The Baltimore Orioles have been fairly busy in the trade market this offseason. Earlier this week, they were at it again, dealing for the Chicago Cubs’ Rich Hill. The Cubs will get a player to be named later in the deal.
Hill was once thought to be one of the more promising young starters in the majors. In 2007, his second full season in the majors, he went 11-8 with a 3.92 ERA behind a good curveball.
Unfortunately for Hill, 2008 was a tremendous disappointment. The lefty slipped so far that he appeared in Single-A ball and at the Rookie ball level. He also pitched some for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs.
Overall, Hill was 4-7 in the minors in 2008. He only made five major-league starts, going 1-0 with a 4.12 ERA. He walked 18 batters in 19.1 innings.
For his career, Hill is 18-17 in 64 major-league appearances, including 57 starts. He has a respectable 4.37 career ERA and a 1.27 career WHIP. Hill has struck out over eight batters per nine innings in his four seasons.
The trade is probably the best thing that could happen to Hill. He had fallen out of favor in Chicago and was unlikely to make the team out of spring training. A change of scenery is likely the only solution for Hill.
That being said, Baltimore is probably not the right destination. Even if the Orioles have an outstanding season, it is hard to imagine them any higher than the third-best team in their own division. Camden Yards is a definite hitters’ park, which is another drawback to owning Hill in a fantasy league.
If Hill can regain any of his form from 2007, he is worthwhile as a fifth fantasy starter in 10 or 12-team leagues. Until then, though, he is just another hurler hoping to make it back to the top of his game.