Pittsburgh Pirates starter Rich Hill has had a bit of a roller coaster to the start of the 2023 season. He pitched relatively well in his first start against the Reds. He had a shaky start giving up multiple home runs in the first inning. However, he settled down and looked solid over the rest of the start.
He was just as bad in the open of his second start. He would only make it through 4 complete innings giving up 7 earned runs on 8 hits including 3 home runs. Hill did not generate in terms of swing and miss, recording only 1 strike out in the start.
Yesterday, I wrote an article proposing that Hill be replaced in the rotation if he had another mediocre to poor start. The game against the Astros went much better than the previous. He only gave up 2 earned runs across 6 innings of work. Of course, he gave up a home run but he also did not record a single strikeout. So while the the results were much better there are still some lingering questions.
The first question is whether or not this was an anomaly or not. The Astros are one of the better teams in Baseball so really the result is hard to question. But, why did the White Sox have so much more success against Hill than the Astros. Hence the question of whether or not it is an anomaly or not. The White Sox have a good lineup as do the Astros.
Pittsburgh Pirates starter Rich Hill answered the call Wednesday, giving a quality start and proving he should stay in the rotation.
Typically this would not be a huge concern. But we are talking about a 43 year old pitcher who sits in the upper 80s with his fastball. They also are paying him the second highest salary on the team. A risky investment for a player they hope to trade at the Deadline. The good news is if he can continue to make productive starts like against the Astros then the Pittsburgh Pirates will be able to get a return on their investment.