ST. LOUIS -- Rich Hill is out. Sean Gallagher is up. Jon Lieber is in the Cubs' starting rotation.
That's the story from Busch Stadium today as the Cubs optioned lefty Hill to Class AAA Iowa, one day after he failed to get out of the first inning, walking four of the six batters he faced.
The Cubs called up right-hander Sean Gallagher, who had been starting at Iowa. They'll move Gallagher to the bullpen as the long reliever while moving veteran righty Jon Lieber from the bullpen to the rotation. Lieber will start next Wednesday in Cincinnati.
"We need some innings," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella. "At the same time, we nee to get Rich straightened out. I think the consensus was pitching down in Triple-A with much less pressure is the right thing to do. We had a nice talk with him, told him we're holding a rotation spot for him as soon as he gets himself straightened out.
"He didn't take it very well. He understands. He was more upset at himself. He's a good kid. He really is. He's been worrying a lot. He needs to relax and just go pitch."
Hill is 1-0 with a 4.12 ERA in 5 starts. In 19/9 innings, he has given up 13 hits while striking out 15 and walking 18.
The walks have been a problem for Hill since spring training.
He was emotional as he addressed reporters after getting the news from the Cubs.
"Obviously, it's difficult, but I have to go down there," he said. "I haven't been right since the beginning of spring training. Go down there and work on what needs to be worked on and get back up here as soon as possible.
"I think it's just getting back over the top (mechanically). It's a lot of things. I've been throwing kind of three-quarters and dropping down a little bit more than I was last year, especially consistently dropping down my arm slot."