Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Rich Hill has a blister issue. The Dodgers’ lefty lasted only three innings during Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks due to a blister on his left middle finger. The Dodgers will wait until tomorrow to make a decision as to whether or not to place Hill on the disabled list, but SB Nation’s Eric Stephen says it “sure sounds like” Hill won’t make his next start, which would be next Sunday against the D-Backs.
In his three innings of work on Sunday, Hill gave up a pair of runs on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts. He now has a 3.38 ERA in eight innings to start the season.
Hill, 37, was bothered by a blister issue last season as well, missing the entire month of June as well as over a month between mid-July and mid-August. When he was on the mound, he was excellent, finishing the season with a combined 2.12 ERA in 110 1/3 innings between the Athletics and Dodgers. That was enough for the Dodgers to ink Hill to a three-year, $48 million contract during the offseason.
Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.
Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.
At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.