Plans for Rich Hill’s debut with Dodgers change again
The debut of left-hander Rich Hill, acquired in an Aug. 1 deal from Oakland, was delayed for a third time because of blisters on the middle finger of his pitching hand.
Hill was originally scheduled to start Aug. 7 against Boston, but a second blister pushed him back to Friday against Pittsburgh. The Dodgers then changed course, deciding Hill would make a rehabilitation start for triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday night and pitch for the Dodgers in Cincinnati on Friday.
Another audible was called Sunday, when Hill threw what Manager Dave Roberts called “an aggressive, 37-pitch bullpen.” Hill will travel to Arizona, where the dry air is less conducive to the formation of blisters, to face hitters Wednesday or Thursday. That means the earliest Hill could start for the Dodgers, barring setback, would be Aug. 22 at Cincinnati or Aug. 23 against San Francisco.
“We’ve come this far by being cautious, and every day is a benefit toward the healing process,” Roberts said. “When you get into Cincinnati with that humidity … a lot of different variables played into this scenario for us.”
Comings and goings
The revolving door to the clubhouse continued to whirl Sunday, with Brandon McCarthy (right hip stiffness) and reliever Josh Ravin (triceps inflammation) going on the disabled list and Brett Anderson and Brock Stewart getting activated.
Because McCarthy and Ravin opened the season on the DL, the Dodgers remained one shy of tying the major league record of 27 players on the DL in one season, set by the Boston Red Sox in 2012.
Despite the flurry of injuries and the loss of ace Clayton Kershaw to a herniated disk in his lower back in late June, the Dodgers went from 6 1/2 games behind San Francisco at the All-Star break to one game back after Sunday’s loss.
“It hasn’t been as much of a circus as it might seem,” Roberts said. “I think the players, coaches, myself … we look at what 25 guys we have that day and we try to win a game, so it’s actually pretty simple.
“When you look outside of that, there’s a lot of noise, a lot of distractions, but I think everyone in that clubhouse has done a good job of not concerning ourselves too much with who’s hurt.”
Justin Turner sat out a second game because of a bruised right hand suffered when he was jammed by an inside fastball Friday night. But Roberts said the third baseman, who is hitting .324 with 17 homers and 47 runs batted in over his last 53 games, is expected to play Tuesday. … The Dodgers scored in the first (Josh Reddick double, Adrian Gonzalez RBI single), fourth (Joc Pederson’s 18th homer) and seventh (Antonio Bastardo balk) innings Sunday. The Pirates blew the game open with a four-run ninth against reliever Josh Fields, the highlight a 445-foot solo homer to left-center field by Jung Ho Kang. … Kershaw threw aggressively off flat ground, extending to about 120 feet, Sunday and then informed reporters that he has played catch for seven straight days, not three. Roberts said the left-hander is not expected to throw off a mound for at least another week. … Bud Norris, who gave up one run and four hits in 5 2/3 innings for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday, will start Thursday at Philadelphia. Norris left his last start July 31 after two batters because of back stiffness.
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