Valentine: Hill has 'passed all the tests'

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Valentine: Hill has 'passed all the tests'

CHICAGO -- Rich Hill's rehab stint won't be over until early next month, but it would surprise no one if Hill is called up muchsooner by the Red Sox, perhaps as soon as Friday.
The lefty reliever, who underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow last June, has been on a rehab assignment for the past two weeks and recently made back-to-back appearances for Pawtucket on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"He's pitched very well,'' said Bobby Valentine. "Today's a kind of evlaluation, make-sure-he-feels-good day. I think we'll have a planfor him."
Having pitched the previous two days, Hill would have been no use to the Red Sox Thursday. But his arrival could come soonerrather than later.
Asked if Hill might join the Sox this weekend here, Valentine said: "Oh, I don't know. It's conceivable. It seems like he's pitched well enough.''
Valentine said Hill has already reached the prescribed goals set for the organization in terms of innings pitched.
"There were things that we wanted him to do,'' said Valentine. "Throw in competition, throw in a regulated, controlled environment, throw in a uncontrolled environment, throw back-to-back, throw to lefthanders and righthanders, throw with men on base... I think he's passed all the tests.''
It's likely that Hill will be used a lefty specialist, though Valentine said classifying the pitcher would be premature since "I've never see him pitch in a game. I think he'll be put in a situation where we'll try to figure out where he fits best.''
Hill would presumably replace Justin Thomas on the roster. Thomas faced two hitters Wednesday night in Minneapolis, allowing a double before plunking Chris Parmelee in the helmet.
One major league talent evaluator who's watched Thomas said the pitcher has "that deer-in-the-headlights look to him.''
Opposing batters have hit .476 off Thomas, with OPS against of 1.139. His WHIP is a bloated 2.57.

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