Dodgers News: Ross Stripling Not Worried About Rehabbing Starting Pitchers
Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

Suffice to say, the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation when the 2016 began wasn’t what the organization envisioned when pitchers and catchers reported for Spring Training. Brett Anderson, who accepted the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer to gamble on himself, underwent surgery for a bulging disk in his back.

Hyun-Jin Ryu’s recovery from last May’s surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder stalled multiple times, pushing back his expected date of return. Frankie Montas, a top prospect acquired in a three-team trade with the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds, underwent rib resection surgery.

When the Dodgers arrived on Mike Bolsinger as their fifth starter, he suffered an oblique strain that same day while warming up for a Cactus League start. It set off another competition to complete the rotation, with Ross Stripling eventually earning the nod.

Stripling turned in 7.1 no-hit innings in his Major League debut, then regressed to the mean over his next four starts. He rebounded on Sunday, holding the Toronto Blue Jays to one run on one hit through six innings.

Stripling’s time in the rotation may be limited as Bolsinger began a rehab assignment, and McCarthy and Ryu aren’t too far behind. According to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, Stripling isn’t worried about the rehabbing starters:

“I wouldn’t say I worry about them,” Stripling said. “I know they’re there.”

On the season Stripling is 0-2 with a 3.82 ERA, 2.86 FIP and 1.18 WHIP in six starts; he’s collected 28 strikeouts to 12 walks over 33 innings pitched. The general assumption has held Stripling would get optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City once Bolsinger was ready for Major League action.

That notion is furthered by Stripling pitching on an innings limit this season, as he’s yet to shoulder a full workload since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014. Along with Stripling, it’s conceivable Alex Wood will get bumped out of the rotation should one or more of Anderson, McCarthy and Ryu make a successful return.

However, in Wood’s case, he presumably would be placed in the bullpen in a swing role as a long reliever/sixth starter.