If there is any semblance of a Major League Baseball season in 2020, Minnesota Twins pitcher Rich Hill thinks that he will be on the active roster and ready to pitch, even in time for a modified spring training. That is according to a tweet and a story from Betsy Helfand of the St Paul Pioneer Press. Hill was signed by the Twins this winter on a one-year, $3 million deal.
According to Helfand’s story, Hill had a recent “bullpen” session over Zoom with Twins manager Rocco Baldelli and other Twins coaches where he threw about 70 pitches. Although the current situation has forced teams and players to change the rehabilitation methods, Hill has been able to continue his exercises and workouts from the safety of his own home. He has also been able to meet with a physical therapist on occasion.
The southpaw had his 2019 season derailed by knee and forearm injuries, but came back to finish 2019 with the Los Angeles Dodgers to put up a 2.45 ERA (169 ERA+) in 13 starts over 58.2 innings of work. He was able to maintain a K/9 of 11.0 and BB/9 of 2.8 as well. The Twins signed him just before the new year knowing that he would not be available until June or July due to off-season elbow surgery.
With the possibility of a 30-man active roster, Hill would most likely bump a younger player from the roster. He could easily fit into the bullpen as a piggy-back to a starter or as long-relief. However, with the intent the Twins had when they signed him, it looks like Hill will be a part of the 2020 rotation once it is underway.