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Dodgers: The Impact of Placing Rich Hill on the 60-day IL

Rich Hill’s long-term absence has a potentially profound impact on the Dodgers.

Dodgers
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 14: Rich Hill #44 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on June 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Although Rich Hill’s placement on the IL today had no impact on his return timetable — yet — it still is not great news as Dick Mountain works his way back from the IL with a flexor strain in his forearm.

Dr. Jesse Morse provides the update:

Dr. Morse says Hill will be out another 6-8 weeks with the injury.

Because of Rich Hill’s age, he may be even further away from a return to the starting rotation. Although the Dodgers certainly have their fair share of depth, any loss of a pitcher that has proven to be one of the Dodgers’ best postseason pitchers is not great. Let’s just hope this injury does not plague him longer than expected. Because if it does, well, let’s not get into that.

Hill, 39, is in the final season of a three-year deal that saw him get paid big for the first time in his pro career. This season, Hill has a 2.55 ERA in 53 innings of work.

Potential Postseason Impact

Coming into the season, a playoff rotation would be assumed to include Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Rich Hill. Now that Rich Hill is expected to be back only a month prior to the playoffs, that calls it into question:

Hill has been a member of the last three playoff runs for the Dodgers and has been a key performer and reason why the Dodgers have reached the World Series in each of the last two seasons.

The rotation would appear to shift to either one of Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling, Julio Urías, or Tony Gonsolin potentially making the postseason rotation.

We’ll likely dive deeper into this in a later article, but there are obviously options. However, Hill has been their guy for quite awhile and it is hard to imagine a playoff series without him.

Even though September 1 is the timetable given, it is the best case scenario which is not great.

This also moves the bullpen around, potentially taking integral long relievers out of the postseason bullpen, assuming the Dodgers make no major moves on relievers in the market.

Overall

Let’s hope Dick Mountain is just fine and pitching his way onto the postseason roster, as expected, in September. We need him.

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 18 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

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  1. This is a no brainer, it’s time to finally take Urias’s training wheels off and put him in the playoff rotation. The only question is without Hill, who does Doc disastrously remove too early from playoff starts?

    • I totally agree with you, R. When/if Hill returns, I would then move him to the BP. Let him take his time and slowly work his way back into the starting rotation if possible. Urias’ move to the starting rotation is a no brainer. Go Blue!!

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