Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill is making progress in his effort to overcome a flexor tendon strain, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. A platelet-rich plasma injection “has promoted some healing in the tissue,” writes Plunkett, who adds “everything looked good” for Hill after an ultrasound on Friday. He’s on track to start playing catch next weekend, though a potential return is still a ways off. The 39-year-old landed on the 10-day injured list June 20, but the Dodgers transferred him to the 60-day version earlier this week. Consequently, Hill won’t factor back into the Dodgers’ pitching staff until at least August. He had been enjoying another fine season – the last of his three-year, $48MM contract – with a 2.55 ERA/4.15 FIP, 10.36 K/9, 2.04 BB/9 and a 48.9 percent groundball rate over 53 innings.
- Sticking with the Dodgers, corner infielder David Freese is a good bet to return from the IL on Friday, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com tweets. Freese went down June 23 with a left hamstring strain, temporarily halting a rousing start for the long-productive 36-year-old. He came out flying this season with a .308/.407/.592 line (162 wRC+) and eight home runs in 140 plate appearances.
- Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland could start a rehab assignment next week, according to Bill Koch of the Providence Journal. Moreland has already been on the IL twice dating back to late May, including since June 8. He first succumbed to a lower back strain and then suffered a right quad strain upon his return. A healthy Moreland has been among many major leaguers to demonstrate an increase in power this season. The 33-year-old boasts 13 HRs, a sky-high .318 ISO and a .225/.316/.543 line (116 wRC+) in 174 trips to the plate.
- Left-hander Steven Brault became the most recent Pittsburgh starter to head to the IL on Saturday. Brault will sit out with a left shoulder strain, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes. That sounds like a concerning ailment on paper, though Brault and the Pirates are optimistic he won’t miss more than one or two starts, according to Mackey. Brault exited his start against the Brewers on Friday after four innings of one-run ball because of the injury. He has now pitched to a 4.15 ERA/4.53 FIP with 7.86 K/9 and 4.75 BB/9 in 60 2/3 innings (15 appearances, nine starts) this year. Several injuries to starters, including to Pirates No. 1 Jameson Taillon, have opened the door for Brault to work from their rotation. Taillon has been out since May 4 with a right flexor strain, though in a long-awaited sign of progress, he’ll play catch Sunday, Mackey relays. Meanwhile, reliever Keone Kela threw a simulated game Saturday. Kela, also down since May 4, has been battling right shoulder troubles.
- Greg Johns of MLB.com and Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times share the latest on a trio of righty Mariners relievers. Offseason signing Hunter Strickland, out since March 30 with a right lat strain, felt “awesome” after throwing a 20-pitch bullpen Saturday. His return still appears to be a good distance away, though. Austin Adams (Grade 1 lat strain) and Dan Altavilla (ulnar collateral ligament) just joined Strickland on the IL. Between Adams and Altavilla, the former has been the better reliever this year, but the latter’s injury looks more severe. The Mariners will know more after Altalavilla undergoes an MRI.