As a surprise to absolutely no one, the Dodgers reinstated left-hander Rich Hill from the 10-day disabled list ahead of his Sunday start against the Arizona Diamondbacks and optioned outfielder Trayce Thompson back to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Hill was placed on the 10-day DL on April 7 (retroactive to April 6) for a reoccurring blister on his left middle finger following his first start of the 2017 season. In that start, the 37-year-old Boston, Massachusetts native allowed one run on two hits and struck out five in 5.0 innings in the Dodgers 3-1 win over the San Diego Padres.
Although some may question why the Dodgers elected to option Thompson back to Triple-A Oklahoma City and stay with eight relievers, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he wants to keep his 8-man bullpen in the event that Hill’s blister issue reoccurs. He added that this will more than likely change once Dodgers outfielder Franklin Gutierrez comes off the DL for “left hamstring tightness.”
While the Dodgers would never come right out and say it, the fact that the 26-year-old Thompson is 0-for-2017 (0-for-8 with the Dodgers and 0-for 13 at OKC) more than likely made Roberts’ decision to option him instead of a reliever a little easier. It’s not that the Los Angeles, California native – who is fighting his way back from two fractures in his lower back – is not MLB-worthy, it’s more an issue that he needs to play every day to get his timing back, which simply will not happen as a bench player on the big club.
Sunday’s contest between the Dodgers and Dbacks is a crucial one, as the winner will take over sole possession of second place in the NL West, with a shot at tying the Colorado Rockies for first place, depending on the outcome of their game against the Hated Ones.