SEATTLE -- While the Red Sox continue to await more medical tests on Felix Doubront, who has been down for two weeks with an upper pectoral injury (left collarbone area), it appears unlikely the lefty will pitch again this season.
The main reason is time. And the other reason is that the club will naturally be conservative with a young pitcher it thinks so highly of. There are only 19 games left in the season. Manager Terry Francona often says that for each week a pitcher goes without throwing, he needs that same amount of time to build back up. Doubront last threw a pitch on Aug. 31.
"If there's a week to go in the season, we're not going to rush this kid back," said Francona. "Common sense says that if he's down with no throwing for, let's say it's a week, it's going to be another week [after that]. You start putting the timetable together. We're going to be conservative."
Hill excited to join hometown Red Sox
SEATTLE -- Rich Hill thought his baseball season ended on Sept. 6, the day Triple-A Pawtucket played its finale. But there Hill was with his father at Sunday's Bengals-Patriots game at Gillette Stadium when the phone rang. Just like that, Hill had to leave behind Tom Brady and Co. at the end of the first quarter and board a flight for Seattle.
The Red Sox officially selected the lefty to their roster on Monday for the start of a three-game series against the Mariners.
The 30-year-old has pitched 78 games in the Major Leagues, spending most of that time with the Cubs but also a 14-game stint with the Orioles last year. Coming to the Red Sox, however, was something entirely different.
Hill, who was born in Boston and raised in Milton, Mass., grew up a Red Sox fan. Dwight Evans, Carlos Quintana and Bob Stanley were among his favorite players. He and his wife bought a home in South Boston a couple of years ago. And with nine home games left this season, Hill envisions riding his bike to Fenway on nice days. His brother is a Red Sox season ticket holder.
"This is exciting," said Hill. "It's a great opportunity, especially to be here in Boston where I grew up a Red Sox fan. It's a good opportunity to help a team and it's nice -- it's nice to be here."
Back in 2007, Hill was one of the more promising lefties in the game. For the Cubs that year, he went 11-7 with a 3.92 ERA.
But health interfered in a big way. Hill had back woes throughout 2008 and had to have season-ending labrum surgery while with Baltimore last year.
Getting called up to the Red Sox is a bonus. Hill's main goal for this year was to prove his health.
"It's been two years," said Hill. "In 2008 and 2009, I had some pretty good disabled list time. Now to have this entire season healthy is an accomplishment in itself. I was not disappointed at all. I wasn't really expecting anything. The only thing I was expecting every time was to go out there and compete and pitch well."
The Red Sox signed Hill as a Minor League free agent on June 30. He combined to go 7-4 with a 4.00 ERA and 102 strikeouts in 42 appearances --- 10 starts -- this season between the Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate in Memphis and Triple-A Pawtucket.
Even before calling him up, the Red Sox had discussions about giving him a look in Spring Training next year. With lefty Felix Doubront probably out for the rest of the season, Hill can help in the bullpen.
"We felt like there was innings and that maybe it would be a good idea to get him here," said manager Terry Francona. "He went out and threw a light bullpen today -- threw one two days ago [in Boston], and he's actually available to get in the game tonight. With the breaking ball and the stuff, it's a nice chance to learn more about him."
Drew out of lineup; Reddick in right field
SEATTLE -- Not only was J.D. Drew out on Sunday when he took too wide of a turn from first base on a fourth-inning single, but he suffered an injury. Drew awkwardly ran backwards in his retreat to first base and jammed his right ankle. While he completed Sunday's game and actually had two big hits in the late innings, he was not in the lineup on Monday.
"Going around first yesterday, he kind of jammed his ankle," said manager Terry Francona. "When we got on the flight, it swelled a little bit, so we'll give him a break tonight and put [Josh] Reddick out there."
Daniel Nava got the start in left field, with Ryan Kalish playing center.
Pitching coach John Farrell was not at Safeco Field for Monday's game because of an illness. Bullpen coach Gary Tuck took over as pitching coach, with strength and conditioning coach Dave Page moving to the bullpen. ... Manager Terry Francona said that Mike Lowell's playing time won't be affected much by his pending retirement. "The retirement, he's never talked to me about," Francona said. "I'm not saying it's not true. As far as playing, balance is the best word. We want Lars [Anderson] to get some games. But we're not just going to stop playing guys. We'll try to mix and match and have lineups that look like we can win the game as best we can." ... Daisuke Matsuzaka, who will pitch the second game of this series, celebrated his 30th birthday on Monday.