The health of the Dodgers’ injury-riddled rotation has improved in the past 24 hours, as a date has been set for Rich Hill’s first start in Dodger blue and Clayton Kershaw had a successful bullpen session.
Hill, acquired at the August 1 deadline from the Athletics, has not yet pitched for the Dodgers due to blister issues. On Thursday, however, he threw 78 pitches in a simulated game, and he’s set to start on Wednesday against the Giants, as Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register writes. He has not pitched in the big leagues since July 17. Hill was one of the top prizes available at the trade deadline after a brilliant half-season with Oakland, so his return to action could prove to be a major help to his new team.
In news that is perhaps even more encouraging for Dodgers fans, Clayton Kershaw pitched a bullpen session today and reported that he felt “100 percent” (via Plunkett on Twitter). Kershaw, of course, was in the midst of an historically dominant season (with a 1.79 ERA, 10.8 K/9 and an amazing 0.7 BB/9 in 121 innings) before he came down with a herniated disc and headed to the DL in late June. Unlike with Hill, the timeline of Kershaw’s return remains unclear, and he probably still has significant work to do before he’s ready to start a big-league game. If in fact he’s able to pitch a successful bullpen right now, though, it seems reasonable to hope he can contribute by the end of the season and in the playoffs.