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Nats sign Hill to minor-league deal

Jun 19, 2012, 7:20 PM EDT

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Veteran Koyie Hill is a career .210 hitter in parts of nine big-league seasons.

The Nationals have signed veteran catcher Koyie Hill to a minor-league contract and assigned him to Class AAA Syracuse.

Hill, 33, is a career .210 hitter in parts of nine seasons with the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Cubs. After serving in a semi-regular capacity with Chicago the last three years, Hill appeared in only 11 games this season, hitting .179. He was designated for assignment last week and became a free agent after refusing an assignment to Class AAA Iowa.

After a run of injuries to Wilson Ramos, Sandy Leon and Carlos Maldonado, the Nationals found themselves thin on catchers at the minor-league level. Syracuse currently has a catching tandem of Jeff Howell and James Skelton, though Skelton just landed on the disabled list himself.

Hill, a switch-hitter, could wind up as the Nationals’ backup catcher at some point this season if the club feels the need for some veteran assistance for starter Jesus Flores.

  1. SonnyG10 - Jun 19, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    Interesting that he refused AAA assignment with Cubs, but took one with us.

  2. MicheleS - Jun 19, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Sonny.. he was blocked in Chicago, they have Soto and some kid, Clevenger (?).

  3. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 19, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Steve Clevenger would be a nice pickup–lefty bat with some pop–if the Nats had any way to use him long-term, but they don't, and the Cubs do. I wondered if Rizzo might not get Hill to fill in at AAA.

  4. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 19, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Giovany Soto, btw, was also on the DL until yesterday.

  5. Natman - Jun 19, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    Made me laugh: Hill's a switch hitter- guess that means he can't hit from either side of the plate

  6. Natman - Jun 19, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    Made me laugh: Hill's a switch hitter- guess that means he can't hit from either side of the plate

  7. rabbit34 - Jun 19, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    I won't say anything about Hill hitting .210…..except that it is almost as "high" as Zimmerman! I really DO love the Nats!!! GO NATIONALS!! I just don't want to take the time to analyze everything like you guys do.

  8. Soul Possession, My Hitterish Sofa - Jun 19, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Rabbit, something tells me time isn't the only factor there.

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