PHOENIX — Rich Hill entered spring with his mechanics in order and he continues to avoid his plagues of Cactus Leagues past. Hill struck out four in three innings against the Indians, allowing just one run on one hit. Perhaps most importantly, Hill — who walked 30 in 28 innings in the last two springs combined — walked nobody on Monday.
“He was in control from the beginning with the first pitch,” manager Dave Roberts said.
Perhaps the most telling quote came from Hill himself, who said, “I threw 41 pitches, and 36 of them came out of my hand exactly the way I wanted to.”
Rob Segedin played his first game of this spring on Monday in a B game against the White Sox at Camelback Ranch.
Segedin had offseason surgery on his hand and was on a throwing program that limited him the first part of spring training camp. Then he was part of the more than two dozen Dodgers who were wiped out for the better part of a week by a virus that delayed his timetable even further.
“I kind of new coming into spring I was going to behind a little bit, but the frustration is from that sickness. I was supposed to play March 1 but that sickness pushed it back,” Segedin said. “I’m just happy to be healthy and start playing again.”
Segedin started at third base on Monday and figures to play the corners in both the infield and outfield. Acquired from the Yankees prior to the 2016 season, Segedin hit .319/.383/.581 the last two years in Triple-A and .226/.285/.355 in 103 major league PA. In 2017 he was limited to just 27 games between the majors and minors thanks to injuries.
He suffered a turf toe in April then suffered a hand injury while rehabbing that required surgery. That May procedure, originally reported to be on Segedin’s wrist, was actually on his hand, and stemmed from a similar injury from 2015 in the Yankees’ system.
“I got that surgery that was temporary to get me through the season, knowing this offseason I was going to need a permanent fix,” Segedin said.
Monday’s game was a low-scoring affair, tied at 1-1 until the seventh inning when Matt Kemp hit a solo home run — his third of the spring — to give the Dodgers the lead. The Dodgers exploded for four runs in the inning then three more in the eighth in an 8-1 win.
The Dodgers hit four home runs, with Yasmani Grandal, Alex Verdugo and D.J. Peters joining the power party. Joc Pederson, Kiké Hernandez and Jake Peter each doubled, for Peter his fourth straight game with an extra-base hit.
Dodgers pitcher Dylan Baker, acquired from the Brewers on Jan. 2, hasn’t pitched since Feb. 27
“He’s got a little bit of fatigue in the arm. This is a guy we haven’t had so we’re trying to learn him,” Roberts said. “We want to make sure physically he can handle the stress. Hopefully we’ll get him out there in the next few days.”
A myriad of injuries has limited Baker to just 74 minor league innings in the last four seasons.
The Dodgers travel to Mesa to play the Cubs on Tuesday and will face a pair of old friends on the mound, with Yu Darvish scheduled to start for Chicago and Brandon Morrow slated to pitch in relief. Wilmer Font starts for the Dodgers.