The same day that Clayton Kershaw started throwing again for the Dodgers, it was announced he would be shut down once again. One starter who will benefit from Kershaw’s injury is Ross Stripling.
Clayton Kershaw began throwing once again on Monday and it didn’t take long for the Dodgers to announce that he was being shut down once again with shoulder discomfort. No MRI is currently scheduled so the Dodgers must feel that this is a wait and let it heal type thing rather than trying to dig into what is really going on with Clayton’s shoulder.
The one starting pitcher who figures to benefit from Kershaw’s absence is Ross Stripling. While the more exciting candidate is Julio Urias, the Dodgers plan to limit Julio’s innings so starting him in the rotation and then shutting him down, later on, would be a poor route to take. That is the same kind of schedule that he was on when his capsule injury occurred.
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That leaves Ross Stripling who was an all-star in 2018 as the best candidate to fill in for Kershaw now and into the season if it takes that long for Kershaw to heal. As a starter last season, Stripling pitched to a 3.39 ERA and was lights out in the first half of the season posting a 2.08 ERA in fourteen starts. Ross used his curveball more than he did as a reliever and the results were evident as he stifled batters to win eight games in the first half.
The second half of the season was not as kind to “chicken strip” as he went 0-4 with a 6.41 ERA and opposing batters hit over .300 against him. There were rumors suggesting that Stripling was tipping pitches and others that he just wore down with the big increase in his workload after being a long man out of the pen for a couple of seasons.
Whatever the real reason is behind his second-half fade, Ross Stripling might get another chance to pitch out of the rotation if Kershaw’s injury lingers on for a couple more weeks. Despite being one of the younger players on the Dodgers, Ross will turn thirty this season so he is not super young.
Hopefully, Stripling can pitch well enough to either stick in the rotation or net the Dodgers a good return in a trade since he deserves to be a starting pitcher in the big leagues. Ross has done whatever the Dodgers have needed and in return, they should do whatever they can to make sure he is a starting pitcher in the big leagues. Clayton Kershaw’s shoulder issues might open to the door for him to start once again in Los Angeles.