Here’s a quick update on 2 Cubs pitchers moving in opposite directions:
Angel Guzman has looked great pitching for the Magallanes club in Venezuela. In 5 starts, Guzman is 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA. He has pitched 22 innings and struck out 15 batters during his winter ball work. Guzman missed the entire 2008 season recovering from Tommy John reconstructive surgery that he underwent at the end of 2007.
Rich Hill, on the other hand, continues to battle control problems. Hill started 5 games for the Cubs at the beginning of the 2008 MLB season, but he walked 18 batters in only 19 2/3 innings and was sent to the minor leagues to work on his delivery and command. He suffered a back injury which further affected his work during 2008, so now he is forced to work during the winter time for Aragua in Venezuela. Hill has started 6 games during the young winter ball season so far, and has not performed well. He has a 7.45 ERA and a 1-2 record. He has walked 19 batters in 19 1/3 innings, and in his last outing, he lasted only 1 inning, giving up 3 hits, 3 walks and 5 earned runs.
Boy have the tides turned for Hill. During the 2007 MLB season, Hill started 32 games for the Cubs. He went 11-8 with a 4.12 ERA and 183 strikeouts during that productive year. The Cubs had extremely high hopes for Hill during the 2008 campaign, but his continued problems are pause for concern. We’ll keep you posted if Hill turns around his winter league play any time soon.