Dodgers: Inside the Clubhouse, News, Notes & Analysis for May 16th

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Apr 5, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA: Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after scoring in the first inning against the San Diego Padres during a MLB baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 5, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA: Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after scoring in the first inning against the San Diego Padres during a MLB baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Dodgers are coming into the week after a series split against the Colorado Rockies and shift their focus to the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers lost the opening game of the series, 8 – 4 and look to rebound with a familiar face.

In a highly anticipated move, the Dodgers have reactivated Rich Hill from the 10-day Disabled List and optioned Grant Dayton to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Adrian Gonzalez will play in his first ever rehab assignment with the Rancho Cucamonga Quacks in Advanced-A. Gonzalez is expected to play seven innings at first base and could rejoin the club as early as this weekend series at home against the Miami Marlins.

Logan Forsythe will also see action with the Rancho Cucamonga Quacks but is expected only to play DH. Forsythe is still ways away from returning to the Dodgers, but to see him restart baseball activities after being shut down two weeks ago.

Kenta Maeda, who is on the DL with a hamstring injury, threw a simulated game last night before the series opener against the San Francisco Giants.

Brett Eibner was sent down to Triple-A Oklahoma City in a move to start Brandon McCarthy on Monday evening. McCarthy pitched 5 ⅔ allowed six runs and eight hits in 103 pitches. McCarthy did show flashes of his old self despite the rocky numbers. It was really a disastrous 4th inning that hurt McCarthy’s line.

Hyun-Jin Ryu will pitch the series opener against the Miami Marlins and will be followed by Alex Wood on Friday night.

Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Chase Utley, and Yasmani Grandal all have the night off tonight against Giants’ left-handed pitcher Ty Blach.

Prospect Watch

Trayce Thompson hit another home run last night, hitting his 2nd in as many days. He has five hits in his last 16 at-bats (.312 average).

Analysis:

More from Dodgers Way

Rich Hill rejoining the club is the biggest news of today. Obviously, the treatment of the blister has been very suspect for Dodger fans, but the time has come for Rich Hill to prove his health and start making up for that $48M contract he signed in the offseason. Hill pitched well his last rehab outing in Rancho Cucamonga, throwing five hitless innings. Both Dodger fans and Dave Roberts are hoping Hill is finally healthy enough to rejoin the rotation for good.

In an article written today about Rich Hill and his blister woes, Anthony Perez lays out why this start may be a deciding factor on how the Dodgers take care of Rich Hill moving forward. Check that out before he takes the mound tonight against the rival Giants.

Adrian Gonzalez making his first ever rehab start is encouraging news for Dodger fans. Well, is it encouraging? Who am I kidding, of course, it’s encouraging! Gonzalez has always been a force in the Dodgers’ lineup to continue to produce runs for the team in the middle of the order. Although we’ve seen his power numbers decline the last two seasons, the Dodgers have enough “pop”  in their lineup to survive Gonzalez’s power outage. Gonzalez will play 7 innings tonight and will likely stay with the Quakes until the series opener against the Miami Marling, baring any set backs.

What I’m curious to see is how the playing time gets spread out with this crowded outfield and left-heavy lineup the Dodger have with Cody Bellinger’s recent emergence. I’d expect Bellinger to move into our everyday left fielder role as Roberts gives Gonzalez time to get healthy. The only issue I see in that is that you have a lineup that could potentially throw six left-handed hitters on a given night and it would be interesting to see how that plays out. But clearly, a Dodger team with Adrian Gonzalez on the field at first and in the lineup is a better team than without Gonzalez. So I’m hoping he has a successful rehab stint and hope to see him back by the end of this week.

Next: Rich Hill's Blister Issues

What do you think the Dodgers should do with their abundance of left-handed hitters? Do you see Gonzalez’s return as a good thing or a bad thing for the club? How well do you think we can expect Rich Hill to pitch tonight? Let us know on Twitter @DodgersWayFS or Facebook (www.facebook.com/dodgerswayfs)!

* News updates are reported by Dodger beat writers, David Vassegh, Ken Gurnick, Alanna Rizzo, and Eric Stephen *

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