As far as non-roster invitees go, you can’t get much more interesting than Rich Hill. In 2007, Hill struck out 183 in 195 innings pitched and was a three win pitcher. Since then, he’s contracted Steve Blass disease, also known as Ankielitis. Adding injury to insult, Hill is coming off labrum surgery. At least that might explain some of his badness.
CHONE, Marcel, ZiPS and the Fans are in harmony in their projections of Hill — 4.8ish FIP, lots of walks, a nice strikeout rate and somewhere between 90-100 innings; good for roughly around 1 WAR. Coming off labrum surgery, I think expecting much of anything feels optimistic. I’m still dealing with Mulder shell-shock, but at least they’re not paying Mulder money or anything near it. This is a no-risk, all-reward move. Yay Cards.
Stuff wise, Hill’s repertoire consists of an 88-90 MPH, the occasional change-up, and a droppifying curveball, the key to his whiffs. For fun, I thought it would be interesting to compare Hill’s curve to the average lefty and Barry Zito, the King of Lefty Curveballs.
|Name||Speed||Horizontal||Vertical||Spin Rate||Spin Direction|
Not a true 12-6er, but that’s a lot of movement. It’s more of an 1-7 curve. Here’s a spin deflection graph, and then we’ll look at the results -
I find it odd that two lefties with such great curves get less swings and misses than average. Huh. At any rate, Hill is flyer worthy.