That rendezvous alone isn't a positive sign. But after being sidelined for a year with Tommy John surgery — for his elbow — the Red Sox reliever sensed tightness once again in his left elbow.
As a result of the discomfort, Hill will visit Andrews, the same surgeon who performed the procedure. It prompted the Red Sox to place Hill on the 15-day disabled list and recall Mark Melancon from Triple-A Pawtucket.
Hill first experienced the tightness three weeks ago, according to Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine.
"It bothered him a little, and then it went away and there was no problem," Valentine said. "I heard of it one of those days where I didn’t use him for three days or so, and then he said he was fine, and then I think it was five days since he was in a game the other day."
That appearance was Friday, during the series opener against the Nationals. In the outing, Hill surrendering two hits but pitched a scoreless inning. He also racked up his 11th strikeout of the season.
Although Valentine didn't notice anything different with Hill, the skipper said the late breaking movement on the southpaw's curveball was different. Hill unleashed four curveballs in a sequence against Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.
When approached by reporters at his locker, Hill declined comment until after his meeting with Andrews.
"I don't have any answers right now," Hill said.
His absence leaves two lefties in the bullpen — Franklin Morales and Andrew Miller. Prior to the revelation of Hill's injury, Valentine expressed his intention to stretch out Morales into long relief and possibly an occasional spot start.
Now, Valentine said he was likely to abandon that plan, instead opting to use Morales as a lefty specialist against left-handed batters. Valentine also quelled any plans of slotting Vicente Padilla into extended relief innings.
Hill had an MRI, and the team will continue to monitor the situation. Through 13 2/3 innings, the 32-year-old has a 2.63 ERA and has only yielded 12 hits and four runs.
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