Rich Hill has attracted plenty of interest after his surprising finish to 2015 and Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that the veteran left-hander is expected to sign with a team this week. No word on the front-runner in the mix, but the Red Sox are not expected to retain him.
After stints with the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate and the independent Long Island Ducks, Hill signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox in August. He was fantastic in four starts as a September call-up, posting a 1.55 ERA with 36 strikeouts and just five walks over 29 innings. While it was a small sample with a pitcher who hadn’t started in the majors since 2009, Mike Petriello of MLB.com notes that there was something tangible behind it, including the spin rate and horizontal movement on his curveball as well as his placement on the rubber.
The Padres and Rays are among the teams who have expressed interest in Hill, who turns 36 in March. There’s a chance he could end up with a multi-year deal.
Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.
Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.
Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.
Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.
Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.
“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”