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Shawn Hill signs with Detroit Tigers

Shawn Hill’s whirlwind 2012 continues.

After beginning his season with the Revolution, the native Canadian Hill was picked up by his home-Provence team, the Toronto Blue Jays and assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas.  It marked the second tour of duty for Hill with that organization, as he had last pitched in the bigs for Toronto in 2010.  Then, in September of this past season, he became the second Revolution player in franchise history to start a season in York, and end it in the Major Leagues.  He also became the very first Revolution alum to earn a winning decision in an MLB game, against Andy Pettitte and the Yankees no less.

Following the season, Hill was dropped from the Blue Jays 40-man roster – which was not necessarily a comment on Hill’s ability.  Each team only has 40 Major League-salaried spots, and there are a lot of talented players out there.  When this happens, the player may either accept an assignment to the minor leagues, or elect free agency if they believe their path to the big leagues would be better with another organization.

Hill has made the decision to sign a minor league contract with Detroit, reports James Schmehl from MLive.com.  That deal will almost certainly include an invite to Major League spring training due to his experience and previous big league success.  The most likely scenario will see Hill begin the season in Triple-A with the Toledo Mud Hens of the International League should the Tigers keep him.  From the sound of Schmehl’s article, that appears very likely, as it looks like Detroit does have plans for Hill to add organizational depth as a Major League-ready starter in Toledo, ready for call-up at a moment’s notice.  But it also sounds like Hill may have somewhat of a window to reach the big leagues sooner.  The most interesting part of the article:

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said in early November that the Tigers would likely seek out a starting pitcher to compete for the fifth spot if they don’t re-sign free-agent right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

This doesn’t mean Hill is that guy, and it doesn’t mean the Tigers have closed the door on re-signing Anibal Sanchez.  Just something to keep an eye on.  Obviously the Revolution fans here in York hope to see Hill playing for the defending American League Champions sooner than later.  On an editorial note, I worked for the Mud Hens before I came to York, and it too is a GREAT place to play.

After having his career derailed by injury for a time, Shawn Hill has surged back with gusto.  Should this keep up he is well on his way to becoming the most decorated York Revolution alum thus far.

-Paul Braverman

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