Over the Hill

The Aaron Hill era is over

The Aaron Hill era is over.

Aaron Hill has lost what once put him in a position to earn Vernon Wellsian dollars.

Like the extinct Russ Adams, his former infield partner, the errant Hill has come nowhere close to meeting expectations. Like Adams, he just isn’t good enough for this team. Unlike Adams, he will find a home with another major league club, but not for eight million dollars.

He remains a lingering piece of the failed Ricciardi plan, a relic of the Vernon Wells era. Wells and Hill were good friends and teammates for six years. Perhaps Wells planted the seed of ineptitude that seems to grow in the psyche of Hill. Could he be ruminating on the following:

I am going to hit into a double play.

I know I’m going to fly out again.

I can’t do it any more.

I don’t deserve this money.

I am not the all-star I used to be, and I never will be again.

It is shaky ground upon which analysts pass judgement on a player’s lack of performance by declaring:  he lacks desire or confidence. But he does have a dazed look in his eyes, and a demeanour of resignation. Just what caused the change in Hill cannot be determined objectively.

Are we seeing the long-term effects of his concussion?

Did opposing pitchers figure out a permanent way to get him out?

And has Hill failed to make the requisite adjustments?

The fact is that Hill does not contribute enough. The numbers do not lie.

He strikes out too much. He does not walk enough, and he does not hit for average or homeruns. Without the benefit of all the RBI he used to hit, his OBP stands out all the more horrifically.

The Blue Jays Luddite predicts that Hill will be placed on waivers some time in August, and Bluebird Banter muses on the woes of Hill at the plate and considers possible replacements. One of whom might be our old friend Marco Scutaro, who has proven ability to get on base and play good defense. Dustin Parkes at Getting Blanked explains possible outcomes for Hill and the Blue Jays, depending on whether he finishes 2011 as a Type A or Type B free agent.

It has been an abominable dissension in the ranks for Hill, and a mystery for the Blue Jays.

Just what happened to the man since his all-star season of 2009, no one, Hill included, seems to know.

This Aaron Hill is a shadow of his former self, and it now appears likely that he will not be back, or should not be back in 2012.

On to the next, we’re over the Hill. Who will play second base?

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