On Saturday, Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill exited his start against the Washington Nationals after two pitches due to a blister on his left middle finger. Blisters have sent him to the disabled list several times over the years.
Hill is expected to miss four weeks with his latest blister, and, understandably, he is growing frustrated. Monday evening he told reporters he has tried all sorts of remedies and nothing is working.
Rich Hill has been experimenting with various treatments for the blister, including receiving laser therapy, chugging apple cider vinegar and urinating on his hand.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) May 21, 2018
Not only has Hill tried various remedies, but he plans to ask MLB to let him pitch with tape on his fingers to protect current blisters and prevent more blisters in the future.
Rich Hill plans to ask MLB if he can pitch with tape on his wounded left middle finger.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) May 21, 2018
Hill argues that batters can tape their blistered fingers and wear gloves to bat, so pitchers should be able to tape their fingers if blistered. “It is an extremely valid point,” Hill said.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) May 21, 2018
Hey, it's worth a shot. But, with all due respect to Hill, I have a hard time thinking MLB will let him pitch with tape on his fingers. He could use the tape to scuff the baseball -- hiding some sandpaper in the tape would seem real easy, for example -- creating an unfair advantage. Batters can't do that with batting gloves and tape. Hill's "extremely valid point" is an apples to oranges comparison.
The 38-year-old Hill uses an array of arm slots and breaking balls to get outs these days, and all those spinners lead to blisters. They've been an ongoing problem for years and I don't blame Hill at all for getting frustrated. I know I would feel the same way. Who knows, maybe MLB will let him pitch with tape on his fingers. Seems like a long shot though.
In six starts this season Hill has a 6.20 ERA (62 ERA+) and a 1.74 WHIP in 24 2/3 innings. He is in the second year of a three-year deal worth $48 million.