LOS ANGELES — It’s going to be a little bit before pitcher Rich Hill makes his Dodgers debut. A planned minor league rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday was scrapped on Sunday.
"We pushed that back," manager Dave Roberts said, "We are trying to figure out if Rich is going to pitch Wednesday or Thursday to some hitters in Arizona."
Hill threw a 37-pitch bullpen session on Sunday before the series finale against the Pirates, and threw his entire mix of pitches, telling Roberts he felt good afterward.
Hill, acquired by the Dodgers from the A’s on Aug. 1, has been sidelined for over a month with blisters on his left hand. He last pitched for Oakland on July 17, but that start was cut short after just five pitches with a blister on his left middle finger. Hill’s last real start came on July 7, before the All-Star break.
When Hill has pitched in 2016, he has been great, putting up a 2.25 ERA with 90 strikeouts in 76 innings. Among major league pitchers with at least 50 innings, Hill ranks 14th in ERA and 11th with a 2.53 FIP, in both cases fourth among starting pitchers.
There has just been the matter of getting him on the mound. The 36-year-old left-hander also missed all of June with a right groin strain.
Roberts said that the dry conditions and pitching at night played a part in deciding that Hill will face hitters in Arizona. It also rules out Hill for a weekend start against the Reds in Cincinnati, the Dodgers’ second stop on their upcoming road trip.
"We've come this far by being cautious and every day is a benefit toward the healing process for Rich," said Roberts, "When you get into Cincinnati with the humidity, a lot of different scenarios play into that."