John Tomase reports via Twitter that Hill will receive an invite to spring training, and that, while he expects to be ready by the start of the season, "won't rush anything." Hill has not pitched much for Boston over the last two years, first spending most of 2010 in the minors with the Cardinals and Sox, and then seeing his elbow explode on the mound in 2011, but he has been effective in the short time he has been around. Hill has thrown all of 12 innings for the Red Sox, all in relief, with a 3.8 K/BB ratio, over 11 strikeouts per nine, and not a single run scored.
Hill, if healthy, has the potential to be the top lefty in the Red Sox pen, and that's coming from someone who is oddly optimistic about not-Coors Field Franklin Morales. "If healthy" is a legitimate question, though, and the optimism surrounding Hill has more to do with his repertoire and previous prospectdom than it does those 12 frames. Regardless, it's good news for the Sox, who have added yet another possible bullpen piece to a unit that might have improved despite the real loss of Jonathan Papelbon and hypothetical loss of Daniel Bard.