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Rich Hill out at least a month with flexor tendon strain

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He’s optimistic he’ll return this season

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — After exiting Wednesday’s game after one inning, Rich Hill announced that he has a flexor tendon strain. He was placed on the 10-day Injured List, but it looks as if he’s going to miss some time.

“To lose him, the way he’s been pitching, it’s disheartening any way you look at it,” Dave Roberts said. “We do expect him to return this season.”

The good news is that Hill is expected to return, it’s just unclear as to when. According to Hill, he doesn’t plan on picking up a baseball for at least three to four weeks. This couldn’t have come at a worse time for Hill, who’s been putting together one of his better stretches of his career. He’s 4-1 on the season, and has an ERA of 2.55. He has 61 strikeouts in 53 innings, and has a WHIP of 1.11.

“He’s a very driven guy,” Roberts said about Hill. “I expect him to dominate the rehab process. Now there’s nothing he can do outside of let the body heal.”

With Hill being out, that leaves an open spot in the starting rotation. Roberts is still hesitant to announce who he’ll have as his fifth starter. “We have some good options,” he said. “Whether it’s Ross [Stripling], or continue to deal with Julio [Urias], or somebody down in our system. We have options, but we don’t have to make that decision. We have a little bit of time to assess where we’re at.

“If you look at those two guys, Ross is built up more. I think it’s more of potential match-ups. Innings for Julio and how that would lay out. Looking down at the system and seeing who’s built up and what makes sense for them and us. For us to take time is the right thing to do.”

With Hill hitting the IL, the Dodgers made a number of corresponding moves. They are bringing up right-handed pitcher J.T. Chargois. In 24 games with Oklahoma City, Chargois has posted a 2.17 ERA. He has 34 strikeouts in 29 innings, and a WHIP of 1.28.

He’s appeared in 41 big-league games with the Dodgers. In 34 innings he has 41 strikeouts with a 3.71 ERA.

The Dodgers made another move, optioning Matt Beaty to OKC and bringing up right-handed pitcher Josh Sborz. In 25 games with OKC, he owns a 4.91 ERA with a 1.43 WHIP. He has 37 strikeouts in 29 13 innings.

With the moves, the Dodgers have a total of 14 pitchers on their 25-man roster. “Today we need coverage,” Roberts said. “Tomorrow, we’ll probably need coverage as well. Whether the coverage ability, capability, and performance matter. We’re going to take a couple days and see.”