December 30, 2011 at 3:20 PM
|Rich Hill (Kelly O'Connor)|
Per John Tomase of the Boston Herald, the Red Sox have re-signed left-handed reliever Rich Hill to a minor league deal with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.
Hill, 31, was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the fourth round of the 2002 amateur draft. The Massachusetts-native spent the majority of his career as a starting pitcher for both the Cubs (2005-2008) and Baltimore Orioles (2009). In the winter of 2010, Hill signed as a minor league free agent with the St. Louis Cardinals, but opted out of the contract in June. The Red Sox quickly signed Hill to a minor league contract and he pitched very well in his time with the organization, compiling a 3-1 record with a 3.74 ERA in 19 appearances (6 starts) with Triple-A Pawtucket and hurling 4.0 scoreless innings with Boston.
The left-hander began the 2011 season with Pawtucket, impressing with a 1.12 ERA in 10 relief appearances, striking out 18 in 16.0 innings. Hill was called up to Boston on May 5 and was dominant in 9 appearances out of the bullpen, not allowing a run while striking out 12 in 8.0 innings pitched. He underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9 after tearing an elbow ligament during a game on May 29. The 6'5" southpaw has a chance to become a key member of the Boston bullpen in 2012 if all goes well with the rehabilitation.