Dear Cubs Fans,
During the offseason I had hoped that the Cubs would trade Rich Hill. His college and minor league pitching stats didn't impress me much. His low-minor numbers were solid, though his age was always a tick above the competition's. And his HR/9 and BB/9 ratios in the upper minors projected him to a place in AAAA Purgatory.
This evidence convinced me that it was in the Cubs best interests to "sell high" for Hill before he and his career Major League 9.13 ERA were exposed any further. Thus, I had trouble making sense of his "untouchable" status as a prospect, unless it was as a market tactic.
So it's all the more meaningful that I have found some real optimism in Rich Hill's performance in Iowa.
Coming into tonight's game vs. Round Rock (I wrote more extensively about this last series in a previous diary), Hill had made 3 starts with the following line:
19 IP, 11 H, 3 ER, 1 HR, 5 BB, 23 K
1-0, 1.42 ERA with an 0.84 WHIP
The big indicators to me that we might have something useful with Hill are his much improved HR/9 (0.47) and BB/9 (2.37) numbers.
This positive trend continued tonight with Hill's performance vs. the Express.
Hill pitched 6 innings, walking only 2, while keeping the ball in Principal Park. Only giving up 2 hits and 1 run during these 6 frames, it was another promising performance, giving him a pitching line for the season of:
4 GS, 25 IP, 13 H, 4 ER, 1 HR, 7 BB, 33 K
1-0, 1.44 ERA and an 0.80 WHIP
And while these 4 starts don't project Rich Hill as an automatic success in the majors, it is a much better performance than I expected of him. I am interested in continuing to chart Hill's performance, and am (finally) optimistic about his potential as a Major Leaguer.
Here's to hoping,