Posted on 04 February 2009 by Lou
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.
Posted on 19 January 2009 by Lou
The Chicago Cubs and outfielder Felix Pie finally parted ways over the weekend. The Cubs have always had high hopes for Pie, and they even had him slated in as the everyday center fielder to start the 2008 campaign. It became clear early on, however, that Pie would not be able to hit big league pitching on a regular, consistent basis. Pie played in only 43 games during the 2008 MLB season, hitting .241 with a .312 on-base percentage in 83 at-bats. He struck out 29 times and walked only 7 times, a very poor percentage given his best talent is his blazing speed. Pie will turn 24 in February, but the Cubs still felt it was time to make the move to deal him for 2 promising pitchers.
Garrett Olson is a 25-year left-handed pitcher from Fresno, California. Olson started 26 games for the Orioles during the 2008 campaign. He went 9-10 with a high 6.65 ERA and 1.73 WHIP. Control tended to be an issue for Olson – he walked 62 batters in only 132 2/3 innings. He also gave up a whopping 17 home runs and 98 earned runs. But Olson did rank fairly high among American League rookies in terms of starts, wins, innings pitched and strikeouts. Olson could fit into the mix as the 5th starter for the Cubs during the 2009 MLB season.
The Cubs also landed Henry Williamson in the deal. Williamson is a right-handed pitcher who will likely start the 2009 season in the Cubs farm system.