Rich Hill
Rich Hill
39-Year-Old PitcherSP
Los Angeles Dodgers
10-Day IL
Injury Knee
Est. Return 4/27/2019
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Hill posted his highest ERA in a 100-plus-inning season since 2007 and spent 53 days on the disabled list before June 19 with -- you guessed it -- finger issues (cracked nail, blister). His prolonged absence turned out to be a blessing as well as a curse, however, as he discovered and corrected a mechanical flaw that helped him regain the elite spin on his curveball. In his final 108 regular-season frames, Hill pitched to a 3.08 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 10.4 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 while going 10-3. He had a career-best first-pitch strike percentage (65.3), which helped his sequencing. Considering the lefty's shaky health and Los Angeles' micromanagement of his workload, the 39-year-old's fantasy shareholders must prepare to backfill at least several starts. They also shouldn't ignore his two-year increase in home-run rate (1.36 HR/9 last season). That said, few midrange starters match his strikeout ability on a per-start basis. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a three-year, $48 million contract with the Dodgers in December of 2016.
Could return next weekend
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Knee
April 21, 2019
Hill (knee) will throw five or six innings at extended spring camp Monday and could rejoin the rotation next weekend, Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register reports.
ANALYSIS
Assuming he comes through the extended spring game without any setbacks, Hill said he could rejoin the Dodgers and be ready to start their Sunday home game against the Pirates as he targets a return from his left knee strain. Ross Stripling is slated to move to the bullpen when Hill returns.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-10%
BAA vs RHP
2019
No Stats
2018
 
 
-8%
BAA vs LHP
2017
 
 
-25%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .228 268 58 32 51 6 1 11
Since 2017vs Right .206 831 258 58 156 32 4 27
2019vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Left .206 144 30 13 26 5 0 6
2018vs Right .223 403 120 28 82 18 3 14
2017vs Left .255 124 28 19 25 1 1 5
2017vs Right .190 428 138 30 74 14 1 13
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-17%
ERA at Home
2019
No Stats
2018
 
