Rich Hill whirled around and faced a group of reporters at his locker. A sour look spread across his face.
"Cracked fingernail," he said. "Precautionary."
A stint on the 10-day disabled list is nothing new for Hill, who was shut down Wednesday afternoon. He has dealt with a variety of irritating ailments during his tenure with the Dodgers, including stints on the DL in 2016 and 2017 for blisters on his left hand.
He can add this injury to the list. The team described it as inflammation of his left middle finger. Hill indicated he cracked the nail throwing a fastball during his last start.
Clayton Kershaw will replace Hill as the starter on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.
Kershaw will duel with Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer. Hyun-Jin Ryu will start on Saturday and Alex Wood will start on Sunday. The team will need a starter for Monday against Miami, as Kenta Maeda is slated to take an extra day of rest and pitch on Tuesday.
"The cleanest [option] is to keep guys on their same turn," manager Dave Roberts said.
Walker Buehler, the organization's top pitching prospect, started in the minors on Monday. Brock Stewart started for triple-A Oklahoma City on Wednesday. Either pitcher could be activated to fill the temporary vacancy in the rotation.
To take Hill's spot on the roster, the team called up left-handed reliever Adam Liberatore. He posted a 2.84 earned-run average in five games with triple-A Oklahoma City.
Hill hopes to miss only one start. He indicated he would try to throw a bullpen session Saturday. He pitched through the issue against Arizona last week, when he gave up seven runs in five innings. He felt more discomfort in a bullpen session Tuesday.
"It does affect command through the long haul," Hill said. "It's just something that you cut it off now at the pass, move forward without any issues for the rest of the year."
Hill insisted that his time off was not related to blisters. But he admitted blisters might arise if he tried to pitch with the cracked nail.
"You can end up creating a blister from not having a nail, and where the nail bed has something to use as a backboard" for the hand while throwing, Hill said.