The Boston Red Sox continue to use the rest of this season as a tryout for future bullpen roles as they have purchased the contract of former Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles starter, Rich Hill, from the Pawtucket Red Sox, who did not make the International League playoffs.

Hill, a left-handed starter/long-reliever, was a fourth round pick for the Cubs in 2002 out of the University of Michigan, where he quickly propelled up the Cubs minor league system and debuted with the team in 2005.

He was a quality member of the Cubs starting rotation both in 2006 and 2007, a time period in which he won 17 games in 38 starts with the team. But Hill seemed to lose just about everything, and struggled through the minor leagues with Chicago in 2008, before being traded to Baltimore in 2009.

He was nothing short of terrible during his stint with the Orioles, going 3-3 with a 7.80 ERA in 13 starts for the big league club, before losing his spot in the rotation to youngster Chris Tillman.

Hill looked to return to his 2007 form when he signed back into the NL Central in Spring Training with the St. Louis Cardinals, but failed to impress in their farm system and was dropped. The Red Sox picked him up in June, and Rich has been pitching pretty well in Pawtucket ever since.

Playing in Fenway Park has been a life-long dream for Hill, and the possibility of being a part of the Red Sox could help motivate the rest of his career. Hill is a native of the Boston suburbs of Milton and Hingham, and despite his loyalty to the Chicago Cubs organization, attended the 2004 World Series Parade as a Sox fan.

Hopefully, coming back home to New England will rejuvenate the career of the 30-year-old, and he can become a solid long reliever or spot starter for the Red Sox come next year.

Along with Dustin Richardson, Robert Coello, Robert Manuel, and Matt Fox, it appears that Hill will be auditioning for a bullpen role that Theo Epstein would rather find cheaply within the organization, than going out and purchasing a veteran in the offseason.

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