 
-2%
ERA on Road
2017
 
 
-32%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 3.18 1.13 141.1 12 9 0 10.4 3.2 1.2
Since 2017Away 3.83 1.09 127.0 11 4 0 10.8 2.8 1.3
2019Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Home 3.69 1.22 63.1 5 4 0 9.9 2.4 1.6
2018Away 3.63 1.04 69.1 6 1 0 10.4 3.1 1.2
2017Home 2.77 1.05 78.0 7 5 0 10.7 3.8 0.9
2017Away 4.06 1.14 57.2 5 3 0 11.4 2.5 1.6
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2013
2012
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
Since unveiling a Statcast-breaking curveball with the Red Sox in 2015, Hill has combined for a 2.65 ERA, 10.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 over 275 innings. For two-plus seasons, that is a light workload; his clubs have generally handled him conservatively and he infamously dealt with a blister issue which lingered from summer 2016 into the 2017 regular season. The Dodgers can afford to preserve the soon-to-be 38-year-old southpaw given their pitching depth, but Hill provides borderline elite numbers when on the mound, making up for the limited workload. Keep in mind: the shallower your fantasy league, the easier it’ll be to invest in Hill’s lower innings count and replace any missed time with players above replacement level.
In August 2015, Hill was pitching in independent ball after a long, mostly unremarkable career. He hadn't started a major league game since 2009. Then he signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox, impressed in four starts, signed a one-year deal with the Athletics, impressed even more, and was traded to the Dodgers to be their postseason No. 2 starter. By the end of the 2016 season, he had a 2.00 ERA and 165 strikeouts in 24 starts since that Red Sox deal. Unfortunately, he also missed significant time with a groin strain and blisters, the latter of which forced the Dodgers to limit his innings and pull him after seven innings of a potential perfect game. The driving force behind his reinvention is a monster curveball he throws for nearly half his pitches, dropping it in at any point in the count and from multiple arm angles. The injuries remain a major red flag for the 36-year-old, but he's found a unique way to prevent runs at an elite level.
Hill's 2015 season was a nice made-for-TV story. The 36-year-old left-handed reliever began the season in the Nationals' organization, pitching out of the bullpen for their Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse. He was released mid-season, hooked on with the Long Island Ducks of the Independent Atlantic League, and then signed with Boston in August. He had success as a starter for Triple-A Pawtucket and then made four strikeout-laden starts in September for the Red Sox. Using primarily a fastball and curveball mix, Hill's performance was a startling display of effectiveness for a guy that hadn't started in the big leagues since 2009. The Red Sox didn't re-sign him during their exclusive window, letting Hill hit the free-agent market where he generated a lot of interest and eventually signed with Oakland. He represents a low-risk, high-reward option as a back-of-the-rotation starter and potential trade bait for the A's if his success continues in the first half of 2016.
Hill made a quicker-than-normal return from Tommy John surgery in 2011 and was pitching well for Boston when a strained flexor muscle in his elbow shut him down for six weeks. The left-hander continued to pitch well upon his return. He finished with 21 strikeouts in 19.2 innings, so he could work his way into a high-leverage relief role.
Hill underwent a transformation to a sidearm delivery, pitching very effectively for both Triple-A Pawtucket and Boston before developing an elbow injury that led to Tommy John surgery in June. While it's tempting to think cause-and-effect, that the new arm slot caused the injury, Hill's doctor said stress on the elbow is the same regardless of arm slot. Hill will rehab into 2012 and resume his career as a sidearmer out of the pen.
The Orioles coveted Hill for quite some time, but he flopped when he tried to freshen up his career after a change of scenery. An elbow injury early in the season and a shoulder injury late in the season didn't help matters, but his line with Baltimore was so atrocious it is difficult to envision a future in which Hill revives his career.
Coming off a breakout campaign in 2007, Hill was viewed as a potential staff ace last season. But he struggled with his location during spring training and simply never got it back. As a result, he spent most of the year in the minors, but walked nearly a batter an inning at every level. Hill tried to straighten himself out this fall in the Venezuelan League, but the results were just as bad. At this point, it's unclear whether Hill will ever be able to resume his major league career.
Hill solidified his credentials as a borderline major league ace last year, repeating his robust strikeout rate and even cutting down on the walk rate. Hill's weakness is still his propensity to give up flyballs and hence home runs, but even in that department he improved -- upping his G/F ratio from .60 to .83. A lefty with a low-90's fastball and devastating curve, the 28-year-old is just hitting his pitching prime and could join the elite if he continues to improve.
After dominating the high minors but struggling during his major league call-ups, Hill finally broke through in the second half of 2006, striking out 79 batters in 80 major league innings after the All-Star break and walking just 24. Hill's second half ERA was 2.93, and his WHIP just 1.05, but he allowed too many fly balls, 11 of which left the park in the season's final three months. He throws in the low-90s and has a devastating curve ball, but his fly-ball rate could tie his fate to the volatile winds at Wrigley more than we'd like.
Hill posted ungodly strikeout rates in the high minors, but gave up too many home runs. In his 25-inning stint in the majors, Hill struck out nearly a batter an inning, but his walk rate skyrocketed, and he continued to serve up the long ball. Combine that with an unluckily high hit rate, and Hill's first go-around was a rough one. Hill throws in the low-90s and has a sharp-breaking curve ball, but until he learns to command his pitches better, he's a long shot to see a spot in the Cubs rotation.
More Fantasy News
Will make another rehab start
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Knee
April 18, 2019
Hill (knee) will make one more rehab start before returning to the big-league rotation, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Dominant in rehab start
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Knee
April 18, 2019
Hill (knee) tossed four scoreless frames (54 pitches) in his rehab start Wednesday for High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He gave up two hits and issued no walks while striking out eight.
ANALYSIS
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Rehab start on tap
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Knee
April 14, 2019
Hill (knee) is scheduled to throw four innings or about 60 pitches during his first minor-league rehab start Wednesday, which will come at High-A Rancho Cucamonga or Triple-A Oklahoma City, Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register reports.
ANALYSIS
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Completes simulated game
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Knee
April 12, 2019
Hill (knee) completed a three-inning simulated game Friday, Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times reports.
ANALYSIS
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Will throw simulated game
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Knee
April 10, 2019
Hill (knee) is scheduled to throw a three- or four-inning simulated game in Los Angeles on Friday, Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register reports.
ANALYSIS
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