Rich Hill Injury: Red Sox Reliever Undergoing Tommy John Surgery

Red Sox reliever Rich Hill will undergo Tommy John surgery on his torn UCL, knocking him out for 2011 and much of 2012.

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Rich Hill Injury: Tommy John Surgery For Red Sox Lefty

After left-handed Red Sox reliever Rich Hill was forced from a game with an elbow injury, he passed some early tests on his UCL, suggesting that the damage wasn't too bad. But some better tests after that showed that the damage was quite bad after all, as Hill was shown to have a mostly torn ligament. After some discussion, it has come to this:

Rich Hill will undergo Tommy John elbow surgery tomorrow in Pensacola, Fla. Dr. James Andrews to do surgery

Ligament replacement surgery. It seemed inevitable once Hill's UCL was shown to be torn, and now it's on the schedule. As such, Hill is finished for 2011, and he probably won't return until the middle of 2012.

Hill has undergone major surgery before, but that was on his shoulder labrum, and now one has to wonder if the 31-year-old will ever make it back to the Majors. It would be a shame if he didn't, since Hill was having good success out of the Boston bullpen before getting hurt.

Tommy Hottovy is currently serving as Boston's southpaw reliever.


Tommy Hottovy Called Up By Red Sox; Rich Hill Put On DL

Boston Red Sox reliever Rich Hill left Wednesday's game clutching his elbow, which is usually a sign that it's going to take more than a couple of aspirin to get a guy right. Indeed, he tore a ligament in his elbow, and he'll likely need season-ending surgery. [ed.-- or three aspirin]

The injury left the Red Sox without a lefty in the bullpen -- a tough spot for a team in the same division as Curtis Granderson, Nick Markakis, and Sam Fuld. So up comes 29-year-old Tommy Hottovy, who sports what I'm assuming is the rhymingest name since Greg Legg got a few at-bats in the '80s. Legg was a player who overcame tremendous odds -- such as his parents hating him -- and Hottovy is a similar feel-good story. He was taken by the Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2004 draft, and for seven-plus seasons, he plied his trade in the minors, usually in double-A Portland.

Hottovy was converted to relief in 2008 with mixed results. His stats:

Year Age Tm Lg Lev ERA IP H ER HR BB SO
2008 26 Portland EL AA 5.00 9.0 9 5 2 2 4
2009 27 2 Teams 2 Lgs AA-A- 3.18 34.0 30 12 3 13 41
2010 28 2 Teams 2 Lgs AA-AAA 4.90 75.1 86 41 11 43 56
2011 29 2 Teams 2 Lgs AA-AAA 1.67 27.0 16 5 1 5 28
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 6/3/2011.

So it's a feel good call-up for a player who has clearly paid his dues. If you need to know where some good restaurants in Portland, Maine are, don't bother with Yelp. Just text Tommy Hottovy. Now he gets to see what Boston is like.


Rich Hill Injury: Red Sox Lefty Likely Facing Season-Ending Surgery

On Wednesday, Red Sox lefthander Rich Hill left the game against the White Sox clutching at his left elbow. Preliminary reports said that the damage wasn’t serious, however, today the Boston Globe reports bad news for Hill and the Red Sox:

Lefthanded reliever Rich Hill, who left yesterday’s game clutching his arm, has a serious injury according to a major league source and is likely to require season-ending surgery.

Hill and the Red Sox will seek a second opinion, but the MRI taken yesterday indicated what seemed obvious as he walked off the mound.

Hill had shoulder surgery two years ago, as part of a comeback; he had been let go by the Cubs, for whom he had a solid season in 2007, helping lead them to the NL Central title. Hill is a Boston-area native and his performance in the Red Sox bullpen — up to yesterday — had been one of their feel-good stories of the season.

Worse for Boston may be this: Hill was their only lefthanded reliever. You can bet that Theo Epstein will be working the phones trying to acquire someone soon.


Rich Hill Injury: Red Sox Lefty Having MRI, Avoids Major UCL Damage

It was a scary scene earlier when Red Sox lefty Rich Hill threw a pitch, grabbed at his elbow, and had to come out of a game. One's immediate thought was that something in Hill's elbow had torn, and that he'd probably need to have surgery or at the very least go for a long rehab. But so far, we have tentative good news. Via Ian Browne:

Hill left the game with a left forearm injury.

And via Scott Lauber:

Rich Hill en route to getting MRI. According to Daniel Bard, Hill passed initial tests of ucl ligament in elbow and said he'l be OK

Hill isn't yet out of the woods, and the MRI will reveal what - if anything - is wrong. But the fact that he passed tests on his UCL eases fears that he might be in for Tommy John surgery. Presumably, you can't pass those tests if your UCL is messed up. Otherwise the tests wouldn't have a point.

It's worth noting that Hill is both the only left-handed member of Boston's bullpen, and the only pitcher in team history to begin his Red Sox career with 15 consecutive scoreless outings. If Hill has to go on the DL, one figures Hideki Okajima could return from the minors.


Rich Hill Injury: Red Sox Lefty Leaves Game Vs. White Sox After Only Seven Pitches

On Wednesday afternoon, Boston Red Sox left-hander Rich Hill was forced from the mound after suffering an apparent elbow injury against the Chicago White Sox. From NESN's Tony Lee:

Just as I mention how terrific Rich Hill has been, we see him throw a pitch and immediately grab his left arm. He was in some serious pain, and immediately lifted.

Hill was only seven pitches into his seventh-inning relief appearance. A significant elbow injury would certainly be a major concern for a 31-year-old with a history of arm troubles.

Hill has pitched eight innings in 2011 without giving up a run. Originally a starter, the Red Sox moved him to the bullpen after a disastrous 2009 campaign. Hill is the only left-hander in the Boston bullpen, so if Hill's apparent injury is as serious as it appears, the Sox will have every reason to move quickly.

For more on Rich Hill and the Red Sox, check out SB Nation's Over The Monster.

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