Matsuzaka, Hill appear headed for surgery


Matsuzaka, Hill appear headed for surgery

By Sean McAdam

BOSTON -- In the last 24 hours, the Red Sox have been punched in the gut twice with serious pitching injuries,

Though details are not official complete yet, both Daisuke Matsuzaka and Rich Hill appear headed for Tommy John surgery, ending both their seasons, multiple industry sources indicated Thursday.

Matsuzaka had been sidelined since May 18 and was diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He sought a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum, who Tuesday confirmed the existence of a tear in the ligament and reportedly recommended tendon-transplant surgery -- commonly known as Tommy John surgery -- to correct the problem.

The Red Sox met with Matsuzaka Thursday morning but have yet to speak with Yocum directly to hear his diagnosis first-hand. Once that process is complete, preparation will begin on scheduling surgery, likely to be performed by Yocum himself, perhaps as early as the middle of next week.

Hill, a native of Milton, Mass., walked off the mound in the seventh inning Wednesday after throwing ball four to White Sox slugger Adam Dunn. He grabbed his upper left forearm and elbow in pain and, after a quick consultant with the training staff on the field, left the game.

Early indications from an MRI performed Wednesday evening detailed a ligament injury consistent with those that usually require Tommy John surgery. According to a source close to Hill, the pitcher and his agent were making plans Thursday to seek a second opinion, but an industry source said that the tendon-transplant surgery looked highly likely.

Hill had been outstanding for the Red Sox as a lefty coming out of the bullpen this season, holding opponents scoreless in nine appearacnes and, in fact, had never allowed a run in 15 career appearances for the Red Sox, dating back to last September.

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Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run of the spring and Rusney Castillo had three hits to lead a Red Sox split squad to a 7-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday in Port Charlotte, Fla. 

Sandoval, who has won back his third base job after missing nearly all of last season following surgery on his left shoulder, connected for a three-run shot, batting right-handed, against Rays starter Ian Snell in the fifth inning. The switch-hitting Sandoval had abandoned hitting right-handed in 2015, his last full season with the Red Sox.

He's hitting .353 this spring with a 1.051 OPS and 19 RBI.

Castillo, the Cuban outfielder signed to a seven-year, $72 million deal late in 2014 but again likely headed for Triple-A Pawtucket, went 3-for-4 and is hitting .368 this spring. Catcher Blake Swihart, also probably Pawtucket-bound, had two hits and is hitting .325.


Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Kyle Kendrick strengthened his bid for a spot in the rotation by allowing two runs in six innings and striking out six and Jackie Bradley homered as a Red Sox split squad played to a 3-3 tie with the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Kendrick, 32, a non-roster invitee to spring training, allowed eight hits and a walk in his sixth start this spring. He's been the Red Sox best starter with an ERA of 2.17. 

With David Price out until May and lefty Drew Pomeranz still a question mark, Kendrick could find his way into the rotation behind Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez.

Bradley went 2-for-3 with his third homer of the spring. He's hitting .244 in spring training games. 

The Phillies pushed across the tying run in the ninth off lefty reliever Robby Scott, the first run he's allowed this spring in 10 innings. 

The Minnesota Twins host the Red Sox on Sunday at 1:05 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.