Los Angeles Dodgers starter Ross Stripling was removed from his outing on Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim due to what the team called a stiff neck.
Stripling was throwing the ball well in the Freeway Series finale, requiring just 62 pitches to get through five innings. But after he dropped down a bunt in the bottom of the fifth inning, he was seen in the dugout massaging his shoulder and neck area.
It was after that Stripling was removed from the game and replaced with JT Chargois to begin the sixth.
In his five innings of work, Stripling allowed three hits and two runs while striking out two and walking none. Both of the runs he allowed were off the bat of Kole Calhoun as he hit a two-out double in the first inning and a home run in the fourth.
As has been the case the last few seasons, Stripling has been very valuable to the Dodgers in 2019 due to his ability to both start and pitch out of the bullpen.
He re-joined the starting rotation last month after Rich Hill went down with an injury and finally built up his pitch count enough to throw the typical 100-plus pitches a regular starter requires.
In 71.2 total innings this season, Stripling has pitched to a 3.64 ERA and 1.21 WHIP with 74 strikeouts and 19 walks.
It is unknown how serious Stripling’s injury is, but if he is forced to go on the injured list then Los Angeles would need to find a starter to replace him in the rotation. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently said that Julio Urias returning to the starting rotation at some point this season is a possibility, although with him on an innings restriction, it may still be a little too early to make that move.
With the July 31 trade deadline just a week away, the Dodgers could look to add a starter in addition to the bullpen help that they have been seeking for a while. Hill has resumed throwing but is still not expected to be back until September at the earliest.
Kiké Hernandez also left Wednesday night’s game due to injury, so the Dodgers could have some roster moves coming before Friday’s series opener against the Washington Nationals.