The Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation has changed a lot throughout the course of the 2018 season due to injuries, but pretty much the one mainstay has been left-hander Alex Wood.
Wood leads the team with 27 starts on the year, which is five more than anyone else, going 8-7 with a 3.65 ERA, 3.55 FIP and 1.22 WHIP with 131 strikeouts and 39 walks in 148 innings.
He has struggled in recent weeks though, which led to each of his last two starts being pushed back. His last start, in particular, was a bad one, as Wood allowed eight hits and seven runs (six earned) in 3.2 innings against the Cincinnati Reds.
Wood was in line to make his next start on Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals, but the Dodgers have instead decided to go with Ross Stripling on short rest, and placed Wood in the bullpen, via Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:
Ross Stripling will start on Sunday. Alex Wood is moving to the bullpen.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) September 13, 2018
Out of Wood’s 166 career Major League appearances, 129 have been starts, so he is not exactly accustomed to being a reliever. Nonetheless he has been effective in that role, pitching to a 2.53 ERA in 46.1 career innings as a relief pitcher.
Stripling made his first start in over a month on Wednesday against the Reds, giving up three hits and a run in 3.1 innings, striking out four and walking one. He only threw 51 pitches, so it may take a couple outings for him to build his arm back up to where it was before his recent back injury.
Prior to that, Stripling was a big part of the Dodgers starting rotation, even being named to his first career National League All-Star team. In 30 total games (19 starts) this season, the right-hander is 8-3 with a 2.61 ERA, 3.17 FIP and 1.14 WHIP while striking out 125 and walking 18 in 113.2 innings.