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. Jesse Morse (@DrJesseMorse) July 3, 2019
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:
Roberts said it’s hard to imagine Rich Hill returning before Sept. 1.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) July 3, 2019
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.
Given that Rich Hill is now on the 60-Day IL, who do you want as the 4th starter in the post-season. Make sure to consider the impact to the bullpen. Again POST-SEASON
— Tim Rogers (SD Dodger) (@SDDodger) July 3, 2019
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.
Let’s hope Dick Mountain is just fine and pitching his way onto the postseason roster, as expected, in September. We need him.