Unable to pitch for Dodgers, Rich Hill searches for blister solutions
In hopes of healing the blister on his left middle finger, Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill has tried a variety of remedies. He has been undergoing laser therapy on the rupture. He has chugged apple cider vinegar and urinated on his hand. He is even considering asking Major League Baseball to allow him to pitch with tape on his finger, as he did Monday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
“I’ll try anything at this point,” Hill said.
It is unlikely for the commissioner’s office to grant Hill his request. And it is unlikely to see Hill pitch in a game for the Dodgers in the next month. When the blister burst after two pitches Saturday at Washington, manager Dave Roberts suggested Hill would require at least four weeks off before he could return. Hill would need to complete multiple rehabilitation outings to prove the callus on his finger could handle the strain of competition.
Hill dealt with blister issues in 2016 and 2017. He likened his current blister to the one he dealt with two seasons ago. He sat out nearly seven weeks with the Oakland Athletics and the Dodgers because of it.
Hill threw Monday because he wants to retain his arm strength, so he can return as soon as possible. The tape prevents further damage to the blister. He likened it to the tape hitters wear on their hands, which is part of why he believes baseball should consider allowing him to use it in a game.
“It’s not aiding, at all,” Hill said. “Believe me. You take away the feel of the baseball. But you’re still able to obviously throw.”
Roberts did not consider this a gambit that was likely to succeed.
“I appreciate Rich wanting to inquire,” Roberts said. “But to see that realize itself, I don’t see that happening.”
Clayton Kershaw to test injury again
After throwing a bullpen session Sunday afternoon, Clayton Kershaw is perhaps only a week or so away from rejoining the Dodgers as he returns from biceps tendinitis. Kershaw is slated to throw another bullpen session Wednesday and pitch in a simulated outing Saturday, Roberts said. The left-hander will likely throw three or four innings Saturday.
That would set up Kershaw to pitch in a game by Thursday or Friday of next week. The Dodgers have not determined whether Kershaw will require a minor league rehab assignment. Kershaw prefers to pitch in the majors. And the Dodgers are already dealing with an injury-decimated rotation.
“He is symptom-free,” Roberts said. “So now it’s just more about executing the pitches, and just building his arm back up.”
The Dodgers have not announced a starting pitcher for Tuesday, although Roberts revealed that Brock Stewart will be activated. Stewart could pitch as a starter or a reliever Tuesday, although it is unclear who else could start instead of him. Kenta Maeda will receive an extra day of rest and start Wednesday.
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