After a six-game losing streak in which starting pitching became a point of weakness, the Los Angeles Dodgers have put those struggles behind them, activated Clayton Kershaw off the 10-day injured list and figure to soon welcome back Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu as well.
For Ryu it’ll mark a return considering he began the regular season as the staff’s de facto ace. With Kershaw and Hill unavailable due to injury, Ryu received the start on Opening Day.
Meanwhile, like Kershaw before him, Hill has spent the past few weeks building toward his regular-season debut. The latest hurdle came Wednesday night in a rehab start for High-A Rancho Cucamonga.
After an impressive outing, Hill proclaimed himself fully prepared to join the Dodgers rotation, per Jim Alexander of the Southern California News Group:
“I feel extremely ready,” Hill said. “But that’s somewhat not up to me. As much as I want to get out there and get going, we’ll see.
“I felt great the way the ball came out, (and) got stronger as the innings went along. I don’t know what the numbers were, spin rate or whatever you want to call it, but I can tell when it’s coming out of my hand the way I did today that it was good.”
Hill went the targeted four innings and continued throwing in the bullpen after being removed. He allowed just two hits and struck out eight behind a fastball that reached 92 mph and curveball that was in midseason form.
Despite being confident there wasn’t anything left to prove heading into his outing for the Quakes, Hill will nevertheless make a second rehab start.