The Dodgers had a gaping hole in the rotation after Zack Greinke departed for the desert. But then came the now 37-year-old Rich Hill.
With the team performing surprisingly well after losing Clayton Kershaw to injury, the Dodgers swung a midseason trade to acquire Hill from the Oakland A’s. Hill was out at the time with blisters, but made six regular season starts for the boys in blue, capturing a 1.83 ERA along the way.
Pitchers since '61 w/12+ wins in age-36 or older season to hold the opposition below .200 AVG: Ryan, R. Johnson, Clemens & Rich Hill in '16. pic.twitter.com/keWk4pIQOU
— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) March 11, 2017
At one point, Hill appeared to be finished. Last season was a revival, and it paid off in a big way.
Hill capitalized on the best season of his career, earning a three-year, $48 million extension with the Dodgers. Hill rejected overtures from teams closer to his native New England area, including the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees.
— Long Island Ducks (@LIDucks) March 11, 2017
“I think it’s something that has been an incredible journey to get to this point, but never did I ever think that I would pack it in,” Hill said. “I never thought I was done.”
Hill has had a rough spring so far, accumulating a 12.60 ERA. But he’s never been a quick starter, and early struggles are far from the most he’s ever had to overcome.
The Los Angeles Times ran a profile piece detailing Hill’s path back to prominence.
Now Kershaw’s sidekick, Hill is taking aim at the next goal: a championship.