Rich Hill’s latest blister problem was originally estimated by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to require a four-week DL stint, though the southpaw threw a full bullpen session today. As Roberts explained to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick and other media, Hill was keeping his arm in shape while wearing protective tape over the injured middle finger of his pitching hand. Hill told reporters yesterday (including The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya) that is hopeful of a quicker return from this injury, though he is still looking for a more long-term answer to the blister problems that have plagued his career in recent years. Hill even raised the idea of petitioning the league to allow him to wear the tape on his finger during a game — MLB rules prohibit a pitcher from wearing an “attachment to his hand, finger or wrist,” though Hill argues that it wouldn’t be any different than a hitter wearing a batting glove.
Here’s some more on some other injured players from around baseball…
- The Rays suffered through a tough third inning tonight, as starter Jake Faria left the game with a strained left oblique and catcher Wilson Ramos departed later in the frame with a left hand contusion after an Austin Pruitt pitch deflected off the ground and hit Ramos in the top of the hand. The Faria injury seems like the more immediately serious injury of the two, as oblique strains usually require at least a few weeks to recuperate; manager Kevin Cash told reporters (including the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin) that Faria will “miss some time” with the injury. Faria has struggled to a 5.48 ERA over 47 2/3 frames this season, though his absence would further tax a Rays pitching staff that is already putting a heavy load on its relievers due to the team’s unique usage of relievers. As for Ramos, he tells Topkin that he doesn’t believe he’ll require a DL stint, though his hand is still swollen.
- Carson Smith will seek out a third opinion on his injured shoulder to see if he can avoid surgery, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports (Twitter link). The Red Sox reliever suffered a subluxation in his right shoulder last week after angrily tossing his glove in frustration over a poor outing. This would be another brutal injury setback for Smith, who missed most of the 2016 and 2017 seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery.
- Madison Bumgarner threw 30 pitches in a simulated game today, and is on track to make his first rehab start on Saturday. (MLB.com’s Richard Dean was one of several reporters with the info.) The Giants ace will likely make three rehab outings before returning to the 25-man roster in June to make his season debut, after fracturing a finger in Spring Training.
- Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario is slated to begin a minor league rehab assignment tomorrow, manager Ron Gardenhire told the Detroit Free Press’ Anthony Fenech (Twitter link) and other reporters. The young third baseman was posting some big numbers (five homers, .272/.359/.497 in 167 PA) before being sidelined with tendinitis in his left wrist. Candelario’s was placed on the DL on May 14, so it seems like he won’t miss much or maybe even any time beyond the 10-day minimum absence.
- In more troubling injury news for the Tigers, southpaw Matthew Boyd was forced to leave his start after four innings tonight due to what the club described as an oblique spasm. This is a lesser injury than a strain, though obviously Detroit wasn’t taking any chances with the young left-hander. Boyd has delivered some good results with a 3.12 ERA over 52 innings, though advanced metrics indicate some batted-ball luck (.248 BABIP) and Boyd isn’t generating many grounders (32.9% ground ball rate) or strikeouts (7.1 K/9).