The Dodgers enter the second half of the season relatively healthy. There remains just one big injury question going forward, and that involves Rich Hill.
As the second half of the season begins, the Dodgers have a commanding lead in the NL West. With A.J. Pollock and Corey Seager making their return last night, there is a lot of hope for the Dodgers to continue this great run. However, one big injury question remains as veteran pitcher Rich Hill expects to be out until September.
Hill is no stranger to injury, in fact, he started off the year on the IL due to a left knee strain that caused him to miss a few starts when the 2019 season began. Hill’s most recent injury, a flexor tendon strain, is often a precursor to Tommy John surgery.
This injury is Rich Hill’s 14th time on the injured list. Although many know that a handful of those visits were due to his blisters on his fingers, it is hard to ever know how Hill will come out of his latest recovery.
Manager Dave Roberts is hopeful for the veteran and says Hill should hopefully be back in September, as he continues on with physical therapy. Even when he returns, Hill is no sure bet to stay healthy for the rest of the regular season and postseason.
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In the ten games that the 39-year-old Hill did pitch this season, he showed that he still deserves to be in the starting rotation. In 53 innings pitched, Hill held a 2.55 ERA and had 61 strikeouts. Not only that, but he also provided some help offensively by getting a couple of base hits.
Although Hill is out, the Dodgers are confident that they have enough pitching to keep them in the race for home-field advantage until he can return. Julio Urias and Ross Stripling have both been the beneficiary of starts with Rich healing up on the IL.
Stripling has struggled a bit in his three starts after Hill’s injury and has a 6.75 ERA with nine earned runs. It seems as if Ross is better off as a reliever, as he performs better in shorter outings.
Urias only has one start since Hill was placed on the IL and showed promise, he has a 2.84 ERA and five strikeouts. However, that start was only three innings of work and that seems to be an issue with both Urias and Stripling. It would beneficial for them to tag-team starts as that would allow the bullpen to have to work fewer innings when one of them starts.
Whatever the outcome may be with them, the Dodgers can only hope for Hill to make a full recovery and be back by September to fulfill the Dodgers’ fourth spot in the rotation.