Before dropping Sunday’s series finale against the Rays by a final score of 5-2, the Red Sox activated Rich Hill from the bereavement list and, in a corresponding move, optioned Tyler Danish to Triple-A Worcester.
Hill spent five days on the bereavement list after his father, Lloyd, passed away at the age of 94 last week. The 42-year-old had been away from the team to attend his father’s services in Milton.
In his return to the mound on Sunday, Hill was certainly not at his best, but he still grinded his way through four scoreless innings of work at Tropicana Field. Over those four frames, the veteran left-hander yielded four hits and three walks while hitting one batter and striking out another.
With some defensive help from the likes of Rob Refsnyder and Christian Vazquez, Hill finished with a final pitch count of 62 (35 strikes) on Sunday. He relied primarily on his four-seam fastball and curveball combo and induced a total of three swings-and-misses on the afternoon.
While he did not factor into Sunday’s decision, Hill did lower his ERA on the season to 4.85 through three starts spanning 13 innings pitched. It is unclear when the Massachusetts native will make his next start, though it will likely come in Baltimore at some point next weekend.
With the Red Sox activating Hill earlier Sunday morning, they cleared a spot for the lefty by sending down Danish. Danish, 27, was called up from Worcester for the first time last Tuesday and appeared in two games with the big-league club.
In those two outings, the right-hander twirled three cumulative scoreless innings while allowing no hits and two walks. He also struck out five of the 10 batters he faced.
On the surface, it may appear as though Danish will be returning to the WooSox. That said, MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo reports that Danish is still with the Red Sox and is a candidate to be called up once more ahead of this week’s series against the Blue Jays in Toronto.
To add on to that, The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham tweets that Danish is indeed flying with the team to Toronto and will be replacing a pitcher who is placed on the restricted list on Monday.
As noted by Cotillo, the Sox will be leaving a number of players — including Tanner Houck — behind for their trip north of the border since they are not vaccinated against COVID-19.
Regardless of the number of players placed on the restricted list on Monday, Danish will find himself back in the big-leagues and presumably pitching out of Boston’s bullpen at Rogers Centre.
(Picture of Rich Hill: Mike Carlson/Getty Images)