An All-Star for the first time in his career and linchpin of the pitching staff through the first half of the season, Ross Stripling found himself inactive when the Los Angeles Dodgers set their 25-man active roster for the National League Division Series.
The Dodgers essentially opted for a combination of Dylan Floro and Ryan Madson over Josh Fields and Stripling. “I think the toughest one was the Stripling,” manager Dave Roberts said of setting the NLDS roster.
“Obviously he’s pitched very well for us this year, and carrying eight relievers, the need for length is a little bit lessened. And the way Dylan’s been throwing the baseball and kind of how he matched up with certain guys on their roster, we felt good about that.”
While Stripling is not active for the NLDS, he will continue throwing and potentially be under consideration should the Dodgers advance. “He’ll still be in play,” Roberts said.
Stripling finished the regular season 8-6 with a 3.02 ERA, 3.42 FIP and 1.19 WHIP in 33 games (21 starts). His effectiveness waned in the second half, when the right-hander went 0-4 with a 6.41 ERA over eight games (seven starts).
Stripling struggled out of the All-Star break, which was attributed to toe inflammation that led to a stint on the 10-day disabled list. Stripling pitched just once in August and promptly was placed on the DL for a second time due to what was officially diagnosed as low back inflammation.
He said an MRI revealed two compressed discs in his back, and the root of the injury was traced to an overly soft bed at the team’s hotel in Denver. Stripling’s return was delayed because of lingering soreness, and he failed to replicate his success from earlier in the season upon being activated.
Stripling went 3.1 innings in three consecutive starts after that point, and only 1.2 innings in his final outing of the season. He’s pitched for the Dodgers in each of the past two postseasons.