After the Rich Hill debut, which column will he fall into, Greg Maddux or Brad Penny?
When it comes to tradeline debuts Brad Penny is the one that always comes to my mind for several reasons. When DePodesta traded for Penny in 2004 it was a huge gamble as he traded the most popular player on the Dodgers (Paul LoDuca) without securing a proper backup catcher when Charles Johnson decided he didn’t want to play for the Dodgers. That left the young David Ross as the full-time catcher. The general thought was that Penny was going to be flipped for Randy Johnson but that part of the trade never happened.
Brad Penny made Depodesta look good by hurling a two-hitter on Aug 3rd, 2004 in his debut and going eight innings for the win. For a moment it looked like Depodesta had acquired the pitcher the Dodgers needed to help them in October. That moment didn’t last long because Penny would get hurt in his next start and only pitch 3 innings for the Dodgers the rest of the year.
Greg Maddux had his own memorable debut on August 3rd, 2006 by pitching a six-inning no-hitter. The cost for Maddux had been cheap enough with Cesar Izturis going to the Cubs. Maddux would go on to have an effective final two months with the Dodgers making 12 starts, and even pitch one lousy game in the postseason.
Notice that both of those debuts were on August 3rd, which makes sense given the players were acquired at the trading deadline of 7/31 and were needed ASAP to help the rotation.
Even though Dodger fans had to wait until August 24th, Rich Hill can now join Penny and Maddux with a memorable debut after his six shutout innings last night.
The question now remains which column does Hill end up in? The Penny column or the Maddux column?