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Get Well Soon, Rich
by Derek Smart
Here's the rather expected news that Rich Hill is on his way to Iowa, with Sean Gallagher taking his place on the roster, although not in the rotation. That slot is going to Jon Lieber, which despite what I wrote earlier, really makes the most short term sense. The club can't afford to wait for Marshall to stretch out, and Lieber's been too good to not give him the ball so he can take those innings that've been falling to the bullpen of late.
The big thing here is the hope that, out of the spotlight, Hill can figure out what the problem is, which near as I can tell, is almost entierly between his ears. I probably have more to say on this - I know a little something about overthinking during public performances - but I need some time to gather my thoughts. However, the short of it is, I think Hill has ceased to truly believe he can pitch. When asked, he says he believes in his ability, and he might even be fooling himself well enough that his conscious mind is in on the act, but it's obvious when he's throwing that he's feeling the stares of his detractors every time he makes a mistake, and that's something a Major League player cannot afford to do.
Hill needs to spend some time in Iowa, have the success he's almost certain to have, and regain control of the little demon in his head - the one that's whispering the false tale of his incompetence with every pitch. He needs it. The Cubs need it. Best of luck, Rich. We're rooting for you.