Tag:Rich Hill
Posted on: January 3, 2012 4:09 pm
 

Red Sox sign Carlos Silva to minor-league deal

By C. Trent Rosecrans

After spending 2011 in the Yankees' farm system, former Mariners and Cubs right-hander Carlos Silva has signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox, the team announced on Tuesday.

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Silva was one of 12 players signed to minor-league contracts. The team also signed eight other pitchers -- Rich Hill, Brandon Duckworth, Will Inman, Doug Mathis, Tony Pena Jr., Chorye Spoone, Jesse Carlson, Charlie Haeger and Justin Thomas. The team also announce it had signed shortstop Pedro Ciriaco and utility man Nate Spears.

Silva is really the only reason we're writing this (despite my love of knuckleballers like Haeger), as Silva's had success in the past and the Red Sox are hoping to get lucky with him (kind of like the Yankees did with Freddie Garcia and Bartolo Colon). Silva, 32, went 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA at Double-A and Triple-A with the Yankees last season after being released by the Cubs. Chicago had acquired him in a swap of bad contracts after the 2009 season, sending Milton Bradley to Seattle. He had a nice bounce-back season in 2010, going 10-6 with a 4.22 ERA, but had a disastrous spring training and was released at the end of March.

Hill, 31, had Tommy John surgery in June after nine scoreless outings out of the bullpen for the Red Sox in 2011. The left-hander pitched for the Red Sox in 2010, as well. His best season came in 2007, when he went 11-7 with a 3.92 ERA for the Cubs.

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Posted on: November 27, 2011 11:28 am
Edited on: November 27, 2011 12:28 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Chicago Cubs



By Matt Snyder


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule of this feature, click here.

When we discuss the Chicago Cubs, no baseball fan is lacking an opinion -- specifically, everyone seems to have some pet theory as to why the Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908. I've long argued with the people who believe the streak has something to do with a stupid "curse" or somehow now has something to do with playing so many more day games than everyone else. No, the real problem is they've never put a top-to-bottom management system in place that has done the job consistently for more than a small handful of seasons. It's possible current Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts has done so with Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, et al (in fact, I'd argue it's likely), but that's a different discussion for a different forum.

For now, we're left looking at one of the worst Homegrown Teams in our series.

Lineup

1. Kosuke Fukudome, RF
2. Darwin Barney, 2B
3. Starlin Castro, SS
4. Tyler Colvin, LF
5. Casey McGehee, 3B
6. Eric Hinske, 1B
7. Geovany Soto, C
8. Sam Fuld, CF

Starting Rotation

1. Ricky Nolasco
2. Kyle Lohse
3. Andrew Cashner*
4. Carlos Zambrano
5. Randy Wells
* - if Cashner fell injured like he did in the real 2011 season, the options would be: Jon Garland, Dontrelle Willis and Casey Coleman.

Bullpen

Closer - Kyle Farnsworth
Set up - Kerry Wood, Sean Marshall, Carlos Marmol, Al Alburquerque, Juan Cruz, Michael Wuertz
Long - Jeff Samardzija, Rich Hill, Sergio Mitre

Notable Bench Players

Robinson Chirinos, Ryan Theriot, Ronny Cedeno, Brandon Guyer, Corey Patterson, Felix Pie, Tony Campana, Lou Montanez. In fact, feel free to grab any of these guys, plug them in the lineup and play around with it. There's really no wrong answer, because it's one marquee player (and he's only 21) amidst a heap of mediocrity at this point. Maybe Guyer proves a good player, McGehee bounces back and/or Colvin becomes a good everyday player, but we have to go on what we've seen up to this point.

What's Good?

The bullpen is really strong. It's well-rounded with righties and lefties, depth, power pitchers and specialists. Of course, there could be an issue with the lack of a reliable closer when it comes to either Farnsworth or Marmol, but a new-age manager might just abandon that idea and use whoever makes the most sense in the ninth.

What's Not?

The starting rotation doesn't have a true ace (or No. 2, for that matter). The infield defense sorely lacks range and the outfield isn't great either. The team speed is minimal, there isn't a good option at leadoff (or in the two-hole, or cleanup, or fifth ... you get the point) and who is the best power hitter? Colvin? Soto? Basically, everything other than the bullpen and Starlin Castro is lackluster.

