Entries Tagged as 'Rich Hill'

Hot Stove Talk

Xavier Nady to the Cubs

If healthy, let’s say that again… IF HEALTHY, I like this move by the Cubs.  One, he comes at a good price (rumored at 3.3 mil guaranteed, 2.5 mil in incentives and quite honestly I don’t mind any incentives because that means he’s working for his money).  Two, he hits lefty pretty well and would fit into a Kos Fuk platoon.

Finally, Ronnie would have fun with the X thing.

Rich Hill to the Cardinals

I’m doing my best to suppress laughter (7.80 ERA in 2009) because before I know it, Rich Hill will be the next comeback kid.  Despite all his troubles and all his mental blocks, he IS still under 30. 

And at one point, I really liked him.

Ben Sheets to the A’s

He’s going to Oakland so who cares except that my buddy Don is a Halos fan.  His comment?  “One year, $10 million.  The Price of Poker is STEEP.”  Heh, maybe.  If I were an Oakland, I would be cautiously optimistic.  If healthy (see Nady above) might be what the A’s need.  The downside:  Sheets has never won more than 13 games.

Athletics Nation certainly likes the deal.

Orioles spot Red Sox 9 run lead then bats take over

As hard as it may seem to believe, Rich Hill’s ERA jumped a full point in his start against the Red Sox last night.  Hill allowed 9 hits 9 runs in 3 plus innings.

Fortunately for Baltimore, the Oriole bats were working overtime.  They achieved the biggest comeback in franchise history saving Hill from being the goat.  Baltimore won by the score of 11-10. 

It was also the biggest comeback by a last-place team over a first-place team.

George Sherrill the young stopper for Baltimore, got his 17th save of the year. 

"One-run saves are tough.  I haven’t been part of a winning team yet, so I guess when we get to 83 wins, that will be more exciting. Until then, this is probably one of the biggest."

One-run saves are indeed tough.  That’s why the good ones get paid the big bucks.

By the way, I’m don’t follow the Red Sox too closely but why is Julio Lugo leading off and Jacoby Ellsbury batting eighth?  Lugo seems to be one of those players that just won’t retire.  And I’m not sure if I mean that in a good way or a bad way. 

Hill to skip his first start with Orioles

Hmm.  Baltimore Oriole and former Cub Rich Hill was scratched from his start today. 

It was due to “stiffness in his left elbow” and it’s “just precautionary”. 

And so begins his time with the Orioles.  Any bets on how long before he sees time with their farm teams?

Hill finding a home with the Orioles?

Looks like Rich Hill’s career may have another lease on life.  The Orioles may announce tomorrow that they may acquire him from the Cubs for a PTBNL. 

The advantage for Hill is that he’d be back together with old friends.  He’s worked with both pitching coach Rich Kranitz and bullpen coach Alan Dunn while in the Cubs organization.

I personally liked Hill when he came into the Cubs organization but last year’s debacle can be described as nothing else but the yips.  He simply couldn’t get the ball over the plate at the AAA, A or Rookie level.  My concern from the Cubs standpoint, is if Rich Hill gets his head screwed back on straight, Mr PTBNL better fill the bill.

Update:  The deal has been finalized tonight.  Hill is an Oriole now. Also tonight, the Cubs traded Michael Wuertz to Oakland for minor leaguers Richie Robnett and Justin Sellers

I don’t anything about these guys yet and Wuertz was certainly no great shakes but don’t these deals recently (the Hill deal notwithstanding) seem to be made by a rebuilding team?

just saying…

Rich Hill update: It don’t look good from here

After successive starts at AAA Iowa where he obviously lacked control and confidence, the Cubs’ Rich Hill was sent all the way to Mesa in the Rookie League to work on the fundamentals and maybe get his head together.

Please tell me if I’m saying the obvious here but I have to wonder if Hill is just done.  In his first start at Mesa yesterday, he didn’t even get past the first inning.  Pitching 1/3 of an inning, he gave up five runs, three earned including 3 walks. 

The Cubs organization is considering giving Hill a break altogether to see that might work.  I don’t see what other option they have. 

hehe… The Cubs Brickyard have heard some other “news” about his future plans.

Rich going down-Hill?

What’s happened to Rich Hill?  It looks like after his stint with the AAA Iowa Cubs, he’ll be demoted once again

Three starts ago with the I-Cubs, he allowed only one hit in five innings.  Cynics will joke that opponents could only get one hit because he couldn’t get the ball over the plate.  In that game, he allowed seven walks. 

