Hill slated for first Dodgers start Sunday

Norris listed for Saturday, but could be replaced due to back strain

Hill slated for first Dodgers start Sunday

DENVER -- Rich Hill plans to make his first Dodgers start on Sunday against Boston, but manager Dave Roberts said he isn't sure who will start Saturday and there are uncertainties for next week as well.

Hill, acquired from Oakland on Monday despite being on the disabled list with a middle finger blister, followed up his Wednesday bullpen session with a firm game of catch Thursday and said he expects to be fine for Sunday.

"We wouldn't have him make the start unless we feel he could go deep as far as pitch counts," Roberts said.

Bud Norris remains improbably listed as a Saturday probable, despite leaving his Sunday start after two batters with what the club officially announced Thursday as a mild mid-back strain. It's not clear why Norris is still listed as a probable starter. Roberts ruled out Julio Urias, who was used for three innings of mop-up in Wednesday night's 12-2 loss.

"Bud had imaging done; it showed a strain, it wasn't the shoulder," said Roberts. "It was actually a good sign, a positive scan. We haven't made a decision with Bud for this weekend. We've got some options for Saturday. We're talking through that."

Among the possibilities at Triple-A if Norris can't start are Jose De Leon, who is listed as Oklahoma City's Saturday probable and would need to be added to the 40-man roster; and Ross Stripling, listed as the Friday starter for Oklahoma City after throwing 3 2/3 innings for the Dodgers on Sunday before being optioned. He could return this soon only to replace an injured pitcher -- for example, Norris.

With Hill slated for Sunday, Brandon McCarthy will get an extra day of rest and start Monday. In his sixth start back from Tommy John surgery Tuesday night, McCarthy had serious command issues and lasted only three innings.

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.