Dodgers News: Ross Stripling Growing More Accustomed To Role As Relief Pitcher
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

One thing the Los Angeles Dodgers organization values greatly in versatility, whether that be with position players that can be used all over the diamond or pitchers that can succeed in any role.

Perhaps no pitcher in the organization has done that better the last few seasons than right-hander Ross Stripling. He came up as a starter in 2016 and by attrition was named the club’s final member of the starting rotation.

But Stripling has since developed into sort of a utility-pitcher who appears out of the bullpen both in high and low leverage situations and can also serve as a spot-starter when needed.

In a recent interview with David Vassegh of AM 570 L.A. Sports Radio, Stripling discussed how he was able to transition from a starter to a reliever:

“At first it’s a new role and you’re just trying to figure it out on the run and as you get up in the big leagues and start to get more comfortable and feeling like you belong here and know you can get guys out at this level, just like you said, you get more comfortable. I’m starting to get used to this role, really enjoying it, kind of when they hand me the ball not really knowing whether it’s going to be one out or six outs. So I’m just kind of trying to pitch until they take the ball from me, gets as many outs as I can as efficiently as I can and just try and bridge the starter to the late-inning guys.”

Stripling has gotten off to an outstanding start to the 2018 season, as through his first five appearances he has tossed eight shutout innings, giving up nine hits while striking out seven against one walk.

The 28-year-old was stretched out as a starter this spring, so he can throw multiple innings out of the bullpen if needed, which has been key with the Dodgers already having played three extra-inning games.

In large part because of an abundance of off days this month, Stripling hasn’t yet been needed for a start. Though that opportunity presumably will present itself before season’s end.