The Red Sox are holding an open competition for a left-handed bullpen reliever.
Skipper Terry Francona would prefer to have two southpaws, which is good news for the competition between Rich Hill, Dennys Reyes, Lenny DiNardo, Hideki Okajima, Felix Doubront, Andrew Miller and Randy Williams.
Hill, for his part, will be competing with a new look: as a side-armer.
Formerly possessing one of the best curveballs in the game, Hill said he decided to go sidearm after the season when he and Boston ex-pitching coach John Farrell discussed the switch.
"It's very natural to me, I feel comfortable doing it," Hill told the Boston Globe.
Hill's curve is now a "frisbee" curve, which can be better visualized as a slurve.
There's one problem when it comes to sidearmers: these pitchers tend to be restricted to pitching against hitters with the same handedness. Hill, for example, would be best served facing just lefties and not righties. This is because, due to the motion, right-handers get an excellent look at the pitch before it arrives and can tee off on it.
Hill is working on throwing an inside fastball and using a changeup in the hopes that will address the issue.
-- Evan Brunell