Thompson optioned to make room for Hill

Dodgers activate left-hander to start Sunday against D-backs

Thompson optioned to make room for Hill

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers optioned outfielder Trayce Thompson back to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room for Rich Hill, who was activated off the 10-day disabled list to start Sunday's game against Arizona.

Thompson, who had a late start to Spring Training as he healed from two fractured vertebrae suffered last year, was 0-for-8 in three games with the Dodgers since being recalled Wednesday, when Franklin Gutierrez went on the disabled list with a strained groin.

"For Trayce, it was more the thought of getting him back playing every day," said manager Dave Roberts. "Where we're at right now, to get him out there every day is not going to happen. Getting his rhythm will benefit him and ultimately benefit us."

The moves leave the Dodgers with eight relievers, which Roberts said provides added coverage with Hill's status still uncertain because of recurring finger blisters that also put him on the disabled list last season.

Hill was lifted Sunday after three innings with a flare-up of the blister on his left middle finger.

Hill exits the game

"Neil Rampe, our head trainer, is on it," Roberts said of Hill's ongoing blister issues. "Each inning will be something we've got to monitor, and if it starts to get soft or flare up, I'll go to the 'pen."

The extra reliever also was necessitated in part because swingman Alex Wood pitched 3 1/3 hitless innings in relief of Kenta Maeda on Saturday night. That leaves Ross Stripling as the available long reliever for the next few days.

Roberts said the club has been stymied trying to find a solution to Hill's tender skin, which gets irritated when the lefty snaps off his signature curveball.

"We've talked to a lot of different people that have issues with that outside of our game and we just can't pinpoint it," he said. "We're going to continue to try, but we don't have an answer."

Hill insisted blisters, which sidelined him for two months last year, were no issue throughout Spring Training, but flared up in his first regular-season start, and the club put him on the disabled list to "nip it in the bud," Roberts said. "Hopefully it's not an issue going forward."

Logan Forsythe, who left Saturday night's game with a tight right hamstring, said he was available to pinch-hit on Sunday and Roberts said he's expected to start Monday night.

Roberts said Gutierrez might return by the end of this week. He will go with the club to Arizona on Thursday and get at-bats at Camelback Ranch-Glendale.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.