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Hill to miss 4 weeks; Kershaw nearing return

Lefty exits game after two pitches with blister; ace throwing bullpen sessions
Special to MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- As Clayton Kershaw moves closer to a return from the disabled list, the Dodgers expect to be without fellow starter Rich Hill for a "few weeks."

The Dodgers placed Hill on the 10-day disabled list before Sunday's series finale against the Nationals. The left-handed starter exited Saturday's appearance after only two pitches because a blister popped on his left middle finger.

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WASHINGTON -- As Clayton Kershaw moves closer to a return from the disabled list, the Dodgers expect to be without fellow starter Rich Hill for a "few weeks."

The Dodgers placed Hill on the 10-day disabled list before Sunday's series finale against the Nationals. The left-handed starter exited Saturday's appearance after only two pitches because a blister popped on his left middle finger.

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"No, I don't, but it's going to be a few weeks for certain," Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said of the potential timeline. "It's fair to say -- four weeks is fair to get back on a Major League mound."

Video: Dave Roberts discusses Rich Hill's bullpen session

Roberts revealed Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) threw a bullpen session of around 30 pitches on Sunday.

"Really good intensity. Fastball, slider, curveball, change. He used his entire mix," Roberts said. "It was really encouraging."

Roberts added that another bullpen session is on deck before determining the next step for Kershaw, who was placed on the DL on May 6.

Video: LAD@MIA: Kershaw plays catch as he continues rehab

Hill's blister issue is a reoccurring problem, which puts extra stress on the current situation as the training staff previously sought remedies. Roberts said there's a balance between keeping the finger off a baseball, but maintaining arm strength. "It's going to be quite the process."

Los Angeles replaced Hill by recalling ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte after sending him to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday. The Dodgers also returned righty Yimi Garcia to Oklahoma City after adding him as the 26th man for the second game of the doubleheader.

Venditte's return bolsters a shorthanded bullpen following the twin bill. Roberts used seven relievers in the second game long after Hill's truncated start. Kenley Jansen saved both ends of Saturday's doubleheader sweep. That usage likely makes the Dodgers' closer unavailable on Sunday, Roberts said before the series finale. Pedro Baez, who threw 39 pitches in the second game, will also rest.

The rotation also requires some tweaking. Walker Buehler (2-1, 2.67 ERA) will start Monday's home game against Colorado. Kenta Maeda (3-3, 3.89) will pitch either Tuesday or Wednesday, Roberts said, with a Triple-A pitcher taking the other outing. Brock Stewart is a logical option for the callup, Roberts acknowledged.

Ben Standig is a contributor to MLB.com based in Washington.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Rich Hill, Clayton Kershaw