Hill knows all about New England microscope

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Hill knows all about New England microscope

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

PAWTUCKET -- Dont expect Rich Hill to revel in the difficulties Dennys Reyes is having with the Red Sox.

Dennys is a great left-handed pitcher, Hill said Thursday night before the start of the Pawtucket Red Soxs season-opening game against Rochester. Its . . . still early in the year. Theyve only played six games.

"I understand the microscope in Boston is really small, as expected. However, hes a guy thats done it over and over for 13 years. And I learned a lot from him in spring training. He was great to me in spring training. I became friends with him. And even last year we were together in camp with the Cardinals, but I didnt get to know him as well until this year. Hes been doing it for 13 years. Hell be fine.

The only left-hander in the Sox pen, Reyes has struggled since the start of the season. He's pitched 1 23 innings in four games with a 16.20 ERA.

Although they are both lefties, essentially competing for the same spot in spring training, Hill takes no joy in Reyes' struggles. A Milton, Mass. native, he knows whats expected here.

Its not easy to do, Hill said. To play this game and play it at the highest level, in Boston, New York, Chicago, L.A., the biggest markets, is difficult. Some other places, people might look past that and say, Oh, well, were not expected to do anything here this year in a smaller market. But since its such a big market, and everythings magnified, expectations are so high.

"So, yeah, you do feel for a guy that goes out there and struggles . . . Youve been in that position and struggled so you know exactly how that feels.

You want everybody to play to the best of their potential because when that happens, the competition's greater and thats what makes it a lot more fun. You want guys to go out there and be at their best when youre pitching against those hitters because you can say I beat them at their best, not on a day when they werent at their best. But the days that youre not, you've got to find a way to get through it and win.

When the Red Sox sent him down, on March 25, they gave him very simple instructions.

Just pitch, Hill said. Thats really essentially all you can do. Pitch with conviction and really let things happen. Things that are out of your control you cant control. You can only control the pitch that youre throwing at that time. Thats really all I think about.

That's what Hill did Thursday night, picking up the victory in the PawSox' 2-1 Opening Night win with 2 13 innings of scoreless relief.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.