Let’s check in on a few notable health situations from around the majors…
- Dodgers southpaw Rich Hill’s strained left MCL looked like a possible season-ender when it happened last week, but the 39-year-old will manage to rejoin the club before the playoffs. The plan is for Hill to take a major league mound again next Tuesday, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com tweets. Although he has missed a substantial amount of time this year, Hill has yet again been one of the Dodgers’ most effective starters in 2019. It’s unclear how much length he’ll be able to give the team for the rest of the season, though. Manager Dave Roberts told Gurnick and other reporters that the Dodgers’ pitching situation for Game 4 of the NLDS – which Hill had been lined up to start – looks “cloudy.” The team expects to take an “unconventional” route with its pitching staff in that contest, Roberts added. Of course, if the Dodgers sweep their first-round opponent in three games, it’ll prove to be a moot point.
- If the Rays weren’t in the American League playoff race, banged up outfielder Tommy Pham would “one thousand percent” have shut it down for the season by now, he said (via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times). Pham’s dealing with injuries to his right hand and elbow that don’t figure to heal until the offseason, and he hasn’t been a consistent presence in the Rays’ lineup lately as a result. But Pham has nonetheless been productive in his recent appearances and throughout the season, as he owns a .276/.373/.455 line with 20 home runs and 22 stolen bases (25 attempts) in 616 plate appearances.
- Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki has been out with right elbow troubles since Sept. 7, and a return still doesn’t look imminent. While Suzuki is able to hit and catch again, he remains “days away” from receiving clearance to throw, Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com writes. Suzuki seems optimistic he’ll be back sometime soon, but meanwhile, the playoff-contending Nats will continue to rely almost exclusively on Yan Gomes behind the plate.
- The Padres have shut 20-year-old reliever Andres Munoz down for the season, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The rookie righty tossed a professional-high 58 2/3 innings this season between the majors and minors, more than doubling the previous best of 24 2/3 he logged at the lower levels a year ago. Munoz impressed in 23 frames with the Padres this season, as he notched a 3.91 ERA/3.17 FIP with 11.74 K/9 against 4.3 BB/9. Plus, as Acee points out, Munoz’s average fastball velocity of 99.9 mph sits second in the league.