Injured starting pitcher Rich Hill is itching to return to the Boston Red Sox. The good news for the veteran lefty is he shouldn’t have to wait much longer.
Hill, who has been sidelined since July 1 after sustaining a left knee sprain and made a rehab assignment with Double-A Portland on Thursday, is eyeing a potential date for when he will rejoin the Red Sox.
“The next step, we’re shooting for I think somewhere (next week) in Houston,” Hill told NESN’s Jahmai Webster prior to the Red Sox’s game Friday against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Hill looked sharp in his first, and possibly only, rehab start with the Sea Dogs. The 42-year-old allowed just one run over three innings while scattering four hits and striking out five against the Hartford Yard Goats.
The outing allowed Hill to also test out the knee brace he is wearing after sustaining the injury, and it may actually serve as a benefit going forward for the southpaw.
“Everything went great,” Hill said. “The ball came out of my hand the way I wanted to. Knee brace worked great. Everything had good finish to it. The curveball was really good, the cutter was really good. The velo on my fastball was actually up, and I think that had to do with the brace actually keeping me in a better position that I was before.”
Hill, who is 4-4 with a 4.20 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP with the Red Sox this season, is certainly counting down the days until he’s back pitching with the Red Sox again.
“I wish I was back last week and not have to miss too much time,” Hill said. “Like I said, the guys in the training room did an amazing job.”
The Red Sox will be in Houston to take on the Astros for three games starting Monday, and if all goes well, they’ll have Hill at their disposal in the series.