The Los Angeles Dodgers’ injury issues are well known at this point. For a while, four of the five pitchers in their Opening Day starting rotation were on the disabled list. However, most of the recent news from their injured pitchers has been encouraging.
Kenta Maeda returned from the DL on Wednesday, and Clayton Kershaw’s latest bullpen session encouraged president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. Now, Rich Hill has come close to his return from injury.
Hill has been sidelined since re-tearing a blister in his throwing hand two pitches into his start on May 19. He has dealt with recurring blister issues since before getting dealt to the Dodgers at the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline. Hill and the team have tried to find workarounds that would make him more durable, but Major League Baseball has refused to let him pitch with protective tape on his finger.
The veteran is steadily recovering from his latest bout with blisters, though. Hill said his hand was “great” after striking out 10 in a rehab start with the High-A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday. It appears that one rehab start was enough to prove that he is ready to go, as he announced that he is starting Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Cubs, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I’m looking forward to pitching Tuesday,” said Hill, who will rejoin the Dodgers’ rotation in Chicago for the first time since he left his May 19 start after only two pitches, that blister on his finger having ripped open.
Hill’s return will come in the middle game of the Dodgers’ annual series at Wrigley Field. The three-game set between the Dodgers and Cubs will mark a rematch of the past two National League Championship Series.
Hill has struggled to stay healthy during his time in Los Angeles, but if he proves more durable and effective than he has been this season, it would be a major boost to a still-depleted Dodgers rotation.
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