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 confirmed what seemed obvious as he walked off the mound.
It is devastating news for Hill, a Milton native who underwent shoulder surgery in 2009 and resurrected his career as a sidearm reliever. Hill had appeared in nine games this season and not allowed a run in eight innings. He gave up only three hits, walked three and struck out 12.
With Hill out, the Red Sox do not have a lefty reliever. They could remedy that before tomorrow night's game against Oakland by recalling Felix Doubront. Other alternatives would be Hideki Okajima or Andrew Miller. In those cases, however, a 40-man roster move would be needed.
As for Matsuzaka, while he seems to have already decided on Tommy John surgery the Red Sox have not yet signed off on it. But two club sources admitted surgery was the likely outcome.