Dodgers starter Rich Hill is working his way back from a left forearm strain. Recently manager Dave Roberts said he did not believe Hill would have enough time to build up to a starter’s pitch count after missing most of the last two months.
Now, the Dodgers President of Baseball Operations is saying something different.
Good news on Rich Hill: He might be ready to start in the postseason.
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) August 15, 2019
In an interview with the LA Times, Andrew Friedman had this to say.
“The question is, do we have time to build him up to 90 to 100 pitches? And I think we do.”
Prior to getting injured, Hill had made 10 starts, pitching to a 4-1 record, with an ERA of 2.55. In 53 innings pitched, he had given up 47 H, 19 R, 10 HR, and struck out 61 batters.
But, now Hill is playing catch from 120 feet, and progressing well.
If Hill’s rehabilitation program continues as planned, he should have enough time to build up enough stamina to be considered for the fourth spot in the Dodgers postseason starting rotation.
Hill added his thoughts.
“The way I look at it, and the way we’ve been looking at it is that September is like March, essentially.”
Moreover, Hill added that he would throw off a mound for the first time since injuring his forearm next week. The hope from the beginning was that Hill would be able to make a return to the mound by September, at the latest. Hill could be in a relief role when he returns, to throw in 1 or 2 innings, until he gets back into rhythm, and builds enough stamina, to be a starting pitcher come playoff time.
Thankfully the big division lead gives Los Angeles time to work D. Mountain into shape.
Last season during the playoffs, Hill was a big-time performer for the club. He had an ERA of 2.35 in 16.2 innings pitched (9 H, 4 R, 0 HR, 17 K). We saw vintage Rich Hill more or less in the playoffs, and that’s the Rich Hill we need this postseason as well, but most importantly, he must be fully healthy.