OAKLAND — Just five pitches into Sunday’s start, A’s left-hander Rich Hill was forced to leave a game against Toronto with a reoccurrence of blister problems on his throwing hand.
Before many fans had found their seats at the Coliseum, the A’s training staff and manager Bob Melvin were out to visit Hill, who entered the game as perhaps the top starting pitcher available on the trade market.
Hill was looking at his left hand, and it was more disgust than pain that could be inferred from his body language. He was scheduled to pitch Friday but had his start pushed back to Sunday when a blister formed in days prior on his left middle finger. After getting through a full bullpen session with no problems Friday afternoon, Hill was seemingly ready to go Sunday.
The unknown is what this turn of events does to his trade value, if anything. A blister generally isn’t a long-term issue for a pitcher. But the fact that it's re-surfaced on the same finger, it could give pause to pitching-hungry teams who are considering how much to offer in a potential trade for Hill.
The first inning was rough on A's pitchers beyond Hill. He was replaced by Andrew Triggs, who got tagged by a Josh Donaldson comebacker and left after that inning with a left calf contusion. That led to the A's summoning Sean Manaea, Tuesday's scheduled starter, to take over in the second inning. The A's will now have to identify a starter for Tuesday against the Houston Astros.