Hill aims for Tuesday return in 'A' game
By MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency
DUNEDIN, Fla. — Tuesday is now the target date for second baseman Aaron Hill to make his first start in a spring-training ‘A’ game.
Manager John Farrell said that Hill will continue to get his at-bats in minor-league games with the understanding that he not bolt out of the batter’s box and re-injure his quad that has kept him out of the lineup all spring.
“He’s gaining a little bit more confidence in his quad and all his pre-game work is normal,” Farrell said.
“He’s going through the same arrangement today. We’re still shooting for Tuesday’s A game here (against the Phillies). That will be the time to get him in an A game and take the wraps off him a bit.”
If that’s the case, Hill would have nine games left at spring training to get himself ready for the April 1 season opener against the Minnesota Twins.
As far as injured relievers Frank Francisco (right shoulder) and Octavio Dotel (left hamstring), both are back and throwing.
“Octavio came in today and felt pretty good,” Farrell said. “We’re looking to get him on the mound tomorrow (Saturday).”
Whether Dotel will be ready by April 1 is another question.
“It’s still too early to say if there are going to be enough appearances in camp (once or if he’s able to appear in a game),” he said. “Francisco will throw a bullpen today and we expect him to be in a minor-league game on Sunday.”
Francisco is no lock on whether he’ll be ready by April 1 either.