Cleveland Indians Days of Future Past Redux: Rich Hill

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Like every other team in Major League Baseball, the Cleveland Indians employ numerous players throughout their organization, from the big-league club in Cleveland to their rookie league team in Arizona and beyond. And like every other Major League franchise, the Indians add and subtract from this player pool on a regular basis. This irregular series will serve to post notice when a former Indians player has done something noteworthy with a quick look back at the player’s time in Cleveland.

Player: LHRP Rich Hill

Year(s) in Indians Organization: 2013  

Why He Isn’t in Cleveland Still:  After making the team after signing a minor league deal, Rich Hill had a rather up and down year out of the Tribe pen.  He struck out 11.9 batters per nine innings while pitching 63 times helping the Tribe snag a surprise playoff spot. However, he also struggled with his control walking 6.8 batters per nine innings and posting a 6.28 ERA.  The initial thought was he could be an effective LOOGY, and while he did hold lefties to a .233 average, he allowed a .375 OBP against lefties. Francona (who managed Hill in Boston) stuck with Hill through his struggles, though by September began turning to other options, especially summer acquisition Marc Rzepczynski, as Hill was only used seven times that month to the tune of just 2.1 innings.  Following the season the Indians decided not to resign Hill and he was eventually signed by Boston.

Why He’s in the News:  After spending 2014 with three different organizations (Red Sox, Angels, Yankees), Rich Hill has signed with the Washington Nationals.

This marks the third year in a row Rich Hill has agreed to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.

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What Does the Future Hold: The Nationals on paper appear to have one of the best teams in baseball with many calling them World Series favorites; however, the bullpen is the one area that could be of some concern. A quick glance at the Nationals’ depth chart shows that they only have two left-handed relievers in their pen (Matt Thornton and Jerry Blevins), leaving the door open for Hill to still make the club out of spring training.  Giving his time in Cleveland and the tragedy his family suffered a year ago, us here at Wahoo’s on First wish him well in Washington.

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