Comparison to real 2011

You have to give former general manager Jim Hendry credit for scraping together a team good enough to win three division titles in six years, considering this bunch. Then again, he was in charge as the organization was assembling nothing more than a mediocre foundation (Baseball Prospectus now says the minor-league system is "not bad" but is more "depth than starpower."). Let's leave out the excuses, because there are far more bad picks (Montanez at third overall as a shortstop, for example) than there are instances of bad luck (Mark Prior, for example).

The amazing thing is that the 2011 Cubs were 71-91 and I actually think that team was better than this Homegrown unit. When we do the Homegrown rankings in mid-December, expect to see the Cubs toward the bottom. That probably changes in five years, but we're doing this exercise in the present. And this team would probably win somewhere in the ballpark of 65 games. Maybe fewer.

Up Next: Seattle Mariners

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Posted on: November 4, 2011 3:25 pm
 

Ex-Sox strength coach: Four players out of shape

PageBy Evan Brunell

On Friday, the Red Sox fired strength and conditioning coach Dave Page, who had been with the team since 2006, along with assistant athletic trainer Greg Barajas.

The move came as such a shock that Page, in an interview on WEEI, estimated "90 percent" of the team's roster -- plus others in the game -- reached out to him, with one such player saying "I feel this is all my fault."

Is this the same player that gave up on the season in September with no explanation? Page said there were four Red Sox players that were lax in their conditioning by the time the end of the season rolled around. He refused to name names, but did say that none of the players included Josh Beckett. Beckett, who noticeably put pounds on as the year progressed,  expressed concern to Page about his weight.

"We got to the end of the year where we had four guys -- without naming names -- we had four guys that we thought didn't make it to that part of the season where we hoped they would be: one position player -- an everyday guy -- one pitcher -- a starting pitcher -- and two bullpen guys," Page said. "For the most part, everybody else had stayed within where we wanted them to be. They were what we expected. Most of them were working."

Except for these four players, of course. And one in particular couldn't explain why he tailed off.

"I did have a good conversation with one player at the end of the year in Baltimore that really kind of opened my eyes," Page said. "I said, 'Hey, what's going on here? It seemed like you pulled the plug a little bit. Why?' He kind of looked down at the ground, looked back and me and said, 'I don't know why. I can't answer that question.' Which was kind of a shock."

Page, who earned the 2007 Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year award, named Daniel Bard, Rich Hill, David Ortiz, Jonathan Papelbon, Jason Varitek and Kevin Youkilis among those who reached out, according to the Boston Globe.

“Papelbon and Youkilis were less than pleased. I can tell you that,” he said.

On WEEI, Page admitted to being taken aback about his firing, especially since it's been over a month since the end of the season. That fact, despite the departures of manager Terry Francona and GM Theo Epstein, led Page to "believe that things weren't going to change, and it really kind of limited my opportunities to move on with another team. It was very surprising."

Page also admitted that support from coaches and the front office were "better in the past," saying he approached coaches and front office personnel on a regular basis to express concerns. He also turned in weekly reports to Francona and the higher-ups, so they were aware of any failings in player conditioning. Page's comments marries up with skipper Terry Francona saying he felt as if the front office wasn't supporting him as much as it had in years past. That leads one to ask why. Perhaps the front office thought this was a team that wasn't going to last and needed wholesale changes. As a result, they weren't as supportive as in the past. That's all speculation, however.

Page also chimed in on the whole fried chicken and beer controversy.

"There was a lot of grumblings but I think that whole chicken-and-beer thing has gotten a lot of unnecessary play, to be honest with you," he said. "I really didn't see chicken in the clubhouse all that often. I'm in and out of there a lot. I rarely saw the chicken. If they were drinking beer it was probably upstairs and I wasn't up there. You'll see the starting pitcher drink a beer when he comes out of the game, that's pretty common. In my opinion, it wasn't as rampant as it's gotten to be made out to be."

Read more about the beer drinking controversy, or check out Eye on Baseball's coverage on Theo Epstein bolting to the Cubs.

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Image courtesy BaseTrainer.com.
Posted on: June 1, 2011 3:59 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 4:50 pm
 

Hill leaves with apparent elbow injury

By Matt Snyder

Red Sox left handed reliever Rich Hill appeared to be in pain when he grabbed his left elbow after a pitch Wednesday afternoon. He consulted with team trainers and was immediately removed from the game.

