The Dodgers rotation help may be on the way. Rich Hill threw 75 pitches in a stellar rehab start with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday. He struck out 10, with four hits, two unearned runs, and zero blister problems in 4 2/3 innings of dominance.
It was certainly a best-case scenario for the frustrated southpaw. Besides the healing of his blister with the help of a special laser treatment, Hill described a slight shift in his mechanics that he feels has prepared him to return to the mound:
Rich Hill anxious to get back to the big leagues. A little postgame sound talking about his spin rate. He’s ready! pic.twitter.com/UJ8omxWmfk
— Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (@RCQuakes) June 15, 2018
The LA Times’ Mike DiGiovanna reported that Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycut had noticed Hill’s mechanics were a bit off. It was Honeycut who suggested the adjustments Hill mentioned above. Though, a more efficient spin rate will only be useful if his blister stays healed, of course.
A subtle mechanical adjustment that has aligned Rich Hill more toward home plate has the #Dodgers LHP as excited about his imminent return as the middle-finger blister that looked healed in stellar rehab start. https://t.co/Q1yLvUDLnY
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) June 15, 2018
This rehab start certainly gives cause to hope Hill will pitch better once he returns to the Dodgers. He looked past his blister troubles while speaking to reporters about his start, stating it was the best he’s felt all year. “I can feel the way the ball is jumping out of my hand. It’s coming out so much easier than it did in spring training and the first two months of the season” Hill said.
It is clear that Hill is eager to get back to his Major League teammates. While the Dodgers have enjoyed an extended run of success, their decimated rotation looms as a threat over their ability to stay hot. A healthy Hill on the mound, sans blister issues, will prove invaluable to the Dodgers as the season’s halfway mark nears.
Hill is scheduled to return to the Dodgers’ rotation while they’re in Chicago in the coming week.
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