The Dodgers were expected to have interest in bringing Rich Hill back for 2020 but the southpaw will be out until next June.
Rich Hill will forever be a legend to Dodgers fans but his return to Los Angeles became a bit more clouded with news that Hill underwent a procedure and will be out until next June, at the minimum. The surgery Hill underwent is an alternative to Tommy John surgery which would’ve put Hill out for all of next season and likely end his career.
Hill pitched well for the Dodgers in 2019 although his season was marred by forearm and knee injuries. Rich pitched to an ERA of 2.45 in thirteen games for the Dodgers this year and he made one shortened postseason start where he appeared to re-aggravate his knee injury. Many viewed Hill as a low-risk high-reward type signing for 2020.
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So what does this mean for the Dodgers and the possibility of bringing Hill back for one more season? If anything, this likely means it will be Dodgers or bust for Rich Hill if he pitches in the big leagues next year. While Hill could be out until the All-Star break, the Dodgers are one team that is built to sign Hill as a possible reinforcement for the second half of the season.
Hill could even pitch out of the bullpen if he returns next year and given the Dodgers’ pitching depth, they have plenty of bullpen and rotation arms to begin next season with Hill on the IL. While injuries could change things next year, it’s hard to imagine another team gambling on the 40-year old that is not the Dodgers.
If Rich has thrown his last pitch in the big leagues, it was a heck of a comeback for the left-hander that once found himself playing independent league baseball. He worked his way back into being an elite starting pitcher in the bigs and was rewarded with a three year $48 million dollar contract. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery to Rich and a second half in Los Angeles next season.