Entering the 2021 season, Tim Hill hadn’t pitched more than 45.2 innings in a season. He’d surpass that total by 14 innings this year when all things were said and done. If you ask the front office, they probably would tell you that they didn’t want Hill pitching that many innings considering he is better utilized in situations where there’s a left-handed batter up to bat. However, they had to use Hill more often in 2021 partly because of Drew Pomeranz’s injury-riddled campaign.
Pomeranz hit the IL three different times and when he was on the IL, Hill was Jayce Tingler’s best and sometimes only (if Ryan Weathers and Matt Strahm weren’t options) left-handed reliever available.
Hill, 31, predictably struggled later on in the season, as he wasn’t as fresh, but he was dominant in the first half of the year. Opponents hit just .215 off of him before the All-Star break, as he struck out (39) three times the amount of batters that he walked (13).
In the second half of the season, though, Hill only struck out 17 batters and doubled the amount batters he hit. His ERA was almost three runs higher than it was in the first half. You could attribute that to fatigue but he also obviously didn’t have as great of command as he had in the first half of the season.
Hill’s final tallies were an ERA of 3.62 with 56 strikeouts and 23 walks in 59.2 innings. He’s going to be a valuable piece to the Padres bullpen for his next three years of arbitration, as he stays healthy and pitches from a unique arm slot that not many other relievers pitch from.