Rich Hill is ready to make this run with the Red Sox a winning one
I know, I know, how cliche is it for an athlete to say their one goal is to win a championship? Well, for Rich Hill, it really is. The 42-year-old southpaw is entering his 18th season in the big leagues and what will be his seventh go-around with the Red Sox. With no crystal ball to tell him how much time he has left in his career, it makes all the sense in the world to go all-in every chance you get.
As I mentioned, Hill put pen to paper with the Red Sox for the seventh time in his career and he’s got one thing in mind for 2022, winning the whole damn thing. The lefty has come close in recent years, falling short to the Houston Astros in 2017 and this very Boston club in 2018. He made his first start for the team in seven years today and tossed two solid innings where he gave up two hits, a walk, and struck out a pair as well.
After the outing, he spoke to the media about his goals for 2022 and how he wants nothing more than to do everything in his power to help the team win. Throughout his career, Hill has bounced back and forth between the rotation and bullpen and he’s not afraid of doing that again here in Boston. Similar to a sentiment recently shared by Christian Arroyo, he doesn’t care where or when Alex Cora needs him, he’ll be ready and he’ll empty the tank every time.
"“The goal is a championship at the end of the year and that’s it,” said Hill. “However anybody can contribute, however big or however small the role is, it’s important. To have that mindset, first of all, put the team before yourself, is what it’s all about. Whatever role it is they decide to put me in, I’m here to pitch, that’s it, and help the younger guys.”"
I love hearing that mentality from both players and I have zero doubts that Cora loves it as well. One of the things that helped propel this team to the Commissioner’s Trophy in 2018 was that every player on the roster was willing to do whatever it took.
Starters were ready to come out of the bullpen the night after they started to help the bullpen. Position players were on board with going wherever they needed to on the field and in the lineup to get the win.
It’s no surprise that Hill is so ready to give the Red Sox whatever he has left in his arm. The Milton native grew up loving this team, and after having many chances to play for Boston, he has a serious chance to win with the club. Coming into a squad that fell two games short of the World Series the previous year and has only gotten better has to get the adrenaline flowing.
As it stands right now, D-Mountain will most likely make the starting rotation out of camp, especially with the recent injury news surrounding fellow lefty Chris Sale. Whether he stays there will be based on what Sale looks like when he can return and how Hill is getting the job done as a starter. Even when Sale returns, I don’t see him being displaced from the rotation by anyone else currently on the roster.
When the southpaw re-signed with the Red Sox I actually saw a majority of people being positive on the move. He’s a tested and proven arm that can give AC and the team what they need, another veteran that can carry the young guys in the lineup.
I imagine he’ll be in that fifth starter role to swing things back to Nathan Eovaldi at the top of the staff. It would also space him from Sale when he is able to re-join the rest of the starters.
This Red Sox club is once again getting little to no respect from the “experts” out there and that’s exactly what they should want. They shocked the baseball world last year and knocked off some of the heaviest hitters before running out of steam.
Chaim Bloom still has some time to get this roster as dangerous as he can before Opening Day and then it’s off to the races for Boston. Adding Hill back into the equation was a great move by the team and I’m ready to see what the veteran can do as he once again chases down that championship.
"“Going to the postseason, going to the World Series, coming so close and almost having the opportunity to raise the trophy, once you get in there and you experience it, that’s the only thing that you think about,” said Hill."