Dodgers Injury Update: Rich Hill Throws Bullpen Session With Knee Brace, Plans To Start Tuesday Against Padres

After exiting his last start against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning because of a strained MCL in his left knee, Rich Hill and the Los Angeles Dodgers received considerably better news this week upon further evaluation.

An MRI revealed that the 39-year-old didn’t suffer any structural damage and his availability going forward will solely depend on pain tolerance.

The prognosis was certainly a step in the right direction. Even more encouraging is that Hill was quick to note the discomfort level did not compare to when he sustained the same injury in Spring Training.

With a goal of pitching again this season, the left-hander recently adjusted his delivery to compensate for his MCL strain. He threw off flat ground while wearing a knee brace earlier this week and advanced to a 22-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday.

With that, Hill is now aiming to start on Tuesday when the Dodgers face the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, via Ken Gurnick of

Left-hander Rich Hill said after Tuesday’s 7-5 win that he will face hitters Friday and pitch against the Padres next Tuesday, after he successfully threw off the mound.

While the initial plan was for Hill to build back up and become the Dodgers’ No. 4 starter in the postseason, he may need to transition to pitching out of the bullpen or simply aim to fill the role of an opener.

Hill’s last extensive run out of the bullpen took place during the 2014 season, when he logged a combined 16 appearances for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and New York Yankees.

Should he avoid any setbacks and thrive in his new role, Hill could still find a path to be included on L.A.’s National League Division Series roster.

In terms of how the Dodgers will fill out their starting rotation, manager Dave Roberts is prepared to take an unconventional approach. In what is shaping up to be a bullpen game, the team may opt to go with a rookie such as Tony Gonsolin or Dustin May.

An opener may also be an option for Game 4, which could open the door for either Ferguson or Urias. Though there is still a cloud of uncertainty for some of the final spots, the Dodgers’ postseason pitching staff has slowly come together in recent weeks.

The rotation will consist of Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu while the bullpen at the very least figures to include Pedro Baez, Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Adam Kolarek, Kenta Maeda and Ross Stripling.