Red Sox Lefty Rich Hill Reportedly Headed for Tommy John Surgery


Jun 2, 2011

It's not quite at the level of 2010 yet, but the injuries to the Red Sox are beginning to pile up. A day after reports surfaced that Daisuke Matsuzaka would need Tommy John surgery, more came out Thursday with a similar diagnosis for Rich Hill.

The latter may be the bigger loss for Boston. Hill, who hurt his left elbow on a pitch in Wednesday's loss to Chicago, had emerged as a shutdown reliever in the month he had been with the club. In eight scoreless innings out of the bullpen, he had yielded only three hits, struck out 12 and walked three.

The Milton, Mass., native, who had shoulder surgery in 2009, had reinvented himself as a reliever with a side-arm delivery that had proved very effective. His loss leaves the bullpen, as it stands Thursday, without a lefty, and without one of manager Terry Francona's better options.

Hill threw ball four to Adam Dunn, the first batter he faced Wednesday and immediately grabbed his elbow in pain. He told those who rushed to his side that he had heard a pop and felt a burning sensation. He was lifted, given an MRI on Wednesday night and is reportedly contemplating season-ending surgery after learning the results.

Matsuzaka is headed down the same path. According to multiple reports, he will have the procedure done next week. While Tim Wakefield and Alfredo Aceves can fill that spot for the time being, the loss of Hill will require outside help, likely in the form of Felix Doubront or Hideki Okajima. Certainly, the organization will need to make other moves to fortify its suddenly limited depth.

The organization has made no announcements on either Matsuzaka or Hill. More information should become available prior to Friday's game at home against Oakland.

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