Diamondbacks’ manager Kirk Gibson praises Aaron Hill

  • Ian Johnson
Arizona Diamondbacks' Aaron Hill, right, is congratulated by manager Kirk Gibson, center, and Alan Trammell after Hill drove in both runs in the Diamondbacks' 2-0 victory over the San Diego Padres(Photo credit: AP photo/ Lenny Ignelzi)

Arizona Diamondbacks’ Aaron Hill, right, is congratulated by manager Kirk Gibson and Alan Trammell (AP photo/ Lenny Ignelzi)

This season has been somewhat of a whirlwind for Aaron Hill who is having a poor one by his standards and has had his name involved in trade rumors throughout the season. Even after a slow start to this season he seems revived since the All-Star Break, hitting a home run recently and hitting in seven consecutive games. Manager Kirk Gibson feels that Hill has been much more patient and confident with the bat as of late.

He’s swung the bat better. He’s taking what they’re giving him, they’re throwing him on the outside part of the plate a lot, and his second hit last night, he stayed on that pitch and stayed through it. So he’s not pulling off the ball, and he isn’t pressing as much.

Up to the All-Star Break he seemed a bit lost at the plate seemingly guessing on most pitches and having already struck out over 20 times more than he did all of 2013. While hitting around .250 Hill knew that it was time to find a new approach at the plate, being more patient, seeing the ball better and most importantly waiting for his pitches.

He has found his groove recently with that seven game hitting streak to show for it. Proving Hill’s determination as well as the D-backs patience and faith in the 32-year-old second baseman.

Hill originally broke onto the scene with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2005 and proved he had just as much consistency with his glove as he did with his bat. While playing seven years in Toronto he became one of the better and more reliable middle infielders in the big leagues. Appearing in 100 or more games during all but one season, while hitting over .260 in all but two seasons.

As he struggled in 2010 and 2011 the Jays chose to trade Hill and John McDonald to the Diamondbacks for utility man Kelly Johnson. A deal that the D-backs certainly got the better end of as Johnson only lasted parts of two seasons with the Jays. Meanwhile Hill had one of his career best seasons all the way around in 2012. He has played very well in the desert, yet has not found the same consistency that he had in Toronto.

The D-backs are in a relatively precarious position being a young team already out of playoff contention. Playoff bound teams are searching for veterans to fill voids in their lineup; Aaron Hill is one of those guys which leaves us to wonder what his future holds in Arizona.

Furthermore, with general manager Kevin Towers future in question, the snakes are certainly headed toward a rebuilding process.

Phoenix Sports-Kings Assistant Site Manager Ian Johnson, Follow me on Twitter @IanJohnsonSK

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