The downward trend continued on June 11 when he gave up three runs in four innings while walking six.  Unlike the previous game, Hill got the loss. 

Finally, last Friday, Hill didn’t last even one inning.  In 2/3 of a frame walked four and allowed three hits and six runs in front of a home crowd.  Apparently, that was the last straw for Cubs management as he’s been sent down to AA. 

At this point, I don’t expect him back for a while, if at all. 

Hill came up through the Cubs system highly touted and while he’s had his ups and downs in the majors, he put together a solid season in 2007.  There’s no doubt the hard throwing lefty has talent but confidence has been an issue.  At this point, is it an over-statement to say he has a case of the yips?

Steve Blass, anyone?

2008 Cubs Convention: Day 2

Today was the second day of the 2008 Cubs Convention. Brrr, it was below 0 degrees this morning as I walked to the Chicago Hilton for another day of fun. On my way out, I got a text message from my nephew, Joe who was going to meet me later.

I Scratched and Won

Friday night I was looking through all the swag and pamphlets I got on my first day and found my Scratch and Win card. The convention uses these for the high demand celebrities when it comes to autographs.

Well, I scratched my card and it said, “You are a winner!”

On the back it said to redeem it at the registration area and that’s the first thing I did Saturday morning. It turns out I won a Derrek Lee autograph and I was supposed to get in line for it at 2pm.

I wasn’t really collecting autographs this year so I sought out a dad and a kid and gave them the ticket. I told them the kid could have it as long as they didn’t sell it on Ebay. The dad emphatically said no, he wouldn’t.

And speaking of autographs:

Andy Pafko was signing autographs. I think Andy is the oldest former Cub to attend these conventions.

…and so was Jody Davis… always with a smile.

Two different players from different eras. Bill Madlock and Bob Feller.

Rich Hill signing a ball towards the end of the day.

Piniella gets thrown under the bus by an older lady

My first talk of the day was “Lou and his Crew”, essentially a Q&A with Piniella and his coaching staff.

The most humorous question was from a seemingly perturbed older lady who asked Piniella why he left his starting pitchers (she mentioned Marquis in particular) in when we were behind by 4 or 5 runs. She explained that sometimes it got her so mad she would throw things at her TV.

Piniella took it all in humor and invited her to sit next to him in the dugout so he could check with her in making decisions. The crowd responded with chants of Looouuu! Louuu!

A visit to the Tennessee Smokies booth

I stopped by the Tennessee Smokies booth and chatted with a nice woman with a terrific southern drawl. I rifled through the Smokies’ baseball card and found Chris Robinson. “Oh, he’s a great guy. He’s real nahce”, she said. I’m not surprised. Most players at or from Illinois have a good head on their shoulders.

I ended up buying the pack.

Storytelling with Cubs Legends

WGN’s “Storytelling with Cubs Legends” was my favorite of the day. With Ron Santo, Rick Sutcliffe, Lee Smith and Ernie Banks, it was fun to just listen their stories. As broadcasters, Santo and Sutcliffe were most talkative. That said, Lee Smith may have an intimidating facade while pitching but he’s quite funny behind the mike.

Looks like Sut is hamming it up for the camera.

Taking a break with the Cubscast guys

The hosts of the Cubscast podcast (well, two-thirds of them, Sneetch couldn’t make it to the Convention) had scheduled an informal get together at the hotel bar. I was due for a break by 3pm anyway so I stopped by. Sheps (right) shared photos of his recently passed kidney stone and Lou (left) and I talked a little shop.

Peoria Chiefs broadcaster Nathan Baliva stopped by the Cubscast table too. I had stopped by the Chiefs’ booth earlier in the day and got the above photo. Nathan was nice enough to do an interview on Baseball Zealot Radio last spring so it was good to see him again. It turns out he’s Sneetch’s brother, too Small world.

Cubs Pitching Clinic

The last event of Saturday was a pitching clinic put on for the kiddos. This was done with the help of Milt Pappas (left), Steve Trout (right) and Lester Strode. Fortunately, Bruce Froemming was not in attendance.

That’s all for now. Tomorrow is a light day at the convention but I do want to get some shopping done at the souvenir shops.

Many more photos at The Baseball Zealot Photo Gallery