Ah, could the Orioles and the Chicago Cubs be making yet another trade? This time it involves a hurler whose name has come up again — Rich Hill…
Here’s the latest from the Baltimore Sun’s
The Orioles and Chicago Cubs are again involved in trade talks, this time about the Cubs’ left-handed starter Rich Hill. According to industry sources, the two teams have had ongoing talks about Hill, a one-time top pitching prospect who is struggling to regain his command.
One industry source said it’s a “strong possibility” that Hill will wind up with the Orioles, perhaps as early as next week. The Orioles will likely give up a player to be named who could be contingent on Hill’s success in Baltimore.
“We are talking to them,” Orioles club president Andy MacPhail said about the Cubs. “We are talking to a lot of teams about a lot of players.”
Hill started off his major league career well, but then ran into a road block…
He looked like he’d be a mainstay in the Cubs’ rotation for years, and was considered untouchable when the Orioles asked about him in trade negotiations involving second baseman Brian Roberts.
But 2008 was an unmitigated disaster for Hill, who battled back spasms and inexplicable wildness all season. The Cubs demoted Hill to the minors last May after he went 1-0 with a 4.12 ERA in five starts. He walked 18 batters in 19 2/3 innings, and at times seemed incapable of throwing strikes.
He didn’t fare much better in the minors, walking 44 batters in 47 2/3 innings in 13 starts at three different levels. Trying to regain his command, Hill pitched in the Venezuelan winter league, but walked 23 batters and gave up 21 hits in 21 innings.
At this point, Hill might be a risk worth taking based on his potential and past success; however, his wildness is something to very concerned about. Perhaps, much like the same way I feel about Pie, Baltimore could be a place where both men thrive as Baltimore is in the midst of a rebuilding process.
Hill might find his way as a pitcher away from the pressure cooker of Chicago; however, it seems like there’s a lot of work that needs to be done with the hurler.
Whether it is a confidence or a mechanical problem, let’s hope it could be figured out. I say let’s take the risk if we don’t give up too much.