The Dodgers announced today that they’ve placed left-hander Rich Hill on the 10-day disabled list due to a blister on his left middle finger. Righty Josh Fields has been recalled from Triple-A to fill Hill’s spot on the roster.
The oft-injured Hill has dealt with blisters in the past and missed time with the issue after joining the Dodgers in 2016 as well. Despite his frequent injuries and questionable durability, Hill’s elite performance since improbably resurfacing in the Majors late in the 2015 season prompted the Dodgers to ink him to a three-year, $48MM contract this offseason. Hill is only a week into that sizable contract, but he’s already demonstrated both the upside and frustration that come along with that deal. The 37-year-old tossed five innings of one-run ball with five punchouts in the season opener, and while outings of that caliber figure to be frequent when healthy, today’s news is yet another reminder that he’s long stood out as an injury risk.
The shortened 10-day term of the disabled list in the 2017 season makes it easier for the Dodgers to briefly shelve the left-hander and tap into their considerable minor league pitching depth, however. Fields will give skipper Dave Roberts another arm to help compensate for the hopefully abbreviated loss of Hill. The Dodgers have an off-day next Tuesday, as well, which could help them to manage their rotation in Hill’s absence. Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times tweets that pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said that Alex Wood could get a spot start in Hill’s place next Monday. McCullough also tweets that Roberts said lefty Julio Urias won’t be considered for next Monday’s outing, despite being slated to start in Triple-A that day.