The Toronto Blue Jays have signed right-handed pitcher Shawn Hill to a minor league contract, but the 31-year-old has not appeared in an MLB game since the 2010 season. It is doubtful that Hill will reach the Majors, but he has thrown 27.1 straight scoreless innings in the Atlantic League for the York Revolution.
Most veteran pitchers without an MLB job end up impressing in the Atlantic League before signing on to another MLB team on a minor league deal, and it will be interesting to see if Hill can continue his success with York in the minors and somehow climb up to the Jays MLB roster.
Shawn Hill rejoins the Blue Jays after pitching for them in 2010 before leaving the MLB for a couple of years. He was worth 0.5 WAR in 20.2 innings with a 3.08 FIP. He rarely strikes guys out (usually a 5.5 K/9), but his control (around 2.5 BB/9) is decent. Hill owns a 4.02 FIP in 239 career MLB innings and was an average reliever before leaving the league.
To be honest, Hill can fit for someone as a long reliever if age isn’t a factor. He showed in the Atlantic League that he is relatively healthy and not washed up, so he can provide 20 or so decent innings out of the bullpen for a team.
The hardest part for Shawn Hill will be making it to the Majors, but he isn’t as bad as people think. He gets grounders and doesn’t give up too many walks, and this overcomes a subpar fastball (below-average stuff, really) and low strikeout rates. In the end, he’ll probably end up falling short of the Majors but will make it to Triple-A and will be a solid veteran in the minors for the Toronto Blue Jays.