Dodgers southpaw Rich Hill is slated to miss at least four weeks after landing on the 10-day disabled list with a blister on his left middle finger. In a corresponding move, ambidextrous reliever Pat Venditte was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City. The club has yet to announce a replacement for Hill in the rotation.
The 38-year-old lefty was cleared to make a start against the Nationals on Saturday, but felt something rupture on his hand during warm-ups and was pulled after tossing just two pitches in the first inning. Blisters are nothing new for Hill — he’s dealt with them on and off for the last two seasons, if not longer — but the Dodgers remain optimistic that he’ll be able to return given enough rest and recovery time.
Prior to his latest injury, Hill went 1-2 in six starts with an underwhelming 6.20 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 9.1 SO/9 through 24 2/3 innings. When healthy, he’ll try to get back to the solid 3.32 ERA and 2.6 fWAR he posted with the club in 2017, though there’s no way of knowing whether his recovery will be a permanent one.
TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.
Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.
If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.
“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”
Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.
The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.
Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.