Dodgers News: Dustin May Clears Hurdle; Rich Hill Could Return From Injured List After Facing Batters At Dodger Stadium

The Los Angeles Dodgers endured a scare when Dustin May was struck in the head by a line drive, but less than one week and two concussion tests later, the young right-hander is knocking on the door of getting back on the mound.

May was experiencing residual soreness on Monday, which prompted the second examination. That came back clear and he’s continued to lament not snagging the line drive rather than belabor the actual incident.

May faced Kristopher Negrón in a simulated game at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, clearing the hurdle before being allowed back into a game. “He looked good,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

“I think the main thing for him and the training staff was to get him back on the mound and face hitters. We expected Dustin to come out of it feeling OK as far as the psyche part of it. It was coming out good, I think command could’ve been better.”

The Dodgers are off Thursday but will monitor how May responds to throwing off a mound before deciding on what’s next. The 21-year-old is in the midst of auditioning for a spot on their postseason pitching staff.

What is for certain is the Dodgers’ confidence in May’s ability to move past being hit. “Dustin is a guy that’s very certain and confident that’s not going to affect him going forward,” Roberts said.

“I think more of it was his head hitting the ground. I like hearing he said he still should’ve made the play.”

Rich Hill closing in on return from IL

May’s future and any potential role in October is tied to Rich Hill and his continued recovery from a flexor strain. Hill has steadily increased the intensity of recent bullpen sessions and next is scheduled to face batters on Friday.

“He’ll do an up and down, it’ll probably be a 30-pitch exercise,” Roberts said. “Assuming that goes well, we’ll pencil him in somewhere the following week in a big league game.”

It’s unclear if Hill would return to make a start or first be used out of the bullpen. The Dodgers previously outlined a plan to utilize the month of September as a second Spring Training of sorts, which would allow for the veteran left-hander to stretch out through a progression.

With that, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman expressed confidence Hill will have ample time to build back up and serve as the club’s fourth starter in the postseason.