BOSTON A year and a day after Tommy John surgery, left-hander Rich Hill has been placed on the disabled list with tightness in his left elbow.
In the Red Sox clubhouse early Sunday morning, Hill said that on Monday he was going to be examined by Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery on June 9, 2011.
Rich Hill had a little tightness in his elbow and because of the situation thats hes dealing with in the first year of his rehabilitation were going to have him go back to Dr. Andrews, the doctor who performed the operation, to get his opinion on why he has that tightness, manager Bobby Valentine said.
He just doesnt feel that good throwing his curveball. And hopefully it'll come back as kind of an SOP standard operating procedure, that this is the way things happen as you recover from Tommy John.
Hes off the roster so hes on the disabled list for two weeks. Mark Melancon, whos just been lights out at Triple A is up, taking his spot in the bullpen.
Valentine said the issue with Hills elbow first cropped up about three weeks ago, then subsided. But, after Hills latest outing one inning against the Nationals on Friday night, when he faced four batters, gave up two hits with one strikeout the problem flared. Before that, he had not pitched since June 3 in Toronto, one inning facing four batters with two hits and a strikeout.
He said about three weeks ago it bothered him a little and then it went away and no problem, Valentine said. I heard about it one of those days where I didnt use him for three days and then he said he was fine. Then I think it was about five days since he was in a game the other day and in that game he threw those four curve balls to Washingtons Bryce Harper. Just didn't feel great about it.
Valentine, who said Hill has undergone some tests that were OK, said he did not notice a difference in the way Hill was throwing.
I didnt think he was throwing much different, Valentine said. I think his curveball just didn't have the same late break, but I dont know if thats elbow-related.
In 17 appearances, spanning 13 23 innings, Hill has a record of 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA. He has allowed 12 hits with seven walks, giving up four runs, with 11 strikeouts.
Hills absence leaves two lefties in the bullpen, Andrew Miller and Franklin Morales, who had recently been getting stretched out (7 13 innings in his last two appearances) in case the Sox need an emergency spot starter. Valentine said that plan could be affected now. He would not consider using Vicente Padilla in a long role.
Absolutely not, Valentine said. I mean, he probably could but I wouldnt consider that, not at this time. Much too valuable in the role hes had.