Stripling to start in place of Hill on Sunday

Dodgers won't risk aggravating left-hander's finger issues; Buehler remains in rotation; Seager undergoes Tommy John surgery

May 5th, 2018

MONTERREY, Mexico -- will start Sunday's series finale against the Padres instead of Rich Hill, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced after Saturday night's 7-4 loss.

Hill was expected to be activated for the Mexico Series finale after missing two weeks with left middle finger issues, first a split nail, then an infection. Hill has had chronic finger problems for three seasons and the Dodgers were concerned that the humidity would put his finger at further risk.

"We just [wanted] to give Rich some extra time with the finger, and with the humidity and where we're at, decided to go the other way," said Roberts. "We're going to buy Rich extra time. Just where we've come, in his mound work he hasn't thrown a ton of curveballs. He threw 66 pitches five days ago. We just felt it was prudent."

Hill made it clear he felt ready to pitch.

"Nothing's wrong, they just decided to go with Strip," Hill said. "I've been good to go. I was scheduled for tomorrow, they made the decision to go with Strip."

Stripling, one of the most effective relievers this season, will be making his second spot start in place of Hill. Five days earlier, he allowed four runs on eight hits over four innings against Arizona.

Buehler to remain in rotation

Roberts pulled from a no-hitter on Friday night, but on Saturday, Roberts said the rookie will remain in the starting rotation indefinitely.

"With respect to the fact of [Hyun-Jin] Ryu [out until after the All-Star break with a torn groin muscle], and the way Walker's pitched, we expect Walker to pitch for us," said Roberts.

In his third Dodgers start, Buehler threw six no-hit innings against the Padres on Friday night, but he was removed after making 93 pitches, one shy of his professional high and the total increased by three walks. The 23-year-old has been handled gently by management since shortly after he was drafted in the first round in 2015, when it was determined he needed Tommy John surgery. After recovering, he pitched only five innings in '16.

:: Dodgers no-hit Padres in Monterrey ::

Buehler pitched only 98 innings last year, and management is hesitant to jump that total too much this year, with the speculated target in the 135-150 range. He has thrown 29 innings this year, 16 for the Dodgers and 13 at Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Roberts said Buehler will continue to pitch "with restrictions" because of his injury history and resulting lack of professional innings, but the Dodgers' need now seems to be taking a precedence.

"Right now, the situation, at this level, we have to win baseball games," Roberts said. "Give him a blow later and figure it out is something we have to think through. But we're not approaching that limit right now."

Seager undergoes surgery

All-Star shortstop underwent Tommy John surgery on Friday and Roberts said he was told it went as expected.

"Corey is making his way back home to North Carolina, and I don't want to get into all of the medical info, but the surgery was a success," Roberts said. "Dr. [Neal] ElAttrache said it is what they expected and he expects a full recovery."

Tommy John surgeries generally take anywhere from 10 to 18 months recovery, tending to be on the shorter side for position players. The club is hopeful Seager will be back in less than a year.

Seager has dealt with the injury since late last August and felt it worsen dramatically during last weekend's series in San Francisco.