Hill to visit Dr. Andrews; Melancon called up

Hill to visit Dr. Andrews; Melancon called up

Hill to visit Dr. Andrews; Melancon called up
BOSTON -- Rich Hill is visiting Dr. James Andrews, Mark Melancon's getting his second chance, and the Red Sox bullpen is back to two lefties.

Hill was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday because of soreness in his left elbow and forearm, a particularly scary sign for a pitcher who last year underwent Tommy John surgery. He's going to Pensacola, Fla., for a Monday morning appointment with Andrews, who performed the surgery.

Melancon, who was demoted April 18, was recalled in Hill's place after dominating at Triple-A Pawtucket. Hill told reporters he wouldn't have answers until after the Andrews meeting.

"Hill had a little tightness in his elbow and, because of the situation that he's dealing with in the first year of his rehabilitation, we're going to have him go back to Dr. Andrews," manager Bobby Valentine said. "He just doesn't feel good throwing his curveball. Hopefully it will come back as [standard operating procedure] that this is the way things happen as you recover from Tommy John."

Hill is 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA in 13 2/3 innings over 17 appearances and last pitched Friday against the Nationals at Fenway Park, throwing a scoreless frame. He was bothered that night by the curveball, but the discomfort dates to May.

"He said about three weeks ago, it bothered him a little, and then it went away and there was no problem," Valentine said. "I heard of it one of those days where I didn't use him for three days or so, and then he said he's fine, and then I think it was five days since he was in a game the other day. In that game, he threw those four curveballs to [Bryce] Harper, and he just didn't feel great about it."

Melancon's start to the season in the big leagues was rough as he allowed 11 runs while recording a total of six outs. As the closer in Pawtucket, the 27-year-old righty did an about-face, posting 0.83 ERA in 21 2/3 innings. He struck out 27 and walked just three, and was happy to return.

"It's kind of like, I don't know, I guess if you go to a different school and then you come back," Melancon said. "You kind of just see all your old friends, just a good feeling."

Valentine said the reports he heard of Melancon's time in Triple-A were all excellent and said too that he wouldn't hesitate to throw Melancon into the fire: "As good as he's throwing, I'd like to put him in situations that will help us win a game if that's what's needed."

Melancon said his issue was never confidence, rather "simply aggressiveness and approach." He also took the demotion as well as one could.

The Sox are back to having just two lefties in the bullpen: Franklin Morales and Andrew Miller.