As the postseason approaches, the Dodgers have some tough decisions ahead in regards to roster moves. With only a few spots for the bullpen, many are wondering if Ross Stripling should be considered in those spots.
Coming off of an injury to his neck and bicep, Stripling will return on Sunday when the roster expands. He has missed the last month-and-a-half with a bicep injury.
Prior to being placed on the IL, Stripling had pitched in 26 games and started in 12 of those. He held an ERA of 3.64 with 76 strikeouts in 76.2 innings. In his time, he has seen more success as a starter, posting a 3.54 when he begins the game.
Last year, Stripling struggled and did not make the postseason roster. He did gain some experience the year prior, as he pitched three innings in the postseason during 2017 and didn’t allow a run.
In 2018, “Chicken Strip” showed how effective he could be as a reliever. He posted a 0.57 ERA as a reliever in 15 plus innings. He also limited the opposition to a .220 average. This season, has a 4.02 ERA as a reliever.
He has shown great tenacity this season and has proven he can be consistent in any position he is thrown into. However, the issue at hand is that there are not enough spots for the number of pitchers in LA’s bullpen.
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With the Dodgers likely going with a 12-man pitching staff, this will likely set up eight available options out of the bullpen. It can be assumed Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Kenta Maeda, and Julio Urias will be locked to make the roster.
Some notable names that can make a case are Casey Sadler, Adam Kolarek, Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and some others depending on injuries. As it stands now, it’s up in the air on whether or not Stripling will make the cut.
One would think with his experience and ability to be a starter or reliever, Stripling would have the edge. However, since he’s missed significant time, there are other arms who could prove to be more valuable and helpful for the team in October.
Stripling has shown great consistency and is a valuable player out of the bullpen due to his ability to eat innings. Stripling still has time to prove he can be a contender for the spot, and hopefully, for him, it will be enough.