Dodgers: Rich Hill is Flying Under the Radar


Rich Hill has quietly been the Dodgers’ second-best starter for quite some time now.

The postseason is right around the corner, and the Dodgers are still in the midst of putting together their starting rotation for the NLDS. A strength they will have going into the playoffs is the depth of their starting pitching.

Los Angeles has multiple starters they could mix and match depending on the situation and opponent.

Clayton Kershaw is obviously going to be the Game 1 starter whoever the Dodgers play, but the rotation after game one is still up in question.

Many assume that Yu Darvish will be the Game Two starter considering that he was the big trade acquisition the Dodgers made at the deadline and he was brought here to be that second ace behind Kershaw.

The 4-time All-Star has been solid but not spectacular as a Dodger going 4-3 in nine starts posting a 3.44 ERA and a 3.37 FIP. Although, he is heating at the right time allowing only 1 ER in his last three starts spanning 19.1 innings.

Another popular choice is Alex Wood who overall has had a great season going 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and was rewarded with his first All-Star selection this year, but Wood has been mediocre in the second half posting a 3.89 ERA in 12 starts.

However, the guy that has continued to fly under the radar is Rich Hill. He has had another solid season going 12-8 with a 3.32 ERA in 25 starts.

A guy that has had such an interesting career has turned himself into one of the more consistent pitchers in the last couple of seasons.

In his late 30’s Hill has found the fountain of youth and has become one of the most consistent pitchers over the last two years. He got off to a slow start this season but has got better and better as the year has gone on.

In the second half Hill has a 3.01 ERA in 13 starts while averaging a great 11.6 SO/9. In his last five starts, he’s posted an impressive 1.89 ERA with a 0.759 WHIP and averaging 12.4 SO/9.

When Hill is healthy, he has been one of the better lefties in all of baseball. He has a 2.72 ERA over his last two seasons which spans 35 starts.

Hill dealt with a lingering blister problem at the beginning of the year which carried over from last season. His slow start could be attributed to not being able to get into a rhythm because of those blister issues that kept coming back and forcing him to miss time.

It seemed liked Hill was never going to be able to go more than a few starts without having to go to the DL because of the blister, but it now looks like it is a thing of the past and Hill has been in a great groove as of late.

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He has been better than Wood for the last several months now and has had a better overall season than Darvish.

A fiery competitor who has been through a lot Hill is not scared of the postseason stage. Whoever starts Game 2 in the NLDS would most likely depend on matchups.

Depending on the opponent the Dodgers will have to make the decision of going with the righty Darvish or lefties Wood or Hill.

As good of a season as Wood has had his, second-half fall off, as well as his lack of postseason experience, has to have the team leaning towards Hill for the second lefty starter after Kershaw.

Wood has very minimal playoff experience pitching only 7.1 innings with a 4.91 ERA and having never made a start.

Hill, on the other hand, got great playoff experience last year making three starts. He had one great start in particular in Game 3 of the NLCS against the Cubs, pitching six shutout innings and getting the win.

Hill is also starting to show an ability to pitch deeper into games now. In the beginning of the season as well as last year Hill looked like only a five-inning pitcher with the potential to give you six innings on occasion.

Now he is starting to frequently go at least six innings or even more. In his first nine starts of the year Hill never went past five innings.

In his last 16 starts he has pitched at least six innings nine times which includes that heartbreaking game against the Pirates when he took a no-hitter into the 10th inning before giving up a walk-off home run to Josh Harrison.

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Having gotten stronger as the season has gone along Hill should be considered a strong candidate as the Game 2 NLDS starter.