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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Plans Around Rich Hill’s Injury

Will the real 4th starter please stand up?

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 10: Manager Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on prior to a game against the Oakland Athletics e at Dodger Stadium on April 10, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

After making his long-awaited return from the injured list on Thursday, Rich Hill lasted 2 outs and 6 batters before succumbing to a knee injury. The injury is officially listed as a “MCL strain” in his left knee.

Here’s the latest on the course of action on evaluation.

When the team returns to Los Angeles for an off-day on Monday, Hill will undergo an MRI. We also learned that Tony Gonsolin will take his spot in the rotation on Wednesday; Ross Stripling starts on Tuesday.

With the regular season already very much in the bag — possibly moreso with Dave Roberts’ stance on gunning for home field advantage — there isn’t much of a need to worry about who can take the ball on any given day for the Dodgers.

With healthy arms in Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Hyun-Jin Ryu (albeit exhausted), and swing men stretched out to 40-80 pitches with Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, Ross Stripling, Julio Urias, and even Kenta Maeda, September expanded rosters have LA sitting pretty.

However, the postseason starts in less than 3 weeks and now Doc is left with the decision of who will be the 4th starter in October. The hope was that Hill would make 4 or so starts and build up enough to be that guy, but now with his season on the line, the manager offers his thoughts.

With 15 games to go, there is time for someone to step up — perhaps even Hill — but sooner may be better for an arm to have time to prep for expanded work in October.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

2 Comments

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  1. Doesn’t need to be a new plan because he’s on the IL all the time anyway. A plan would be needed only if he WAS available to pitch which is rare. He’s almost 40 and his body has been falling apart for years. DFA him and give Gonsolin more opportunities.

  2. Hill has most likely pitched his last game this season, and possibly as a Dodger. Frankly, we are better off with Gonsolin or Stripling if we need a #4 starter. Hill is now 39, and his body is not responding as quickly as it used to. Go Blue!!!

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