Dodgers’ starting pitcher, Rich Hill has been placed on the 10-day Disabled List following his first start of the season.
Here we go again with another Dodger injury attempting to plague the Dodgers season early on. Coming off last season’s major league record 28 disabled list transactions, the team was really hoping to have a healthy 2017 season.
Rich Hill is coming off a solid opening season start by pitching 5 innings and allowing only one run with five strikeouts in a 3-1 win over the Padres. The move brings up right-handed pitcher Josh Field from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
With the new 10-day DL rule, Hill is eligible to return on April 15th, which means it could work out that he only misses one start. According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Alex Wood is likely to start in Hill’s absence.
Last season, Hill only managed to make 20 starts due to a groin injury with the Oakland A’s and a similar blister injury after being acquired by the Dodgers at the trade deadline.
This is already bad news for the Dodgers as Hill is just starting the first year of his three-year contract he signed this offseason.
The Dodgers had hoped Hill’s blister injury wasn’t too serve last season and even Hill did not consider the blister an ongoing issue earlier this spring.
"“I mean, it had never happened before in my career. It was such an outlier that it’s not something I look at and feel is going to be an issue,” Hill said."
Although not perceived as a serious injury, blisters can greatly alter a pitcher’s success. Blisters on fingers can affect the way a pitcher grips and throw certain pitches. We all know Rich Hill has a variety of grips and throwing angles on his pitches. So to see him deal with this injury in consecutive seasons is not surprising.
At 37-years old you wonder about the timeline for his return. There are no common remedies for blisters but reports were at the end of last season, Hill considered an old myth of “peeing on the blister.”
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This early in the season there’s clearly no reason to panic. Hill technically has all season to nurse an injury that should heal itself within a few weeks. The key here is to shut down all throwing activities. If you continue to aggravate the blister it’s never going to fully heal.
Hill is a pitcher that relies on being deceptive and unusual grips in order to be effective. This blister injury is becoming a thorn on both Rich Hill and the Dodgers. The best thing to do at this point is give him all the time he needs to heal.
As we’ve covered thoroughly before the season, the Dodgers are beneficiaries of having a lot of pitching depth. Alex Wood is the most logical option to replace the team and he looked great in his two innings of relief this season.
The Dodgers didn’t sign Hill to spend the season on the DL. But let’s face it, at 37-years old after overcoming all the injuries in his career. We are better suited to have him save the innings until the later half of the season.
All in all, there’s no reason to panic. Yes, it’s a recurring injury. And yes, he is in his upper 30’s. But the Dodgers have plenty of options and the injury can be cured with time. Let us know your thoughts on Rich Hill now that he’s found himself on the DL again as a Dodger. Do you think it was still a good signing? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook, @DodgersWayFS!