Rich Hill is nearing a return to the Los Angeles Dodgers. On Friday – prior to the game with the Milwaukee Brewers – Hill threw a simulated game at Dodger Stadium.

Equally important, J.P. Hoornstra was nice enough to catch some footage of this on twitter. Of course, it’s okay to pay particular attention to the grunts that Hill has become known for.

Indeed, the session went well; and Hill is on track to rejoin the Dodgers’ starting rotation soon. In all, Hill threw 46 pitches in the simulated game with a hitter standing in. Afterwards, he threw another 15 for good measure. Next up will be a rehab start in four days.

Furthermore, let’s not forget that it’s not an arm injury that has Hill on the shelf to begin with; but a knee. Hill is expected to wear a knee-brace when he pitches upon his return.

“I don’t think I have a choice,” Hill said. “They want me to wear it, and I haven’t really thrown too much with it off. It’s kind of there, and then in extreme circumstances, when you have extreme stress, it prevents it from [buckling].”

Right now, it doesn’t quite seem like the Dodgers are 100 percent the Dodgers we know as our own without Dick Mountain as a part of the act. It’s excellent news that Hill is feeling good and one step closer to a rehab assignment before joining the rotation regularly if all continues to go well.

In 2018, Hill went 11-5 with a 3.66 ERA in 24 games started for the Dodgers. This included 150 strikeouts in 132 innings pitched.

Analysis

Hill is no small addition to the Dodgers rotation. While he was never going to be counted upon to make 34 starts, he can be a shot in the arm for this current Dodgers’ team that has struggled to get solid pitching performances. Moreover, his veteran presence and guile are two things that the 2019 Dodgers can use in a big way. There are few guys I miss watching more than that of one Richard Joseph Hill.

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