Hill hopeful Dodgers debut will come soon

Hill hopeful Dodgers debut will come soon

DENVER -- The uncertain health of newly acquired Rich Hill and Bud Norris still has the Dodgers scrambling for a starting rotation. 

Manager Dave Roberts on Tuesday said Brock Stewart (already working out with the club) would be officially recalled to make his second Major League start Wednesday night in Coors Field.

By inserting Stewart, Roberts will give an extra day of rest to Kenta Maeda, who starts Thursday night, and Scott Kazmir, who starts Friday night.

Saturday's starter could be Hill, Norris, or neither. Hill, who came to the Dodgers on Monday with Josh Reddick from Oakland, is still on the disabled list with a bad blister on his left middle finger. He played catch from 130 feet Tuesday and said he was much improved. He has a bullpen session scheduled for Wednesday and theoretically could start Saturday.

"Making really good progress, it's calloused over," said Hill. "It ripped completely open, not a common blister, it went really deep. Everything is moving in the right direction, and I'm confident I'll be ready shortly. [Wednesday] is a really big test to see how the [bullpen session] is. With Oakland, I had a 100-pitch [bullpen session], however with the caveat of [the blister] covered by tape and a band-aid, strictly to keep the arm going and stay in shape for pitching. It's the first time I had anything this major. It would be like taking a knife and cutting the tip of the finger off."

General manager Farhan Zaidi talked about the acquisition of a pitcher on the disabled list.

"If we felt like it was a significant risk and an extended window, we wouldn't have given up the players we did," Zaidi said of young pitchers Grant Holmes, Jharel Cotton and Frankie Montas sent to Oakland. "There's no exact timetable, but [Hill is] getting closer."

Zaidi said a rehab start for Hill is a possibility, because the Dodgers need to be sure the blister doesn't re-tear and force Hill out of a scheduled start, as happened in Oakland on July 17 before he was able to face a batter.

Norris was not placed on the disabled list despite departing his Sunday start with lat pain after facing two batters, leaving 8 2/3 innings for the Dodgers' bullpen. Roberts said Norris was in Los Angeles receiving treatment and planning to start Saturday, although Roberts didn't say that was his plan.

"Today he's a little better than yesterday. We'll see how he responds," said Roberts. "As you've seen, we can adjust."

Julio Urias has returned to the Oklahoma City rotation, with a start scheduled for Wednesday night.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.