Rich Hill Signs Minor League Deal


Veteran lefty Rich Hill will join the Cardinals in Spring Training after signing a minor league deal earlier this evening. The Cards have been searching for a 5th starter to round out the rotation. Hill will have a chance to be that guy. Other candidates include Kyle McClellan and other young arms on the farm. The signing is the Cards attempt to complete the rotation and other free agent veterans like John Smoltz seem unlikely to land in St. Louis.

Hill has shown flashes throughout his career, as a familiar foe with the Cubbies and later with the Orioles. But he never really put it all together. Like most Cards pitching additions, the prospect of working with Dave Duncan makes all pitchers possible stars. Hill has the stuff and smarts to get the job done, and Duncan could help he improve in all facets. You may remember him with the Cubs, possessing a looping curveball that could dominate a game. Hopefully for St. Louis, Hill shows command of the curve when he gets back on the hill.

He is coming off surgery to repair a torn labrum that bothered him throughout 2008 and 2009. The tear in his left shoulder stalled his career, but at 29 years old, he can still find a home in the majors. Health is a positive for Hill heading into the season as he should be hungry to reprove himself to the baseball world. The Cards would certainly be happy if Hill can make St. Louis his home for the second wind of his career. If he can provide solid innings every fifth day as the bridge to the top, he’ll be getting more than a minor league deal.