November 26, 2019 / 2:56 AM / 19 days ago

MLB notebook: Veteran LHP Hill to miss half of 2020

Free-agent left-hander Rich Hill underwent elbow surgery following the 2019 season and will miss approximately half the 2020 season, the 39-year-old told the Orange County Register on Monday.

Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill (44) pitches during the first inning in game four of the 2019 NLDS playoff baseball series against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Hill underwent a procedure known as “primary revision” to repair a re-injury to the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm. He had Tommy John surgery in 2011.

Hill, who turns 40 in March, told the newspaper his rehab from the surgery will last about seven to eight months. He said the procedure will allow him to continue pitching.

“This wasn’t an option six years ago,” said Hill, who went 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 13 starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2019. “This guarantees I’ll be back. Given where I’m at in my career, how much longer I’d like to play, the percentage of success is upward of 95 percent.”

—The Tampa Bay Rays and catcher Mike Zunino agreed to a $4.5 million contract, avoiding arbitration.

The team has a 2021 option, also for $4.5 million, with compensation potentially growing to $5.25 million with incentives.

Zunino, 28, hit .165 with nine home runs and 32 RBIs in 90 games last season. While he’ll be looking for a bounce-back season at the plate, his defense remains his calling card, as he threw out 38.6 percent of attempted base stealers (17 of 44) last season, the third-best mark in the majors.

—The Seattle Mariners acquired left-hander Nestor Cortes Jr. from the New York Yankees in exchange for international bonus pool money, the teams announced.

Cortes, who was designated for assignment last week, posted a 5-1 record with a 5.67 ERA in 33 appearances (one start) with New York last season. The 24-year-old owns that same mark with a 5.80 ERA in 37 career appearances (one start) with the Baltimore Orioles and Yankees.

“Nestor is a versatile lefty who can do a little bit of everything,” Mariners executive vice president and general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “He can start, he can relieve, he can give you those middle innings or even operate as an opener.”

—The New York Mets hired longtime San Francisco Giants coach Hensley Meulens as their bench coach, MLB Network reported.

Meulens, 52, played five of his seven big-league seasons with the Yankees and was on former Giants manager Bruce Bochy’s staff from 2010-19. He won three World Series titles with San Francisco in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

Meulens began his tenure in San Francisco as a hitting coach and spent the last two seasons as Bochy’s bench coach.

—Field Level Media

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