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Dodgers plan to have Hill start Sunday

@kengurnick
April 23, 2019

CHICAGO -- Rich Hill will be activated to start for the Dodgers on Sunday against the Pirates, manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday. Hill, out since straining his left knee in a March 17 Spring Training start, made an extended spring/rehab/simulated start at the club’s Camelback Ranch in Glendale facility and

CHICAGO -- Rich Hill will be activated to start for the Dodgers on Sunday against the Pirates, manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday.

Hill, out since straining his left knee in a March 17 Spring Training start, made an extended spring/rehab/simulated start at the club’s Camelback Ranch in Glendale facility and struck out, like, everybody in a six-inning, 85-pitch workout. Reportedly, the strikeout number was 16.

Hill was in Milwaukee on Sunday, pitched in Arizona on Monday and rejoined the club in Chicago on Monday night.

Hill’s return to the rotation will send Ross Stripling to the bullpen. Stripling will make his final start Thursday.

Stripling joins Julio Urias to make the bullpen whole. Because they have started, both can be used for multiple innings in what Roberts has called “a hybrid role” of two, three or four innings.

“The bullpen has been taxed, so Julio’s going to play big, as far as this series,” said Roberts. “Once we get Richie plugged in, the guys will get an extra day [of rest].”

Russell Martin remains on schedule to return from the injured list without an actual Minor League rehab assignment, as is his determined wish.

Martin continues his recovery from a strained lower back with daily workouts and batting practice. He will catch in the bullpen during games at Wrigley Field. Roberts said Martin will catch a simulated game Friday at Dodger Stadium and, as long as there are no issues, will be activated for the final two games of the series against the Pirates.

Rocky Gale has filled in as the backup to Austin Barnes while Martin has been on the injured list.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.