Friday May 06, 2011 | 06:23 AM

The Red Sox bullpen is undergoing changes, one of which appears to be long-term.

Scott Atchison and Rich Hill were called up to replaced Bobby Jenks and Dan Wheeler (both on the DL).

Atchison is reportedly already headed back down after Thursday's appearance for another fresh arm (Alfredo Aceves).

Hill, who first appeared in the majors in 2005, appears to be out of minor league options (I always use the word "appeared" because the Red Sox always find a loophole with these things, but I believe Hill cannot go back to the minors).

Assuming that is the case, Hill is in the Boston pen to stay, unless the Red Sox let him go. He showed good form on Thursday (1 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K; 16 pitches/12 strikes).

Hill's presence means someone will have to go if/when both Jenks and Wheeler are healthy. Hideki Okajima still has a minor league option.

Andrew Miller is in the same situation as Hill. Once he's called up to Boston, he can't go back to Pawtucket.

With Pawtucket pitchers being called up, Sea Dogs reliever Blake Maxwell (pictured left) was summoned to Triple-A. Maxwell, who had a 1.38 ERA in 13 innings (13 strikeouts/2 walks), pitched Thursday for the PawSox (2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 K).

Matt Fox, subbing for Aceves, got the win (5 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K). Michael Bowden (2.04) got his fourth save (1 1/3. 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K).

Pawtucket will have to do without outfielder Juan Carlos Linares who injured his ankle while sliding into second base on Monday. Alex Speier of reports that Linares will undergo surgery for torn ligaments.

The Sea Dogs bullpen could have used Maxwell on Thursday. After Stephen Fife gave up one run in 6 innings (4 H, 1 BB, 4 K), Portland lost 8-7 in 11 innings.

Ryan Lavarnway (.236) hit his fourth home run, while Alex Hassan went 1-for-4 - his batting average at .400.

Portland went 1-6 on its road trip and come home today for a three-game homestand.

One mention from Class A ... Jeremiah Bayer, a 30th-round draft pick out of Division III Trinity College in 2009, pitched 3 2/3 innings for Salem (2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K). His ERA is 0.90 through 20 innings.

Two former Dogs did well for their Triple-A affiliates: Brandon Moss (Phillies) hit a grand slam and finished with a 2-homer, 7-RBI day. He's batting .243 ... Anthony Rizzo (Padres) had two more RBI on Thursday. He is now batting .393 with 9 home runs and 41 RBI in 27 games.


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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