On the Hill and ready to use weapon No. 1

Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2016

Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2016

Padres at Dodgers, 6:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Josh Reddick, RF
Howie Kendrick, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
Rich Hill, P

By Cary Osborne

For the second day in a row we’re talking about fingers. Last night it was Julio Uriás, whose left index and middle finger absorbed some baseball while he attempted a bunt. Today it’s Rich Hill, who is making his second start as a Dodger after dealing with blister issues on his left hand.

Hill warmed up and threw 40 pitches prior to his scheduled start on Tuesday in Colorado, but the game was eventually rained out and he was scratched for a rescheduled start in the nightcap of Wednesday’s doubleheader in Colorado as a precaution.

Now he goes tonight against San Diego and there’s confidence that he’s putting the blisters behind him — one blister on his middle finger that landed him on the disabled list when he was in Oakland and came over to the Dodgers and one on his index finger that he added since arriving on August 1.

“The finger seems like it’s in good shape. Both fingers actually are in good standing,” said Dave Roberts.

Among pitchers who have thrown 80 innings this year, Hill’s curveball has been the fifth best in baseball, according to Fangraphs and its stat curveball runs above average (wCB). Opposing batters are hitting .180 with a .250 slugging percentage against Hill’s curveball this year, according to Brooks Baseball.

The good news is he appears to be free to attack hitters with the pitch. He threw it 31 times in his lone Dodger start on August 24 against the Giants in which he threw six shutout innings.

“With the original middle finger (blister) it was the breaking ball (that was most impacted), and with the index finger it was more the (fastball),” Roberts said. “I think the original one where he had problems with in Oakland and came over here, we kind of got that at bay. The other one that came up, which wasn’t as significant, obviously, (affected the fastball). I think we’re in a good place with both fingers right now.”

As for Uriás, who took X-rays Friday night that came out negative, he appears to be fine.

When asked if it still hurts, Uriás said: “A little.”

Roberts was confident he’ll be good.

“Julio’s great,” Roberts said. “He’s in good spirits.”

 

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