Last night, veteran lefty Rich Hill struck out ten batters in a complete-game shutout against the Orioles. In doing so, he became the first AL pitcher in the last century to whiff at least ten in each of his first three starts with a new team, Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com writes. As McAdam notes, that’s an amazing achievement for anyone, let alone a 34-year-old journeyman who was until recently pitching in independent ball. The Nationals released Hill in June, and the Sox signed him to a minor league deal after he struck out 21 batters in two starts with the Long Island Ducks. Since the Sox promoted him to the big leagues earlier this month, Hill has allowed just three runs in 23 innings, striking out 30 and walking two. Here’s more out of Boston.
- The Sox’ hiring of Frank Wren is the latest evidence of their commitment to building a robust front office, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal writes. They used their financial heft to lure Dave Dombrowski to Boston rather than Seattle or Toronto, and they’ve added Wren and promoted Mike Hazen to general manager. Dombrowski says he will solicit evaluations from assistants to the GM Pedro Martinez and Jason Varitek. The Red Sox are also hoping to add adviser and former Angels GM Jerry Dipoto to a full-time role, although that will have to wait until it’s clear whether Dipoto will get a GM job elsewhere.
- One exec the Red Sox didn’t hire was Quinton McCracken, writes Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. McCracken interviewed for the GM job that ultimately went to Hazen. Now that the process is over, he’ll remain with the Astros as their director of player development. “Sunday night we interviewed pretty much half the day Monday morning. I was back in Houston later that night,” says McCracken. “Very thorough, interesting process. It’s the first time ever really going through something like that. Just being in consideration with a storied franchise like that for that position was truly an honor.” McCracken, of course, played 12 years as a big-league outfielder. He worked for two years in player development with the Diamondbacks before joining the Astros three years ago.
Granted, the three starts by Hill are more of a stroke of luck than an indication of things to expect, but he’s a far sight better than Craig Breslow. Hill was with the Sox a few years back and did well then, also. They should retain Hill and give Breslow his walking papers.
Swings and misses aren’t luck. He’s legitimately dominating major league hitters.
You can’t really know that it’s just luck. There are some interesting stats that look at his break and lateral movement. He had similar results in the Independent League. And he hasn’t been healthy or a starter for many seasons. It may be a fluke, but it may not. Only time will tell.
It’s not a fluke, his curve is nasty and has been. He can’t maintain it without hurting his arm. You watch, it always happens. He throws 50% plus curves and watch him throw it, different 3/4 angle or not, it even looks painful.
He has had TJ surgery, several different arm injuries. Problem isn’t just the loss of control, which the new angle has supposedly fixed, it’s he can’t maintain throwing 50-65% curveballs 75-90 times every 5 days. His curve has one of the biggest breaks in the game.. Bar none. When he remade himself several years back? That was the pitch he did it with and immediately led to arm injury No.1 and it’s been a long trail ever since.
I’d STILL love to see Dombrowski throw 2m his way at a hope and a promise, they threw away 2m on Breslow for nothing this year, at least Hill offers maybe 8-10 games before going out for the season.. Maybe 2-3, but I see no reason he’s not worth a 2m gamble on staying healthy THAT long before he blows out his elbow once again.
Well, 41% curveballs this year according to PitchFX. Not quite 50-65%, but up there. He’s all but abandoned his slider so far, a frequently cited pitch as a cause of injury.
There is no way Hill’s arm holds up for a full season. Too bad, the Sox could use starting pitchers.
McAdam made an error in the column stating that Hill was 34 (he’s 35) and it carried over to your summation.