Trade candidate Hill on DL with blister

A's lefty improving, could start Thursday or Friday

July 30th, 2016

CLEVELAND -- A's left-hander went on the disabled list Saturday as expected with a left middle finger blister, making room for starter .

The A's can backdate Hill's DL stint 10 days, meaning he's eligible to return as soon as Thursday; manager Bob Melvin said he's targeted for a start either Thursday or Friday.

That is, of course, if Hill is not dealt by Monday's 1 p.m. PT non-waiver Trade Deadline. The veteran remains a starting option for teams in contention, despite a blister ailment that's kept him out for the past two weeks.

This is Hill's second time on the DL this season, after missing all of June with a left groin strain. He's made just three starts since, his last a five-pitch outing against the Blue Jays on July 17 cut short when his blister popped.

The recovery has been slow, but Hill took his biggest step yet Saturday, throwing a 60-pitch bullpen at Progressive Field comprised of four 15-pitch simulated innings. He threw the last without protective covering on his left middle finger.

"Everything was going well when I saw him," Melvin said. "It sounds like it's going in the right direction. He looked good."

Hill is 9-3 with a 2.25 ERA in 14 starts for the A's this season.