Black cloud hovers over Jays' Hill
By BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency
|Los Angeles Angels' Jeff Mathis tags out Toronto Blue Jays' Aaron Hill. (REUTERS/Alex Gallardo)
Aaron Hill doesn't want to think about being out of the Blue Jays' lineup for long.
And, when manager John Farrell looks down the bench, it would be difficult to blame him for feeling a tad lonely.
Hill was off to see the doctor prior to Wednesday's game against the Yankees after leaving Tuesday's 6-5 win with a sore quad muscle. That, with Rajai Davis already sidelined and 13 pitchers on the roster, left Farrell with bench strength that included just two position players.
"It feels better today. My hopes are that in a couple days it will feel great and I can go out there," said a subdued Hill, as he pulled on his civvies and headed for an MRI examination.
The problem for Hill is that while he might be eager to jump back into the lineup, history has recently been conspiring against that notion.
Hill hit 26 homers but batted just .205 last season; one during which a nagging hamstring issue hampered his efforts. He missed most of spring training with an unrelated hamstring problem and got off to another slow start this season.
It is only recently that he was starting to swing the bat with authority again, collecting seven hits in his past 15 at-bats.
He was also becoming a threat on the bases, stealing his sixth Tuesday against the Yankees, tying his career high in 2009. But with every silver lining, Hill seems dogged by a black cloud; so he came up limping after the slide. "I didn't really slide, it was more of a flop," said Hill, exhibiting the finer side of some gallows humour.
He left the game. And, now, just as his season looked to be coming together, he has left the building. Again.
"He's swung the bat much better coming into (the previous series with) Boston. He went through a period (on the west coast) where he was chasing some balls out of the zone," said manager John Farrell. "His selection has been better, drew a couple of walks, and put himself in better position to drive some balls. It's unfortunate he's got this issue with the hamstring."
Farrell said with today's off-day the club will re-evaluate its roster situation once they are informed of the severity of Hill's injury.
"Anytime a player leaves the field with an injury it's a concern," said Farrell.
Hill is just one year removed from a Silver Slugger Award campaign when he hit .286 with a team-high 36 home runs. Now, there are those who wonder when, or if, he'll have a leg to stand on.