After beginning the season without Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill, and then having to place Hyun-Jin Ryu on the 10-day injured list, the Los Angeles Dodgers figure to be a week away from having their projected Opening Day starting rotation in place.
The first piece to the puzzle returned this week when Kershaw was activated for a start on Jackie Robinson Day. The next domino to fall into place will come Saturday, when Ryu will be reinstated and make a start against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Meanwhile, despite a dominant showing in his outing for High-A Rancho Cucamonga, Hill was earmarked for a second rehab start. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained such a decision was made out of precaution and with respect to the club’s bullpen.
Although it has not yet been determined, Hill will at minimum continue his rehab assignment by making the jump to Double-A Tulsa or Triple-A Oklahoma City, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Dave Roberts said Rich Hill will pitch Monday night at either OKC or Tulsa, depending on whether.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) April 19, 2019
With Hill due to start Monday, the earliest he would join the Dodgers rotation is Saturday, April 27, when they face the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.
Should Hill be activated at that point, it would provide the rest of the rotation with an extra day of rest between starts; much like the Dodgers are doing with Kershaw this weekend by pushing him back to the series finale against the Brewers.
Whether with the Drillers or OKC Dodgers, Hill is expected to stretch out to five innings or 75 pitches. He threw 51 pitches and notched eight strikeouts over four shutout innings in his outing for the Quakes.