Results tagged ‘ Hart ’
Before the game today, right-hander Kevin Hart was recalled for his third stint of the season with Chicago. Hart is 2-1 with a 6.62 ERA (13 ER/17.2 IP) in 12 relief appearances this year.
Since last being sent down to Triple-A Iowa on June 12, he had a 2.51 ERA (4 ER/14.1 IP) in four starts. In the minors this year, Hart overall had 48 strikeouts in 40.1 innings.
In a corresponding move, Michael Wuertz (1-1, 3.55 ERA) was optioned to Triple-A Iowa.
Hard-throwing right-hander Matt Cain (5-7, 4.30) takes the hill for the Giants.
Throughout the season, Vine Line Online will speak with players, managers and front-office personnel in the minor-league system. Today, “Down on the Farm” checks in with Oneri Fleita, Cubs Vice President of Player Personnel, about how Kevin Hart and Rich Hill will find their ways back to Chicago. Keep coming to the blog for reports, player profiles, interviews and stories during the week.
The old baseball adage “It’s harder to stay in the majors than get there” rings true even for successful players — just ask Kevin Hart and Rich Hill.
Hart was a September call up last year and was a key ingredient in the Cubs playoff run. He posted a 0.82 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 11 innings. Hill also broke out in 2007, winning 11 games, leading the Cubs in strikeouts with 183, and ranking fifth in the National League in batting average against (.235). But both have struggled this year and were optioned to Triple-A Iowa to work out their problems.
For Hart, Fleita believes, it might have been an issue of familiarity.
“[Hart’s] a young guy who was brought up and asked to throw out of the bullpen, and did a nice job,” Fleita said. “But because of his lack of experience with irregular work, it was hard for him to stay in sync….”
Fleita believes the key to getting Hart back to Chicago is by getting him back in a familiar role as a starting pitcher, something that may even lead to other opportunities for the big righty.
“Hart has been put back [into the rotation], to get him back on track,” Fleita said. “Putting him in the rotation gives us, as an organization and him individually, the opportunity to be a starter, should that need arise. And if not, it will give him the opportunity to get in sync so that the next time he comes up he will be back where he was last year throwing out of the ‘pen.”
Unlike Hart, Hill was used as a starter, and instead of losing rhythm and routine, Hill seemed to lose trust in his pitches and thus his command.
“Hill has been sent [to Iowa] to gain a little confidence,” Fleita said. “He struggled to throw strikes and is kind of retracing his steps. I don’t think it will be a major overhaul. Sometimes players lose their confidence and get a little off track, but he threw here a couple nights ago and looks like he’s right back where he was.”
If that is the case then look for Hart and Hill to be back in Chicago soon, something that Fleita attributes to their team-first approach.
“The bottom line is that we are talking about two guys with great attitudes that care more about getting up there and helping us win than [they do about] themselves.”
— Zach Martin