In setting their Opening Day roster for the 2019 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers officially placed Rich Hill (left knee sprain) on the 10-day injured list. He joined Tony Cingrani and Clayton Kershaw in being shelved at the start of the season.
Each of the IL stints is retroactive to March 25, which makes the trio of left-handers eligible to be reinstated Thursday, April 4. Hill was projected to miss two weeks due to the strained MCL, and he’s recently been encouraged by progress made.
Hill, 39, made four Cactus League starts and allowed a combined four earned runs in 11 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .289 batting average. Hill is in his third full season with the Dodgers and will be an unrestricted free agent this winter.
Hill’s absence opened up a spot in the rotation for 22-year-old lefty, Julio Urias, who was initially slated to start the season in the bullpen as a likely long reliever. Urias was nothing short of impressive throughout the spring, limiting opponents to a .098 batting average and allowing just three earned runs in 15.2 innings.
Moreover, Hill’s knee trouble also prevented him from starting on Opening Day. With Kershaw already ruled out, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was deciding between Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu prior to the injury becoming a factor.