Southpaw Rich Hill says the 2020 World Series title following a shortened campaign will be no less valid than the 2017 championship the Houston Astros won after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers, his former team.
"We can look back to a couple of years ago, was that a World Series? Honestly. I was there. The more you hear about it … Whatever. It is what it is," Hill, who's gearing up for his debut campaign with the Minnesota Twins, told WEEI's Rob Bradford and Brian Barrett. "What I’m saying if we’re going to compare that, if we’re going to compare this 60-game season and say it’s not a championship season, well, OK. I have a different feeling about that."
The Astros were revealed to have illegally stolen signs throughout the 2017 regular season and postseason. Hill pitched for the Dodgers during that World Series, allowing two runs in 8 2/3 innings of work.
"We were a very tight-knit group," he said. "Some of the best players and guys I’ve ever been around. Absolutely. It’s not something I want to harp on. I brought it up because it was to the case and point of the 60-game season not being a championship season, and I fully, 100 percent think it is. I’m looking forward to having a great year."
Hill, 40, signed a one-year, $3-million contract with the Twins in December. The oft-injured hurler was likely to open the season on the IL after undergoing elbow surgery last October. However, now that the coronavirus pandemic delayed the beginning of the campaign, Hill expects to be ready when play resumes.
He's among the options in line for starts alongside Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, Homer Bailey, Jhoulys Chacin, and former Dodgers teammate Kenta Maeda. Devin Smeltzer and Randy Dobnak could also be in the mix.
When healthy, Hill has been excellent over the last few years. Since 2016, he's gone 39-19 with a 3.00 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 517 strikeouts in 437 1/3 innings across 83 games.