LOS ANGELES — With the National League West all but wrapped up, the Dodgers have shuffled their starting rotation. Most notably, Rich Hill will get skipped this time through the rotation and Brandon McCarthy will start on Sunday.
McCarthy will be activated from the disabled list for Sunday’s start, giving the Dodgers the maximum 40 active players on the roster.
Hill started on Tuesday against the Giants and was penciled in to start Sunday against the Rockies. Instead, he will be skipped this time through, with McCarthy starting Sunday. Jose De Leon and Kenta Maeda will pitch the first two games against the Padres on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, at Petco Park in San Diego.
Manager Dave Roberts said Hill will start next weekend against the Giants in San Francisco, Either Saturday or Sunday. Clayton Kershaw will pitch either Friday or Saturday at AT&T Park.
“It gives us the best opportunity to get him ready. We've put ourselves in a position that we have the flexibility or luxury to do this,” Roberts said. “With the blister and how we've had to manage it since he came over from the trade, this gives him the best chance going forward to go deeper into the game.”
Given that the National League Division Series starts on Friday, Oct. 7, Hill’s Game 2 start would be Saturday, Oct. 8, so a start in the regular season finale would give him five days of rest in between starts.
Hill on the season is 12-5 with a 2.05 ERA, with 125 strikeouts and 32 walks in 105⅓ innings, including 3-2 with a 1.53 ERA in five starts with the Dodgers, with 35 strikeouts and four walks in 29⅓ innings.
McCarthy will be making his first major league start since Aug. 13. The right-hander is 2-2 with a 3.63 ERA in eight starts, with 38 strikeouts and 24 walks in 34⅓ innings this season after coming back from Tommy John surgery.