-injured Kerry Wood against the San Francisco Giants. Once again he gave up two earned runs, but lasted five innings. The game was memorable due to Hill tripping over third-base on his way to the plate after a Todd Walker drive down the right-field line. With just one out and the Cubs down by one, Walker was forced to stop at first base, and Jerry Hairston, Jr. (who was behind Hill) at second. Hill did not score, and returned to third base unhurt. Unfortunately for the Cubs, the rally stopped, and Hill did not factor in the decision of the game.
In 2006, he started the season in AAA with the Iowa Cubs, but was called up on May 4 for a start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Rich gained attention in Chicago later in the month during the cross-town classic with the White Sox. On May 20, Hill lost to the White Sox 7–0, and was the starter in the game that saw A.J. Pierzynski run over Cubs catcher Michael Barrett at the plate in a huge collision. Hill was sent back to AAA Iowa the next day.
Hill returned to the majors on July 27 with a start against the St. Louis Cardinals. He lasted only 31⁄3 innings, giving up four runs on six hits – walking three. On August 1, Hill defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks for his first major league victory, and on August 6, he got his second win and his first win streak. On September 6, Hill fanned a career high 11 batters in a Cubs victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hill's first complete game and shutout came versus the Cincinnati Reds in a game in which he fanned 10 and allowed just two hits, on September 16. Hill's two complete games were the only CG's by the Cubs' pitching staff in the 2006 season, and he was one of the solid contributors in the rotation after being called back up, posting a 6–3 record with a 2.93 ERA.
Hill joined the starting rotation of the Cubs after spring training, and was the #4 starter in the rotation behind Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, and Jason Marquis. Hill pitched against the Milwaukee Brewers for his first start of the 2007 season, throwing a perfect game through the first five innings, and finishing with allowing just one hit, and one run over 7 innings pitched. He continued to excel during April, leading some to speculate that he was taking over as the ace in the Cubs rotation while he assembled a streak of 18 consecutive innings without an earned run. Former Cubs catcher Michael Barrett describes Rich's signature pitch as follows.
|“||[Hill's] curveball is so electric that the first couple of times I caught him, I had a tendency to come up on the curve because it bites so much. You just don't see a left-handed curveball like that anymore. When he's good, it doesn't hang, and it's nearly unhittable.||”|
Hill suffered a setback in Philadelphia, where he took his second loss of the season giving up five runs and left before getting any outs in the sixth inning. His next start in New York produced similar results posting his third loss, and Lou Piniella pointed to control problems. The troubles continued in San Diego during his next start, where he picked up his third consecutive loss 5–1 to the Padres and gave up four home runs. Piniella extended his analysis of Hill's throwing: "Not the same pitcher that left spring training. He was missing his spots. Some of those pitches that were hit out of the park, the catcher was sitting on the outside corner and the balls are inside, but they might have been outside. He's got to keep working. He's not throwing as hard, either, for whatever reason."
2007 Post-Season: The Cubs clinched the NL central division and played the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series. Rich Hill started game 3 of that series and the Cubs lost 5-1.
After having a bad start in Triple-A he was sent down to Rookie ball in Mesa. He made his first start in Mesa on July 1, 2008 going only 1/3 of an inning. Lou Pinella came on saying that Rich Hill was going to be shut down. He made one more start on July 8 going 4 scoreless innings. Any thoughts of him being shut down were recalled.
On July 16, 2008 he was called up to the Single-A Daytona Cubs. While there he made 3 starts, going 1–2.
Hill made his Orioles debut on May 16, 2009 going 52⁄3 with 6 strikeouts and was the winning pitcher. He started 13 games for Baltimore with a 3-3 record, a 7.80 ERA, and 46 strikeouts in 57.2 innings.
St. Louis Cardinals
On January 26, 2010, Hill signed a minor league contract with the St. Louis Cardinals with an invite to Spring training. He had a 4-3 record in 23 games (46 IP) plus a 4.30 ERA and 47 punchouts for the Cardinals AAA affiliate, the Memphis Redbirds. In June of that year, when he opted out of his contract with St. Louis.
