While the Los Angeles Dodgers cruised to a 9-2 victory over the rival San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night, the win came at a cost as Rich Hill was removed from the game after just one inning and was later diagnosed with left forearm discomfort.
The severity of the injury has not been determined, and Hill is set to undergo an MRI on Thursday. While the club is awaiting further testing, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the expectation is Hill will be placed on the 10-day injured list.
It is obviously a tough break for the veteran, who has been throwing the ball well all season, pitching to a 2.55 ERA in 10 starts.
Hill explained he pitched through some elbow trouble his last two starts, and this time felt it was severe enough to not warrant remaining in the game, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“It was really after the curveball to Solano, I felt something a little bit different. Elbow has been tight for a couple starts but nothing that I felt when I was throwing. Going back out into the second inning, that third warmup pitch, everything really tightened up and it didn’t feel like it would be a wise move to continue to keep going. I felt like it was something that was more severe than something I could pitch through. I think part of that is knowing your body and being smart in a situation like that as opposed to something that could be disastrous for the rest of the year.”
Hill underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011, so he knows what it feels like to tear the UCL in his elbow. He doesn’t believe his latest injury is anywhere close to that:
“We did a very preliminary ultrasound on it and the ligament looked good. It looked intact and everything was fine there. Just maybe something with a forearm strain. … I’m pretty confident the MRI, it will probably show something, but I don’t think it will be in the concerning category of missing a tremendous amount of time.”
With the All-Star break just around the corner, the Dodgers likely will not rush Hill back so they can ensure that he is healthy for the second half of the regular season and into postseason.
The Dodgers starting rotation has remained relatively healthy since the first few weeks of the season, so their depth hasn’t been put to the test much. Ross Stripling and Julio Urias are both candidates to take Hill’s spot in the rotation while he is out.
With the Dodgers prioritizing limiting Urias’ innings, Stripling is likely who they will go with. He has gone back and forth between the rotation and bullpen a number of different times the last few years so this is something he is very familiar with.