When the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Rich Hill the day of to the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline, he was on the 15-day disabled list due to a lingering blister. The issue stemmed from Hill’s start on July 17 when he was forced to leave in the first inning.
Hill didn’t make his Dodgers debut until Aug. 24. There were plenty of bullpen sessions and false starts along the way. The veteran left-hander was scratched from a scheduled outing on three separate occasions.
One week later, Hill was scratched from the second game of a doubleheader at Coors Field, because he had warmed up before the previous night’s came was postponed due to inclement weather.
Concerns over Hill’s blister forced Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ hand in removing Hill after seven perfect innings in Miami on Sept. 10.
“It wasn’t the normal type of blister, I guess,” Hill said Friday, seemingly stating the obvious. “It was more of an outlier. It was a blister that was more on the pad of my finger, and it wasn’t so much on where you would see a normal pitcher’s blister on the tip of their finger.
“So normally, I would get what you would consider a normal pitcher’s blister in spring training and then that calluses over and you’re good to go for most of the year. Sometimes it will pop will back up.”
As Hill continued to be dogged by the blisters, he tested multiple treatments, no matter how odd. “I mean, you know, you pee on it. You might as well try it, right,” he said.
“I was desperate to do anything at that time but I wanted to super glue it back. I wanted to go back out there that day against, I think — who was that against? The Seattle Mariners maybe, or I can’t even remember. It’s a cloud, because when the blister happened, I was so frustrated.”
Upon joining the Dodgers, Hill received advice from Sandi, Vin Scully’s wife, who suggested he dip the finger in vinegar. “And I said, Oh, okay. Well, you think vinegar, pickles, all that, pickle brine and all that,” Hill recalled.
“So I did, I put my finger in the vinegar. And I saw her the next day, and I said, I did, I soaked my finger in the vinegar. I think that’s great. She goes, ‘Oh, you’ve got to add water to it and then drink it.’ So I was like, ‘Oh, all right.’ Well, I haven’t tried that one yet.”
Hill ultimately came to the conclusion giving time for the blister to heal is what suits him best. He’ll get an extra day of rest as Game 2 of the National League Division Series was postponed to Sunday due to rain.