Dodgers: The Three Biggest Surprises of the First Half
The Emergence of Ross Stripling
Raise your hand if you had Ross Stripling making the National League All-Star team as a starting pitcher this season? Nobody should be raising their hands. As far as starting pitchers go across the league, Ross Stripling has to be the biggest surprise story in baseball. Stripling has always been squeezed out of the rotation and in the bullpen as a long reliever but due to an absurd amount of injuries to the Dodgers starting rotation, Ross Stripling was inserted into the starting rotation and hasn’t looked back since.
All Ross Stripling did in the first half was go 8-2 with a 2.08 ERA in fourteen starts. Using the four-pitch mix of his fastball, slider, changeup, and curve, Stripling has turned into a very good starting pitcher and without him who knows where the starting rotation would have been right now. Stripling has put up a Kershaw-like strikeout to walk ratio in the first half of the season finishing with 108 strikeouts and only fourteen walks. Given Stripling made fourteen starts, that’s literally a walk per start he has given up.
With the Dodger rotation having six healthy starters for the second half, one starter will need to go to the bullpen. Although Ross Stripling has experience as a reliever there is no way the Dodgers will shift him back to the bullpen. Chicken Strip will continue his run at the National League ERA title which is currently held by Jacob deGrom and his 1.68 ERA.