Aaron Hill registered a cool .315/.386/.492 batting line with two home runs, 16 RBI and five stolen bases in 142 plate appearances after joining the Diamondbacks via trade in late August. He also posted a solid .879 OPS in the NLDS. But the Arizona front office is well aware that great results over a small sample size don’t mean much.
According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, the D’Backs have not made a decision about Hill’s $8 million club option for 2012. And they have no immediate plans to discuss a multi-year pact.
Here’s general manager Kevin Towers:
“I don’t really want to get into where we’re at, but I don’t want to get too crazy about six weeks (of production). There’s a reason they moved him and a reason we moved Kelly (Johnson). … We’ll probably talk again next week. I’ll probably lob a call to him.”
Hill showed flashes of superb offensive production while in Toronto, slugging 36 homers in 2009 and 26 homers in 2010, but he’s never had high on-base numbers and his defense at second base is merely average.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.