It was about time. The Cubs finally dealt frustrating southpaw Rich Hill to the Baltimore Orioles for a player to be named later. Hendry largely made the move to the Orioles so that Hill could be reunited with Rick Kranitz and Alan Dunn who worked with Hill in the Mets minor league system. Kranitz and Dunn are both on the Orioles’ coaching staff and could try to re-gain Hill’s form that made him so effective during the 2007 MLB season. That year, Hill finished the season with an 11-8 record and a 3.92 ERA. His sweeping curve ball fooled countless hitters throughout the season, and he even led Cubs pitchers in strikeouts. Hill was penciled in as the Cubs 4th starter for the 2008 MLB season, but he struggled with his control during the entire month of April and was sent down to Triple-A Iowa on May 3, 2008. In 19 2/3 innings at the big league level in 2008, Hill walked 18 batters and struggled with a 4.12 ERA in 5 starts. After dealing with some back issues, Hill continued to struggle with his control in the minor leagues and in the Venezuelan Winter League this past off-season, and the Cubs knew it was time for Hill to get a change of scenery.
Hendry and the Cubs wish Hill the best of luck. Hill was a big part of the Cubs 2007 NL Central Division title, and they hope he can make a fairy tale ending after a frustrating 2008.