Rich Hill
Rich Hill
38-Year-Old PitcherSP
Los Angeles Dodgers
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
$Signed a three-year, $48 million contract with the Dodgers in December of 2016.
Will start Game 4
PLos Angeles Dodgers
October 25, 2018
Hill has been confirmed as the starting pitcher for Game 4 of the World Series against Boston on Saturday, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.
As expected, Hill will toe the rubber for the Dodgers in Game 4 after Walker Buehler aims to notch a win in Game 3. Hill has looked solid throughout the postseason, allowing three runs and fanning 10 over 10.1 innings (2.61 ERA).
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .225 361 75 35 70 8 2 11
Since 2016vs Right .201 1177 370 88 214 40 5 31
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
2016vs Left .218 93 17 3 19 2 1 0
2016vs Right .188 346 112 30 58 8 1 4
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
Since 2016Home 2.99 1.13 189.2 16 13 0 10.2 3.2 1.0
Since 2016Away 3.19 1.02 188.0 19 5 0 11.0 2.7 1.0
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
2016Home 2.42 1.14 48.1 4 4 0 9.7 3.2 0.4
2016Away 1.89 0.89 62.0 8 1 0 11.2 2.3 0.3
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Stat Review
How does Rich Hill compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
89.3 mph
Strand %
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Rich Hill
MLB Barometer: Undervalued Pitchers
2 days ago
Derek VanRiper looks for undervalued pitchers by comparing multiple sets of projections to NFBC ADP data.
The Z Files: Building an Aceless Staff
8 days ago
Todd Zola looks at what it would take to build a competitive pitching staff without using early picks on true aces and focuses on upside arms like Zack Wheeler.
Rounding Third: Playing-Time Neutral SP Rankings
11 days ago
Jeff Erickson identifies starting pitchers who might be undervalued on the basis of projected innings. Does that mean you should bump up Rich Hill in your rankings?
The Z Files: Drafting a Pitching Staff
64 days ago
Todd Zola walks through how he assembles a fantasy pitching staff and explains why Max Scherzer is the only hurler to get a pre-draft plan named after him.
The Z Files: Historical Top 200
97 days ago
Todd Zola takes a look at the end-of-season top-200 performers over the last five years and thinks Charlie Blackmon's being discounted too heavily in early drafts given his track record.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
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
Tabbed with start in Game 4
PLos Angeles Dodgers
October 11, 2018
Hill will start Game 4 of the NLCS against Milwaukee on Tuesday, J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
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Allows two runs versus Braves
PLos Angeles Dodgers
October 8, 2018
Hill started Monday's series-clinching win over the Braves. He went 4.1 innings and allowed two runs on four hits and five walks while striking out three in the no-decision.
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To start Game 4 barring sweep
PLos Angeles Dodgers
October 7, 2018
Hill is in line to start Monday's game against the Braves if the NLDS extends to Game 4, Ken Gurnick of reports.
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Tosses gem vs. Giants
PLos Angeles Dodgers
September 30, 2018
Hill (11-5) got the win Sunday, allowing just two hits while striking out seven across seven scoreless innings against San Francisco.
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Will start Sunday
PLos Angeles Dodgers
September 30, 2018
Hill will take the mound to start Sunday's regular-season finale at San Francisco, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports.
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