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What will Birds do with Hill?

The Cardinals have until Tuesday to call up former Major Leaguer Rich Hill or the lefty hurler can exercise an opt-out clause in his contract and become a free agent.

Cardinals minor league pitcher Rich Hill hoped to make the big league club as its fifth starter in spring training.

After that didn't happen, he went to the bullpen in Class AAA Memphis where he's trying to harness his control one or two innings at a time. The results have been somewhat better since his conversion to the 'pen May 6. Since then, he's pitched 12 innings and allowed 10 hits. He's given up seven walks, which is still too high. But it's much better than the pace of nearly one per inning that he was averaging as a starter. In those 12 inning's he's struck out 13.

As a reliever, Hll is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA. As a starter, he was 1-2 with a 5.16 ERA. He's held lefties to a .171 batting average against while righties are hitting him to the tune of a .266 batting average.

It would seem, if the Cardinals had any intention of calling up Hill, it would have become evident when two major league starters went on the shelf. But the Cardinals seem to be leaning toward calling up Adam Ottavino to replace Kyle Lohse while P.J. Walters has already been activated to fill in for Brad Penny.

I have a problem with Hill as a major league reliever because, even though he can strike out a hitter in a pinch, his walks are far more likely to make a bad situation worse. So I guess it all boils down to whether Hill thinks he can find a major league job with another club or he thinks he's better off as -- at best -- the eighth option for the St. Louis starting rotation.