RANCHO CUCAMONGA — The box score will show Rich Hill retiring just two batters on strikeouts in his first rehab start for the Quakes on Thursday night at LoanMart Field. But despite giving up four runs, three hits, and one walk, Hill said the start was a success.
“Shoulder feels great, finger held up well,” Hill said. “Obviously it is disappointing in the fact that it was only two-thirds of an inning but from the other standpoint of getting the work in and everything that it was a success from the finger standpoint.”
Hill affirmed that he was taken out because he had thrown 29 pitches in the first inning and that he finished up throwing the remaining of his planned 60 pitches in the bullpen before heading to the clubhouse.
“We reached our pitch limit,” Hill said, “and then from there just the matter of finishing up in the bullpen and getting everything done out there.”
Hill was pleased on how he threw the ball, especially after the break between competitive action.
“Curveball was very sharp,” Hill said. “Fastball came out the way I wanted it to, a little bit up in the zone but I think overall from the standpoint of the way the ball coming out of my hand 15 days or so of getting out there, getting back into competition, it felt great.”
Hill always knows if he has a blister issue during the game and that did not happen tonight. “I could feel when it would bubble up,” Hill said, “when it would get hot, and then within the next couple of pitches it would just be something that would come through.”
After his last start for the Dodgers, there were questions on what else the Dodgers and Hill could do to resolve his blister issue. But Hill said nothing was changed from what they had done before in getting ready for this rehab start.
“Just kind of the same things we were doing last year,” Hill said. “There is not any magic solution or anything that you can do for blisters. I know everyone has their own solution, has great remedies to fix the blisters but really just time and being able to callous over by throwing, that’s biggest thing.
“So the more times you can throw the baseball and and kind of callous it up as much possible,” Hill said, “the better off you are going to be in the end.”
Hill also mentioned using rice to dry out his fingers has helped.
He doesn’t know what the team plans are for him but he’ll be prepared for anything.
“I don’t know. I have no idea, to be honest with you,” Hill said.“Today was a good day as far as the right step in the right direction, just get out there and hopefully get some more up and downs instead of getting two-thirds of an inning.
“Just get back into my routine,” Hill said, “and get ready for whatever the next step is.”