Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Rich Hill had to leave his start Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays because of a popped blister, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle

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Hill Running Into Issues With Blisters

Sunday, July 17

Hill was scratched from his scheduled start on Friday due to blisters, per Slusser, though Hill believed at the time he was over any concerns, according to Joe Stiglich of Comcast SportsNet California:

Any recurring issues with blisters could affect his value on the trade market. 

According to Slusser and Bob Nightengale of USA Today, a number of scouts were in attendance for Hill’s start, with the pitcher perhaps garnering interest from a number of clubs looking to bolster their rotations before the MLB trade deadline.  

Indeed, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported on July 9 that Hill “is being watched closely by teams” and added that the Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles and the Blue Jays had already scouted him.

And Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported that the Miami Marlins were trying to acquire a starting pitcher, with Hill being one of the team’s primary targets.

The 36-year-old has certainly earned the buzz. He’s gone 9-3 with a 2.25 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 90 strikeouts in 76.0 innings pitched over 13 starts. And the Athletics may be perfectly content simply keeping him.

“Rich Hill is the best pitcher in the league right now. Period,” Athletics executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane told Peter Gammons of the MLB Network. “We would have no problem making him a qualifying offer.”

Of course, it seems unlikely that the struggling Athletics won’t cash in on Hill before the trade deadline, though interested buyers may be less likely to throw valuable assets into a trade given these blister issues. His upcoming starts before the Aug. 1 trade deadline will be watched closely by teams around baseball. 


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