Just like Baez, Ross Stripling is another Dodger reliever who often hears the displeasures of Dodger fans. Due to his swingman role, Stripling often enters games in extra innings and is responsible for the outcome of the game. Given that the innings are high leverage innings, it looks even worse if Stripling gives up a run or two.
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The role Ross Stripling plays is a very important role. Most relievers and even pitchers, in general, are creatures of habit. For Stripling, he just has to be ready as soon as a Dodger starting pitcher gets into trouble. Chicken Strip could get called in early to eat innings, or he could be brought in to pitch in the late stages of the game. Stripling has to rid himself of all his routines and just make sure he is ready to warm up in a hurry if needed.
In 2017, Stripling finished with a 3.75 ERA for the Dodgers and even started two games. The fact that the Dodgers can start Stripling on a moment’s notice is a very good luxury to have as a manager. Stripling essentially saves a roster spot by having a spot starter and reliever in one as the long reliever on the Dodgers. While Stripling certainly has the stuff to start, he has more importance to the team coming out of the bullpen.
The addition of Tom Koehler could push Stripling into a more crucial setup man role but there is no guarantee that this will be the case. Stripling could end up getting his time as a starting pitcher one day, but for now, the Dodgers are more than happy to keep him on his toes in the Dodger bullpen.