This could be a pretty big blow for both the Red Sox and Hill, though he may emerge with just a minor injury. Reports from the locker room after the game say Hill has a forearm injury. He is on his way to getting an MRI, but teammate Daniel Bard told reporters Hill passed initial ulnar-collateral ligament tests (Boston Herald on Twitter) -- which, if torn, if what requires Tommy John surgery.

Hill had been bouncing around the past few years after failing to stick as a quality starting pitcher. He seemed to have found a niche in the Red Sox bullpen, as he entered Wednesday having not allowed a single run in 14 appearances for the Red Sox dating back to last season. He's been tough on both righties and lefties, and was quickly becoming a significant cog in the bullpen. He is the only left-hander currently on the big-league club.

The scary news initially was that Hill reportedly threw seven straight curveballs to Adam Dunn before clutching his elbow (WEEI.com). That is certainly a bad sign given how curve balls create torque on the elbow, but if the initial reports are true, he simply dodged a bullet.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 5, 2011 11:25 am
Edited on: May 5, 2011 12:59 pm
 

Red Sox bullpen gets shakeup

By Matt Snyder

After an extended workload Wednesday night, due to a rain delay and extra innings, the Red Sox bullpen is in need of some fresh faces. They're going to get two, as Rich Hill and Scott Atchison have both been promoted from Triple-A to join the 'pen. They will replace Dan Wheeler and Bobby Jenks, both of whom were placed on the disabled list Thursday morning, general manager Theo Epstein announced.

The move shouldn't really harm the Red Sox, considering how awful both Wheeler and Jenks have been thus far. Jenks has a 9.35 ERA with 13 hits and nine walks allowed in just 8 2/3 innings. For good measure, he's even tossed in three wild pitches. He was unavailable during Wednesday's marathon, so maybe he just hasn't been healthy all season. Wheeler has an 11.32 ERA. His issue is complete opposite of Jenks, as he's been pounded with the long ball, having given up four home runs in 10 1/3 innings.

On the flip-side, Hill and Atchison have been tearing up Triple-A. Hill has a 1.13 ERA with 18 strikeouts and five walks in 16 innings while Atchison has a 1.04 ERA with 17 strikeouts and just one walk in 17 1/3 innings. Things will be more balanced, too, as Hill is left-handed (both Jenks and Wheeler are righties).

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Posted on: February 15, 2011 3:37 pm
 

Rich Hill becoming sidearmer

HillThe Red Sox are holding an open competition for a left-handed bullpen reliever. 

Skipper Terry Francona would prefer to have two southpaws, which is good news for the competition between Rich Hill, Dennys Reyes, Lenny DiNardo, Hideki Okajima, Felix Doubront, Andrew Miller and Randy Williams.

Hill, for his part, will be competing with a new look: as a side-armer.

Formerly possessing one of the best curveballs in the game, Hill said he decided to go sidearm after the season when he and Boston ex-pitching coach John Farrell discussed the switch.

"It's very natural to me, I feel comfortable doing it," Hill told the Boston Globe.

Hill's curve is now a "frisbee" curve, which can be better visualized as a slurve.

There's one problem when it comes to sidearmers: these pitchers tend to be restricted to pitching against hitters with the same handedness. Hill, for example, would be best served facing just lefties and not righties. This is because, due to the motion, right-handers get an excellent look at the pitch before it arrives and can tee off on it.

Hill is working on throwing an inside fastball and using a changeup in the hopes that will address the issue.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: December 16, 2010 6:58 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2010 11:50 pm
 

Minor moves in baseball

There's been plenty of news today -- Josh Willingham to the A's, Kerry Wood back to the Cubs, and so on -- but there are some minor moves to take note of, too.
  • Chien-Ming Wang has re-upped with the Nationals on a one-year, $1 million contract. Wang was with Washington in 2010 but was unable to return from the myriad of injuries that derailed his career as a Yankee. He will be able to earn another $5 million in incentives and may be ready to contend for a rotation spot in spring training.
  • The Red Sox have inked left-handers Rich Hill and Andrew Miller to minor-league deals, and the two will battle for a spot in the bullpen. Boston also signed former first-round pick Ryan Harvey, who is making the transition to a pitcher.
  • The Twins and Rockies made a minor trade, with Colorado acquiring catcher Jose Morales and Minnesota lefty pitcher Paul Bargas. Bargas has a shot to become a middle reliever but is still a ways off, while Morales figures to back up Chris Iannetta in 2011.
  • Enrique Rojas on Twitter says that reliever Guillermo Mota has five offers to join a team, with the Giants, Dodgers and Rays the finalists.
  • The Indians inked shortstop Adam Everett to a minor-league deal. He was released by the Tigers midway through 2010 and will fight for a backup spot. He can field, but can't hit a lick.
  • Tampa and San Diego's long nightmare may be over, as SI.com's Jon Heyman reveals that the Jason Bartlett trade is almost done.
-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.



