Rich Hill contemplating unique approach to 2023 season


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Rich Hill is going to be turning 43 years old in the heart of next year's spring training. This we know. Whether or not he will still be considered a major league baseball player at that point is the question.

Talking on the Bradfo Sho, Hill offered some insight into how he views his future. (To listen to the entire podcast, click here.)

According to the Red Sox lefty, his inclination right now is to play in what would be his 19th season, although the approach might be slightly altered. According to Hill, he is very strongly considering looking at 2023 as a three-month campaign.

"If it was going to be a half a year thing, of coming in at the deadline in July, where you’re working out and getting stronger and there is definitely more in the tank," he said. "I know I will be 43, but obviously there is more to give inside where you could take those extra couple of months to kind of rejuvenate and put the work in, the time in the gym, that would be beneficial for the second half."

Hill can often be seen coaching his 10-year-old son Bryce before games at whatever ballpark they find themselves together at. It's the kind of father-son time he is looking to squeeze a bit more out of using the aforementioned unique half-season approach.

And along with getting those extra few months with his wife and son, the strategy would also allow to have some additional certainty when it came to residing on a contending team heading into August, September and October.

"From my standpoint, it would be a scenario where you would be going to a contender," he said. "That’s something I’m in a position to be fortunate to do. If we look at the trade deadline, even for this year, everybody needs a starting pitcher. Everybody needs pitching. Whether that be out of the bullpen or starting, it’s that opportunity to help a team that is going to be able to go into the postseason and make some things happen. Especially with the experience I have in the postseason."

He added, "Part of it, too, is that I have worked hard to get to the point in my career and understanding you have that opportunity with some room to do that. You’re in this position for a reason, but also at the same time you have the ability to have that opportunity to come back halfway through the season is not a necessity to go through the whole season. A lot factors in. There are parts of the equation where you’re trying to come back and be as productive and fresh as possible. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be for an entire season. It might just not be ideal for my family.

"To spend half the year with my son, my wife, where can enjoy each other and start to kind of move in that direction."

Perhaps the most notable pitcher to take such an approach was Roger Clemens, who didn't appear in his first game of both the 2006 and '07 seasons until June.

"Other than that, I haven’t heard of too many guys doing it," said Hill of Clemens. "And obviously, the reason why, and everybody who is in this business knows, it’s a long year. There’s a lot of time and a lot of sacrifice away from your family. You’re missing birthdays. You’re missing anniversaries. You’re missing funerals. You’re missing a lot of major events in people's lives. That’s tough. Especially as our son Bryce is getting older, it gets more and more difficult to miss.

"Selfishly, that’s what I would like to do. Whether there is an opportunity or not at that point, if that’s what we decide to do I will certainly be ready to come in and be an effective influence on the team."

Hill is scheduled to make his 19th start of the season Saturday, having totaled a 4.68 ERA and .261 batting average against in 82 2/3 innings.

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