Ross Stripling made steady progress after the Los Angeles Dodgers placed him on the 10-day injured list July 27 but a scheduled rehab assignment with High-A Rancho Cucamonga never manifested because of a setback.
After being removed from his July 25 start due to neck stiffness, Stripling was officially sidelined by right biceps tendinitis. He played catch at Nationals Park without issue and advanced to throwing a bullpen session at Dodger Stadium last weekend.
All went well and Stripling told DodgerBlue.com his recovery from the neck and biceps trouble had progressed without issue. However, that changed early this week when he awoke feeling more pain in his neck.
“It seems like the higher intensity when I throw or pitch makes it more sore,” Stripling explained. “So, trying to knock it out now while we have some time instead of pushing through it. Don’t really have a timetable yet.”
Because his neck is aggravated whenever playing catch or throwing, Stripling is temporarily shut down from doing so, and has already felt improvement since not doing so. That’s left the bigger picture as the focal point.
“Really, what we’re worried about his how you prevent it from happening moving forward. This is really something I’ve been battling since Spring Training off and on.”
Stripling’s absence, along with those of Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu, created opportunities in the rotation for Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May. Gonsolin made a second start for the Dodgers but was optioned back to Triple-A Oklahoma City due to Ryu’s forthcoming return from the injured list.
However, May is in line to have his run with the Dodgers extended because of Stripling’s setback. With the clock working against Stripling, he acknowledged there may not be ample time to build back up as a starter.
Stripling had been utilized in that capacity since June 25. In 26 games (12 starts) this year, he’s 4-4 with a 3.64 ERA, 3.92 FIP and 1.17 WHIP. Although he considers himself a natural starter, Stripling has taken pride in providing the Dodgers with versatility as a swingman.