FORT MYERS, Fla. — Lefthanded reliever Rich Hill arrived at Red Sox camp Thursday morning to heartfelt hugs and words of support from teammates. His infant son, Brooks, passed away on Feb. 24.
“We had a son on Dec. 26 and he was born with multiple issues that we confronted and had to deal with,” Hill said. “Unfortunately, he succumbed. He taught us a lot of things.”
The Hills — Rich, Caitlin and 2-year-old Brice — landed in Florida on Wednesday night.
“We want to enjoy our time here and make the most of the opportunity that’s here to play baseball,” said Hill, who turns 34 next week. “Excited to be here, to be playing baseball again and get back into the normalcy of my profession and to be around a great group of guys and to just take that next step.
“One-day-at-a-time approach, that’s where we’re at, to really enjoy every day.”
Hill was with the Red Sox from 2010-12 and pitched well when healthy, posting a 1.14 ERA over 40 games and averaging 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings. Hill appeared in 63 games for Cleveland last season despite a 6.28 ERA.
Hill thanked the Red Sox for their support. One of the main reasons he signed a minor league contract with the Sox was to remain close to his family.
“The Red Sox have been tremendous,” he said.