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Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Hill tweaks his delivery

By Joe McDonald

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- When Red Sox lefty reliever Rich Hill took the mound to throw a live BP session Wednesday morning at the player development complex, it was quite noticeable that he changed his delivery.

The 30-year-old Boston native is in his second season in the Red Sox organization, and after some internal discussion, management thought it would be better if Hill tweaked his arm slot.

“He’s bought in,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “Last year in September he was [throwing] at various angles, and through conversations, as a staff, we felt that was probably where we liked it. But, if a guy doesn’t feel comfortable it’s not going to work. He actually brought it to our attention that’s his comfort zone.”

Hill signed with Boston as a free agent last June and posted a 1-0 record and allowed five hits with one walk in six games (four innings pitched) for the Red Sox in 2010. He spent the majority of his time at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Francona said he believes this change to his delivery will help Hill’s performance.

“The hard thing is when you go out and you give up some runs, staying with it. It’s something that has a chance to make him be a part of a major league bullpen,” Francona said.