The Red Sox bullpen is need of some depth and it appears help is on the way. Rich Hill who underwent Tommy John Surgery eleven months ago has rejoined the team in time to help save the bullpen. To make room for Hill, Justin Thomas was optioned to AAA Pawtucket, a move that makes sense given the lefties struggles.
The Hill return is a miraculous story about an athlete not only beating the odds of Tommy John Surgery but returning much sooner than expected. Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald covered the story of how Hill strictly followed a program designed for his rehab by Red Sox head physical therapist Mike Reinold.
Hill appeared in eight rehab stints in the minor leagues and proved he was ready for the big club, after posting an ERA of 2.00, struck out 18, allowed five hits and issued just two walks.
Given the inconsistencies of the some of the late inning relievers, namely Vicente Padilla and Scott Atchison, Hill could become the ultimate setup man for closer Alfredo Aceves. If Hill can convert to that reliable eighth inning guy, Daniel Bard‘s desire to stay in the rotation looks to be more of a reality.