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.

Griff Whalen practicing for Patriots, wearing No. 14

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Griff Whalen practicing for Patriots, wearing No. 14

FOXBORO -- The Patriots took to the practice field behind Gillette Stadium on Friday with all but one player. 

Wideout Danny Amendola was the only player not present at the session. Newly-acquired receiver Griff Whalen was present and wearing No. 14. 

Safety Jordan Richards was back on the practice field for the first time since suffering a knee injury against the Jets in Week 12. Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder), Elandon Roberts (hamstring), Eric Rowe (hamstring) and Matthew Slater (foot) were all limited in practice on Thursday, but were on the field Friday.

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while digging the Spider-Man trailer that dropped last night. 

*John Scott has finally called it a day and announced his retirement, and apparently there’s a book of his memoirs also coming out too. I’m predicting it’s not headed for the New York Times best seller list. 

*Winter Olympics participation and the CBA negotiations for the NHL are starting to merge into giant issue.  

*Connor McDavid calls the Flyers' Brandon Manning classless for telling him on the ice that he purposefully tried to hurt him last season. Some players might also take issue with McDavid making public what another player said to him on the ice. That’s kind of a no-no for most hockey players and breaks an unwritten rule that McDavid might think he’s above given his star status. This whole thing isn’t a good look for anybody. 

*Kevin Stevens pleads guilty to federal drug charges in what’s become a pretty sad situation for the former NHL star. 

*New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is beginning to raise questions with his play, and his massive price tag. 

*Youngsters Zach Weresnki and Dylan Larkin took similar paths to the NHL, and are both considered part of the talented young generation full of hockey stars. 

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Carey Price taking a nutty on Kyle Palmieri after the player crashed into his crease last night. Price is being celebrated for sticking up for himself, but if another goalie did that to a Habs player at the Bell Centre, there would already be a warrant out for his arrest. Play it both ways, Montreal!  

*For something completely different: here’s the aforementioned new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer that looks pretty darn good.