Posted on: October 12, 2010 9:16 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2010 10:53 am
 

Minor-league free agency begins

Micah Owings Every year, especially in this current free-agent market, there are plenty of players signed to minor-league contracts that end up playing an important part in a team's season.

Wilson Valdez started Game 1 of the NLDS for the Phillies at third after Placido Polanco couldn't go. Marcus Thames is a threat against left-handers as a DH, while Andres Torres was a major cog in the Giants offense after signing a MLC prior to the 2009 season.

The first wave of minor-league free agents has begun, and Baseball America provides us with a list which is below. First, some notable names that are now free agents:

Rich Hill (Red Sox)
Hill was formerly a blooming young starter with the Cubs before contracting Steve Blass disease . Hill has worked his way back to being an intriguing option as a left-handed relief pitcher. In fact, Hill was a popular name being thrown around the Boston media to be part of the 2011 bullpen. Well, unless Hill signs a minor-league deal and agrees to compete for a spot, that won't happen.

Micah Owings (pictured) (Reds)
The pitcher who also carries a large stick doesn't seem to care much for starting but his strikeout numbers look promising out of the bullpen. Given his ability to pinch-hit (and some enterprising managers could use Owings  in more creative ways) and still only 28, he should get a long look somewhere next spring training.

Ian Snell (Mariners)
Snell was once a veteran of the Pirates starting rotation before things started to go awry and there was an acrimonious departure from the organization. Despite Snell's personal opinion of his talent, 2010 was a disaster. He's still young and shouldn't have a problem seeing the majors again next season, whether out of the gate or after spending some time in Triple-A.

Ryan Garko (Rangers)
Garko was claimed by Texas from the Mariners just in time for Opening Day to be their much-needed right-handed bat off the bench. That didn't work out so well for Garko, who has demonstrated an ability to hit left-handers in the past. Garko also struggled down on the farm, so the 29-year-old is running out of chances.

The full list
Baltimore Orioles: RHP Cla Meredith, LHP Alberto Castillo, 1B Michael Aubrey, 3B Scott Moore
Boston Red Sox:
RHP Fernando Cabrera, LHP Fabio Castro, LHP Rich Hill, C Gustavo Molina, 3B Jack Hannahan
Chicago Cubs: RHP Mike Parisi
Chicago White Sox:
C Austin Yount
Cincinnati Reds:
RHP Micah Owings
Detroit Tigers: OF Alexis Espinoza, OF Chao-Ting Tang
Florida Marlins:
RHP Scott Strickland, LHP Dan Meyer, C Mike Rivera, 3B Brian Barden, 3B Mike Lamb
Houston Astros:
RHP Josh Banks, RHP Yorman Bazardo, RHP Casey Daigle, RHP Gary Majewski, RHP Chris Sampson
Kansas City Royals: RHP Matt Herges (released),
RHP Anthony Lerew, RHP Josh Rupe
Los Angeles Angels:
OF Michael Ryan
Los Angeles Dodgers: RHP Justin Miller, SS Juan Castro
Milwaukee Brewers: RHP Chris Smith
Oakland Athletics:
RHP Ross Wolf, LHP Cedrick Bowers
Pittsburgh Pirates:
RHP Brian Bass
St. Louis Cardinals:
LHP Evan MacLane
San Diego Padres:
C Chris Stewart
Seattle Mariners:
RHP Ian Snell, C Eliezer Alfonzo
Texas Rangers:
1B Ryan Garko
Toronto Blue Jays:
1B Brian Dopirak, 1B Mike Jacobs
Washington Nationals:
RHP Jason Bergmann, C Jamie Burke, C Carlos Maldonado

-- Evan Brunell

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com