Dodgers News: Innings Limit May Result In Ross Stripling Joining Bullpen
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers could not have predicted what’s transpired since Ross Stripling was named the club’s fifth starting pitcher. The rookie right-hander made his Major League debut on April 8 against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park and pitched with the poise of a veteran.

Stripling tossed 7.1 no-hit innings, though his run at the history books was cut short after he walked Angel Pagan on his 100th pitch of the game. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts faced criticism over his decision, but received the support of Stripling, Stripling’s father, and Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

The Dodgers’ fifth-round pick in the 2012 draft followed that up with six innings of work (96 pitches) against the Arizona Diamondbacks six days later, allowing five hits and two runs. Stripling didn’t earn a decision in either outing, and the Dodgers are 1-1 in games he’s started.

Stripling makes his third start of the season on Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field, though his time in the Dodgers’ rotation may be eventually run out.

According to ESPN’s Doug Padilla, Roberts didn’t rule out the possibility of moving Stripling to the bullpen:

“That’s a thought,” Roberts said. “We haven’t talked internally, but that’s a thought. That’s a good thought actually. He’s shown he could get big league hitters out and as a way to temper innings and keep him around for longer, that’s for sure worthy of a discussion.”

Stripling, who is two years removed from Tommy John surgery, isn’t ready for a full workload. He threw 71.1 innings last season for Low-A Great Lakes (rehab start) and Double-A Tulsa. Roberts did say at the time of naming Stripling the fifth starter that he would be on an innings limit, though didn’t offer a specific number.