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

Sandoval: I got lazy after signing big contract with Red Sox

Sandoval: I got lazy after signing big contract with Red Sox

The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.

In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal. 

"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."

After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.

"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."

The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.

"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."

Tanguay: Could Red Sox ownership be going for it now, then sell the team?

Tanguay: Could Red Sox ownership be going for it now, then sell the team?

Could John Henry sell ownership of the Boston Red Sox anytime soon, or does he want to keep winning?  Shaughnessy, Merloni, and Tanguay debate.