CHICAGO -- The Red Sox are activating Rich Hill from the disabled list for Friday's game against the White Sox, as the left-hander is ready to return to the majors less than 11 months removed from suffering a torn ulnar collateral ligament that required Tommy John surgery last June. Hill has enjoyed tremendous success during his rehab assignment in April, striking out 18 and walking just two while allowing five hits and two runs in nine innings at three different stops (Single-A Greenville, High-A Salem and Triple-A Pawtucket). Most recently, he addressed a final checkbox in his rehab assignment by appearing in back-to-back games in Pawtucket, notching a pair of strikeouts in a perfect inning on Wednesday.
Since signing initially with the Sox as a minor league free agent in 2010, Hill has made 15 big league appearances (six in 2010, nine in 2011) with the Sox without permitting a run, striking out 15 and walking four in 12 innings. He holds the record for the most consecutive scoreless appearances by a Sox pitcher at the start of his career with the organization. The Red Sox did not tender him a contract after the 2011 season, making the left-hander a free agent. However, he re-signed with the team on a minor league deal, and the Boston-area native proved healthy enough that he was added to the big league roster before the end of February.
In order to clear a spot for Hill on the roster, left-hander Justin Thomas was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. Thomas appeared in seven games for the Sox, allowing four runs in 4 2/3 innings (7.71 ERA) while striking out four and walking two.
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