The drastic (and gross) measures to heal a persistent blister issue seem to have worked for Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Hill says his blister has almost healed and he will throw to hitters on Saturday.
The 38-year-old dealt with a nagging blister for much of last season and the problem persisted into 2018. He threw only two pitches in his most recent start on May 19 against the Washington Nationals before the blister opened and forced Los Angeles to place him on the disabled list.
According to Yahoo Sports, MLB’s own investigation revealed the baseballs did in fact change.
Given the frequency of the problem, it’s no surprise to see Hill frustrated at a time when concerns remain over potential changes in the baseball since last season.
According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Hill has repeatedly requested to MLB officials that pitchers be allowed to wear tape over their finger to protect themselves from a blister.
When Hill tried to pitch with the recurring issue, it greatly impacted his performance on the mound. When he is active, he will return to an inflated 6.20 ERA in six starts.
If the issue is behind him, then perhaps Los Angeles will regain the hurler who registered a 3.32 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 25 starts last season.