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Ross Stripling starts road trip finale for Dodgers, not Rich Hill

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers end their road trip of attrition on Sunday, and in somewhat of a surprise move they will not start Rich Hill against the Padres but rather will turn to Ross Stripling, making his second start of the year.

Hill was placed on the disabled list with a cracked fingernail on April 18, and his expected return was first delayed by an infection. Now, Hill says he’s fine but the team is proceeding with caution. Instead of activating him from the disabled list Sunday as planned, the Dodgers will start Stripling.

From Ken Gurnick at MLB.com:

“We just [wanted] to give Rich some extra time with the finger, and with the humidity and where we’re at, decided to go the other way,” said Roberts. “We’re going to buy Rich extra time. Just where we’ve come, in his mound work he hasn’t thrown a ton of curveballs. He threw 66 pitches five days ago. We just felt it was prudent.”

Hill made it clear he felt ready to pitch.

”Nothing’s wrong, they just decided to go with Strip,” Hill said. “I’ve been good to go. I was scheduled for tomorrow, they made the decision to go with Strip.”

There’s a reason teams are generally reticent to give official timelines. It puts them in a no-win situation. Hill’s DL trip at the time was seen as a precaution, and he was expected to miss only one start. With Clayton Kershaw expected to start Tuesday for the Dodgers, the earliest Hill could potentially start is Wednesday, which would be 25 days after his last outing.

As a general rule, always bet the over on time missed for an injury. The Dodgers have purposely avoided giving a return timetable for Justin Turner, who suffered a fracture in his left wrist on March 19. But even in terms of the rehab process, you can see how plans can change:

Logan Forsythe is out with right shoulder inflammation. You might remember manager Dave Roberts saying on April 15, when Forsythe was placed on the disabled list that missing the minimum 10 days was “feasible.”

But that wasn’t what happened. Forsythe after testing his shoulder had to take anti-imflammatory medication which shut him down for a few days. Roberts said Forsythe would need a minor league rehab assignment of four of five games, “at a minimum” before returning. Then:

Today is Sunday, 22 days since Forysthe last played, and he hasn’t yet started a rehab assignment.

This 11-game, 10-day, three-city, two-country road trip started with Corey Seager and Yasiel Puig in the lineup, and Hyun-jin Ryu in the rotation. Now Seager is out for the year, Ryu is likely out until after the All-Star break and Puig is on the disabled list with a left hip contusion and a sore foot.

Puig is eligible to be activated as early as Wednesday, but given the pattern I wouldn’t bet on it.

Game info

Time: 1:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA, ESPN (subject to local blackouts)