An MRI exam Thursday on Dodgers lefthander Rich Hill’s arm revealed a strained flexor tendon near his elbow, an injury that he said will prevent him from throwing for nearly a month and likely will keep him on the injured list at least into August.
Hill underwent the MRI the day after leaving his start Wednesday night against the Giants after only one inning, an early departure that the Dodgers initially attributed to “left forearm tightness” then later clarified to “discomfort,” not “tightness.”
The Dodgers placed Hill on the 10-day injured list Thursday and recalled right-handed pitchers JT Chargois and Josh Sborz from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Hill said his arm was still sore Thursday because of the tendon strain, an issue he’s never dealt with before over a 15-year career.
“I’m disappointed obviously, not only for myself but to help this team out,” he said. “I want to get back as soon as physically able but not push it where it’s obviously going to be non-productive.”
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Hill is 4-1 with a 2.55 ERA in 53 innings and part of a thus-far dominant Dodgers rotation that has helped L.A. to a 10-game lead in the NL West.
“Obviously to lose him, the way he’s been pitching, it’s disheartening any way you look at it,” said manager Dave Roberts, who added that he also expects Hill back this season. For now, though, Roberts and the Dodgers have a decision to make about who fills Hill’s spot in the rotation.
Both Julio Urías, who went three scoreless innings in a scheduled spot start Thursday, and Ross Stripling have started games this season and are possibilities. “Whether it’s Ross, or continue to build up Julio or somebody down in our system, we have options,” Roberts said.
“Right now, we don’t have to make that decision. We have a little bit of time to kind of assess where we’re at.”