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Dodgers Stars Justin Turner, Rich Hall Failed To Impress In Stints With Orioles

October 24, 2017
Do you remember Justin Turner as an Oriole? How about Rich Hill?

Those two key members of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who play the Houston Astros in the World Series beginning Oct. 24, only had brief stints with the Orioles, so you're forgiven if you don't instantly recall them.

In fact, based on their Orioles performances, it would've been difficult to predict stardom for either Turner or Hill.
Turner, the Dodgers' star third baseman and co-MVP of the National League Championship Series, began his major league career with the Orioles, playing a total of 17 games in 2009 and 2010.
He was acquired by the Orioles from the Cincinnati Reds along with utility players Ryan Freel and Brandon Waring for catcher Ramon Hernandez in December 2008.
Turner was claimed off waivers by the New York Mets in May 2010, and by 2011 he was playing regularly for the Mets. After spending parts of four seasons in New York, Turner -- who batted .265 with eight home runs in 301 games for the Mets -- was not offered another contract by the club.

He signed with the Dodgers that offseason, and his career has blossomed in Los Angeles. Turner has had four outstanding seasons with the Dodgers and was named to his first All-Star team this year.

Interestingly, Turner was drafted by the Reds when Wayne Krivsky was the team's general manager; he was acquired by the Orioles when Krivsky served as an assistant to president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail; and he was picked up by the Mets when Krivsky was in New York's front office.

"Turner could always hit the fastball," former Orioles manager Dave Trembley wrote in a text message.
Trembley, who managed the Orioles when Turner and Hill were with the team and now runs the Atlanta Braves farm system, admires both.
"Very much a gamer, blue collar type," Trembley said of Turner. "Orioles and Mets gave up on him too soon."
Trembley remembers using Turner as a pinch hitter for Melvin Mora in October 2009 during the longtime Orioles third baseman's final game with the team. Turner delivered a two-run single.
Hill has had one of the more interesting careers of any player currently in the big leagues.
Hill, who went 11-8 with a 3.92 ERA with the Chicago Cubs in 2007, was purchased by the Orioles in February 2009. The left-hander went 3-3 with a 7.80 ERA in his lone season in Baltimore. Then his odyssey began.

During the next six seasons, Hill was used mainly as a reliever, as he won a total of five games for four big league teams.
Hill signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals in 2015, and after he languished in the minor leagues, opted out of his contract. Typecast as a reliever at that point, Hill was convinced he could still start.
Joining the Independent League Long Island Ducks in the summer, Hill notched two scoreless starts and signed with Boston, his second stint with the Red Sox. Hill threw a shutout against the Orioles at Fenway Park in September 2015 and became a hotter commodity, as he went 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA in four starts.
He signed a one-year contract with the Oakland Athletics and went 9-3 with a 2.25 ERA in 14 starts before being traded to the Dodgers at the non-waiver trade deadline. He went 3-2 with a 1.83 ERA in six starts with the Dodgers, finishing the season a career-best 12-5 with a 2.12 ERA.

Hill parlayed that success into a three-year, $48 million contract with the Dodgers, and he won 12 more games for Los Angeles this season. At 37, he will pitch in his first World Series.

"Battled, perseverance," Trembley wrote of Hill. "Got fastball command later in his career -- always had a put away breaking pitch -- was very hard on himself -- couldn't be happier for him."
In recent years, other players who played briefly for the Orioles became World Series winners. First baseman Travis Ishikawa, who appeared in six games for the Orioles in 2013, hit a walkoff  grand slam that won the National League pennant for the San Francisco Giants in 2014.
Ishikawa's teammate, Michael Morse, was a late-season acquisition by the Orioles in 2013, and hit .103 in 12 games. He was the Giants' regular left fielder a year later.
The Astros don't have any former Orioles on their postseason roster, but their first base coach, Rich Dauer, was the second baseman on the Orioles' last World Series winning team in 1983.

Photo Credit: Mitch Stringer/PressBox