When the Los Angeles Dodgers faced the Boston Red Sox out of the All-Star break it marked a homecoming of sorts for Rich Hill. It was the Red Sox that gave Hill a chance at resurrecting his career as in 2015, not long after he was out of Major League Baseball entirely.
His performance for an out-of-contention Red Sox club in late 2015 landed Hill a one-year contract with the Oakland Athletics. He was traded to the Dodgers midseason and re-signed with the club on a three-year, $48 million contract that winter.
Hill has become a reliable Major League starter, helping the Dodgers to four straight National League West titles and two consecutive NL Pennants. But whether blisters or forearm trouble, though, injuries have been an issue for the veteran.
Hill most recently suffered a flexor strain in his left forearm in late June and is not expected to return to the active roster until September. His injury is the biggest loss so far to one of baseball’s best rotations.
During his ongoing quest to return, Hill’s search for information about his injury has included opinions from outside the Dodgers organization and took him back to his old team, per Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe:
Hill spent the All-Star break in Boston with his family then rejoined the Dodgers for the series at Fenway Park last weekend. He used some of the time to talk to members of the Red Sox medical staff about his injury and get their feedback.
“Trying to get as much information as I can,” Hill said. “I’m anxious to get started again.”
The Dodgers, though they still have the best MLB record in 2019, are probably anxious to get him back as well. However, whenever that may come to fruition, Roberts indicated it will likely be with Hill pitching out of the bullpen.
Up until Sunday, the Dodgers had maintained Hill had time to build back up — like he would in Spring Training — and continue serving as a starter. Hill of course has experience as a relief pitcher, though just not with the Dodgers.
Prior to suffering his flexor strain, Hill had a 2.51 ERA over 53 innings pitched across 10 starts this season. He began the year on the 10-day injured list because of an MCL strain in his left knee.