Today's post is the first of many I plan to produce regarding updates on the status of Wolverine sports alumni in the pros. This post's subject was ideal because not only did his status just change, he also happens to be one of my favorite Wolverines in Major League Baseball and therefore a huge part of my collection. I'm speaking, of course, about Rich Hill.
Player background: Rich was drafted by Chicago in the fourth round back in 2002. He had a couple productive seasons with the Cubs, especially a solid 2007, but in 2009 bounced to the Orioles, then was signed by the Cardinals briefly in 2010 before ultimately landing with the Red Sox, for whom he functioned as a reliever in 2010-2011.
2011 recap: Rich threw 8.0 innings of relief in nine total games for the Red Sox, striking out 12 and allowing no runs. He then blew out his left (pitching arm) elbow in May and underwent the dreaded Tommy John surgery.
Status update: Hill was non-tendered by the Red Sox in mid-December, which made a ton of sense since the recovery period for his surgery mandates that he'll miss a good chunk of 2012 if he pitches at all. However, the Sox must've liked what they saw of Rich's brief but very effective 2011 because they brought him back on a low-risk minor league contract. Hopefully his recovery will go smoothly so he can once again prove his utility in the bullpen of the Red Sox or any other team that could use a reliever (or even better, a starter!).