A Rotation Spot Seems to be Rich Hill’s to Lose…

It’s only been a few days, but so far it looks like Rich Hill will find a slot in the starting rotation when 2009 season starts unless he implodes. That much was noted yesterday by the Orioles.com Spencer Fordin on Monday, as it looks like they are confident in Hill’s pedigree and stuff despite his well-documnted struggles.

Baltimore’s starting rotation began to come in sharper focus on Monday, when manager Dave Trembley admitted that Rich Hill is all but pencilled in for a starting job. Hill, who was acquired from the Cubs earlier this month, is attempting to shake off a troublesome back ailment and return to the command that he displayed during the 2007 season.

“He would have to pitch his way out,” Trembley said. “He’s a guy just like [Felix] Pie coming here and just like [Adam] Jones was last year. When you get those guys that have tools, I think you have to have a lot of patience with them. I think you have to give them a lot of opportunities and I think you have to live with the fact that they’re not always going to be perfect. We have to remember what this is all about here.”

Furthermore, it looks like Hill struggled today in his workout according to Roch Kubatko. I’m sure it’s not a big deal — I mean, camp just started this weekend and hopefully he can get his issues worked out.

Rich Hill was all over the place. He couldn’t get the ball down, and often was wide of the strike zone. He was easily hitting 90 mph, the most impressive part of his day, but location remains an issue.

Catcher Jose Reyes kept motioning for Hill to get the ball down, and once pointed to his shoulder as an indication that Hill was flying open on his delivery.

Hill snapped off a nice curveball and he hides the ball well. He just needs to improve his command, and he has plenty of time. This was only his second bullpen.

I’d be curious to see what Hill has on the mound; however, nothing should be given to him unless he proves himself down in Florida no matter his skill-set.