Rich Hill Recalled; Justin Thomas Demoted

Red Sox fans rejoice! Bobby V can't call for Justin Thomas in high leverage sitautions anymore!

It appears Red Sox Nation can do a little rejoicing this afternoon!  According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Glove (via Twitter), the Red Sox have activated and recalled lefty specialist, Rich Hill, from Pawtucket.  Justin Thomas, who has an minor league option remaining, has been demoted in his place.

Hill caught the attention of many Red Sox fans last season after he reinvented himself from a starting pitcher with control issues to a side-arming left specialist with a brutally wicked curveball.  Things started out very well for Hill as he posted a 12/3 K/BB ratio over his first 8 innings with the Sox.  His success would be short lived as he ended up tearing the Ulnar Collateral Ligament in his left elbow during his ninth appearance for the Red Sox.  Now, Hill returns to the fold less than ten months after tearing his UCL in his throwing elbow; a pretty remarkable recovery time for a pitcher that underwent Tommy John surgery.

While minor league competition is unquestionably inferior to the quality displayed in the majors, Hill has shown no signs of post-surgery complications.  In nine innings scattered between Greenville, Salem, and Pawtucket, Hill has put together a stunningly impressive 18/2 K/BB ratio to go along with a 2.00 ERA.  In desperate need of quality pitching out of the bullpen, the Red Sox brass didn’t hesitate in calling the lefty to the majors.  In all honesty, a shutdown lefty like Hill could significantly alter the complexion of the Red Sox bullpen.

Thomas has had a pretty rough go of it in Boston this month.  He struggled in his 4-2/3 innings of work, allowing four runs and 12 baserunners, while striking out only four.  Perhaps the most important aspect of his demotion is that Bobby V won’t have the option of calling Thomas from the bullpen in the most crucial of situations.  For that, we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

Categories: Justin Thomas Rich Hill

After being slapped with a restraining order for stealing Nick Cafardo's mail, I was forced into retirement for a brief period of time. As fun as it was to lounge around the community pool and play shuffleboard with noted internet columnist, Murray Chass, I quickly felt a yearning to write again. Now in my second tenure with Fire Brand, I have set lofty goals of achieving world domination, ending the plight of the hipsters, and becoming BFFs with Mike Trout. I am fluent in two languages (Sarcasm and English, in that order); have an intimate relationship with M&Ms; firmly believe that Lucille is the best character on Arrested Development; and spend my spare time trolling select members of the Boston media. You can follow me on Twitter @Chip_Buck.

4 Responses to “Rich Hill Recalled; Justin Thomas Demoted” Subscribe

  1. Danny April 27, 2012 at 5:44 PM #

    "Red Sox fans rejoice! Bobby V can’t call for Justin Thomas in high leverage sitautions anymore!"

    ^ I LOL'd.

    What do you think is a reasonable expectation for Hill out of the 'pen? He's certainly looked impressive, but we have absurdly tiny sample sizes to go off at the moment.

    • ChipBuck April 27, 2012 at 6:27 PM #

      I'm not really sure what we can expect out of Hill just yet. Pitchers typically struggle with command during the first full year after returning from TJ, and Hill has certainly had his share of command issues in the past. I think he'll be pretty solid, and he'll certainly change the complexion of the bullpen. Still, I don't expect him to be a world beater. I'm going project a 2.0-2.5:1 K/BB with an FIP around 3.50.

      • Danny April 28, 2012 at 4:38 AM #

        That seems fair. I'm cautiously optimistic. At the very least, he can't be any worse that what we've fielded to this point, and there are worse things to have than potentially game-changing lefties out of the 'pen. I'm interested to see what he'll add.

        On an unrelated note, I find it kind of amusing how that "Is the season already over?" poll has swung from 55% yes to 55% no over the course of this (knocking furiously on wood) 5-game run we've been on. Boston!

        • ChipBuck April 28, 2012 at 9:27 AM #

          So typical. Everyone was doing their "Chicken Little" dance as per usual.