Boston Red Sox
On June 30, 2010, Hill signed a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox. He was assigned the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox. He had just opted out of his contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. On September 14, 2010, Hill made his debut with the Red Sox as a reliever against the Seattle Mariners, getting a win.
The Red Sox purchased Hill's contract on May 5, 2011.
On May 29, Hill injured his left throwing elbow and on June 9, he underwent Tommy John surgery to repair a torn Ulnar collateral ligament. In 9 games with the Sox, Hill did not give up an earned run.
Hill went 2-0 with a 1.14 ERA in 40 appearances with the Sox from 2010 through 2012.
On November 30, 2012, Hill was non-tendered, and became a free agent.
In 2013, Hill signed a minor league deal with an invite to big league spring training with the Cleveland Indians. Hill broke spring camp with the big league club.
Over the 2013 MLB season, the average Inherited Runners Stranded was 11.88. Rich Hill was one of the 2013 leading MLB players in Inherited Runners Stranded with 51. 
Second stint with Red Sox
Hill signed a minor league deal with the Boston Red Sox on January 29, 2014.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
New York Yankees
On July 17, 2014, Hill signed a minor league deal with the New York Yankees and was assigned to the Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. The Yankees promoted him to the major leagues on August 5. He was designated for assignment on August 29. He was re-added to the roster on September 2.
Hill married Caitlin McClellan, a nurse, on November 11, 2007. On October 7, 2011, Caitlin and Rich welcomed their first child, a son, Brice.
Caitlin and Rich welcomed a second son, named Brooks, on December 26, 2013. Brooks Stephen Hill died February 24, 2014.
- Gano, Rick, Chi Cubs 3, San Francisco 2, Yahoo! Sports, Retrieved on June 6, 2007
- Muskat, Carrie,Hill still has lessons to learn, MLB.com, Retrieved on June 6, 2007
- Wittenmyer, Gordon, Hill keeps 'em guessing, Chicago Sun-Times, Retrieved on June 6, 2007
- Winn, Luke, Thrown for a curve, Sports Illustrated, Retrieved on June 6, 2007
- Sullivan, Paul,Padres' solo act sinks Hill, Cubs, Chicago Tribune, Retrieved on June 6, 2007
- Odum, Charles,Cubs 2, Braves 1, Yahoo! Sports, Retrieved on June 14, 2007
- "Orioles acquire LHP Rich Hill from Cubs," Baltimore Orioles Press Release, Monday, February 2, 2009.
- Leach, Matthew (2010-01-26). "Cards sign Hill to Minor League deal". MLB.com. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- Jenks & Wheeler to DL, Hill & Atchison called up, NECN.com, May 5, 2011.
- TOMMY JOHN SURGERIES FOR HILL, DAISUKE SET WEEI.com, June 9, 2011
- Speier, Alex (December 12, 2011). "Red Sox non-tender Rich Hill, sign Matt Albers, tender contracts to seven others". WEEI.
- Abraham, Peter (December 30, 2011). "Red Sox sign Hill to minor league contract". Boston Globe.
- "Angels acquire Hill from Red Sox in cash deal". ESPN.com. Associated Press. July 1, 2014. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
- Pini, Jeff (July 17, 2014). "Yankees Sign Former Sox Reliever Rich Hill". Boston.com. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
- Derespina, Cody (August 5, 2014). "Nationals get Matt Thornton from Yankees". Newsday. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
- "Yankees add LHP Outman, cut LHP Hill". ESPN.com. Associated Press. August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
- Cafardo, Nick,Hill climber in Chicago, The Boston Globe ,Retrieved on June 6, 2007
- Bradford, Rob (March 6, 2014). "Rich Hill returns to Red Sox camp after passing of his newborn son". fullcount.weei.com. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
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- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)