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Red Sox sign Hill to minor league deal

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  December 30, 2011 03:05 PM

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The Red Sox have signed lefthanded reliever Rich Hill, the pride of Milton, to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.

Hill tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow on June 1 and underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9. He is hopeful of being ready to pitch at some point early next season.

Hill has appeared in 15 games for the Red Sox over the last two seasons, throwing 12 scoreless innings and striking out 12 with three walks.

According to Elias, he is the first Red Sox pitcher with 15 scoreless outings to begin his career with the club.

Once a starter with the Cubs, Hill switched to the bullpen after undergoing shoulder surgery.

The Sox, like virtually every team, need lefty help in the bullpen. Franklin Morales returns from last season. He did not allow an earned one in 22 innings of winter ball in Venezuela. He stuck out 23, walked only four and allowed eight hits.

They also have Felix Doubront and Andrew Miller, would-be starters who may be better suited for the bullpen.

Kudos to John Tomase of the Herald, who had the news on Hill first.

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