Friday, January 16, 2009

What About Rich Hill?

It is very likely that Rich Hill will not be a Cub when the season starts, and since the Brewers need a starter and don't want to spend any money on one, how would you feel about a flier on Hill? Once upon a time great things were expected of Hill, but he seems to have had a bit of a complete mental breakdown. I'm for it for a few reasons:

1. He'd be cheap.

2. He's old for a prospect, but not that old for a pitcher at 28.

3. His stuff is good.

4. He's been relatively healthy.

5. The Cubs suck at developing players, and there's a shot that we could actually fix him.

6. He still a has high ceiling.

7. It would be funny if he turned out to be good and dominated the Cubs, and entertainment value counts for something.

8. His most recent PECOTA projection (which is admittedly before last seasons complete disaster) had him putting up a WARP of 3.4, 1.26 WHIP, and a 4.06 ERA. Not bad.

9. While were on the subject, how do you feel about Felix Pie? I'm not a fan, but he will turn 24 this season and may still develop.

8 comments:

Chris said...

isn't Pie just another version of TGjr?

I would be willing to take a flier on Hill

Hell look how long the Cards stayed in it last year with that collection of retreads

has anyone heard how Cappys rehab is going?

tracker said...

What Chris said. No Pie for me, thanks.

Re Hill, sure, but I don't see a path that gets him to the Brewers. If he's waived, a lot of teams would take a flier on him before the Brewers got their chance. And we could offer them somebody for him, but I think the Cubs would rather waive him than risk dealing with us and potentially improving a division rival.

E.S.K. said...

Hill is cheap, I'd take him. I wouldn't start Pie on my AAA team, because his AAAA ass would take at-bats away from my players who might someday develop.

PaulNoonan said...

Hill might not clear waivers, but stranger things have happened, especially to guys who took big steps back.

Your reactions make me wonder if Pie might not be worth picking up. I know he's been a terrible fuck-up in the majors, but in the minors he has NOT been TGJ. At triple A he's put up the following lines:

2006: .283/.341/.451, 141 games
2007: .362/.410/.563, 55 games
2008: .287/.336/.466, 85 games

He's an older prospect at this point, but he's not yet in his prime, and in the minors he really has produced. And I can tell everyone that the Cubs have totally fucked up Pie the way that they've used him in the majors.

I've never been that impressed, but in the right situation you might wind up with a nifty center-fielder with good power and a ton of speed.

E.S.K. said...

see here:

http://minors.baseball-reference.com/players.cgi?pid=11036

PaulNoonan said...

Yes, Corey has often been Felix's closes comp, but they're not entirely similar. First of all, Patterson was miscast as a leadoff hitter for awhile. Second, Pie's OBP has been consistently higher. I'll grant you that this is mainly due to batting average, and I hate batting average, but some players are better hitters than others.

Look, I'm not saying it's a great idea, but be honest, if you could replace TGJ with Felix Pie tomorrow, would you do it? I would.

ahren said...

hey paul, i just saw your email about this blog from like 4 months ago... anyhow, i'll start checking it out...

pie is good. the cubs have screwed up his development pretty badly of course, though it can be argued that his development should be taking a backseat to the cubs contention.

you could plop pie straight into cf for about half of mlb teams right now and improve said team.

there's no reason to "hate" batting average-- batting average is a real skill, even if it has high variance.

i'd say the real difference between patterson and pie is contact rate, which makes a big difference. if patterson were a career .280 hitter instead of .250, he'd be thought of a lot differently than he is, even if he didn't improve his walk rate.

ahren said...

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