Originally slated to start on Opening Day in place of the injured Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill was unable to take the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers due to a sore left knee.
He was placed on the 10-day injured list to begin the regular season and didn’t make his 2019 debut until the end of April. It was a theme that unfortunately resonated for Hill throughout most of the year.
The left-hander was limited to just 13 regular-season starts as a result of separate knee and elbow injuries that kept him sidelined for long periods of time.
When he was on the mound, Hill proved to be a reliable option for the Dodgers, compiling a 4-1 record with a 2.45 ERA, 4.10 FIP and 1.13 WHIP over 58.2 innings.
He made just one appearance in the postseason, starting against the Washington Nationals in Game 4 of the National League Division Series.
Hill was largely inefficient, allowing six baserunners and one run in just 2.2 innings of work. He most notably struggled with his command, walking a season-high four batters in the contest.
It was later revealed that the 39-year-old pitched through a detached UCL in his left elbow upon returning to game action in September.
Hill enjoyed arguably his finest start of the season on May 17 against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Over six shutout innings, he yielded just two hits while striking out 10 batters on 84 pitches.
The Dodgers cruised to a 6-0 victory, improving to 30-16 on the year while extending their winning streak to four.
Shortly after the Dodgers were eliminated from postseason play, Hill underwent primary revision surgery to reattach the UCL in his left elbow. He is expected to be sidelined through at least June of the 2020 season.
Hill’s advanced age and injury concerns evidently haven’t discouraged teams from pursuing him in free agency. The Dodgers and Boston Red Sox are among 10 teams to express interest in signing him this offseason.
Hill revealed that his preference is to sign with a contender, hoping to contribute to a team with World Series aspirations.
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