Mired by injuries and regression in the second half of the regular season, Ross Stripling was left without a spot on when the Los Angeles Dodgers set their National League Division Series roster.
The decision to leave the right-hander off was solidified with a disappointing showing in September. In five games that month (four starts), Stripling compiled a 6.75 ERA and 1.75 WHIP over 12 innings of work — failing to log more than 3.1 innings pitched in any outing.
While two separate disabled list stints in the second half can certainly be attributed to Stripling’s struggles as of late, a few mechanical flaws may have also played a role in the 2018 All-Star’s recent shortcomings.
Stripling revealed he was tipping his pitches down the stretch and that the issue was brought to light after the likes of Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and Chase Utley delivered the news to him, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I was tipping pitches down the stretch, big time,” he said after Wednesday’s workout at Dodger Stadium.
“Chase (Utley) was obviously in there,” Stripling said of the intervention staged by his teammates. “Honey (pitching coach Rick Honeycutt) found it. (John) Pratt, our video guy found it. They picked up on different things. