Rich Hill finally made his return to a big league mound on Thursday after a 3 month layoff. Hill was activated from the 60-day IL earlier in the day after recovering from a forearm strain. After retiring the first two batters of the game on strikeouts, Hill started throwing wild and loaded the bases on a walk and two hit batters.
Manager Dave Roberts came out with the trainer to check on Hill who was noticeably grimacing on his follow through, but convinced Roberts to give him one more batter. Hill walked that batter — walking in a run — and his night was over.
After his removal, Jon Morosi asked Roberts about what he saw from the veteran left hander…
Rich Hill experienced an issue with his left knee during the first inning and will undergo further examination, as I just reported on our @MLBONFOX telecast.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) September 12, 2019
…it turns out that Hill’s knee started barking on him.
The 39 year-old will undergo further testing, but it should be noted that the left knee is the same knee that was a source of problems for Hill to start the season. Rich did not make his season debut until April 28 in Pittsburgh.
The hope for Los Angeles was for the southpaw to make about 4 starts in September before a postseason roster spot would be considered — at least in the starting rotation.
Adam Kolarek came on to get the final out of the first inning, and Yimi Garcia recorded a clean second inning, but Tony Gonsolin would be another arm in consideration for that fourth starter spot come October. Gonsolin came on in relief in Baltimore in the 3rd inning and proceeded to strike out the side.
Moreover, Dustin May and Julio Urias would be in consideration for that rotation spot, if Hill is indeed out for an extended period.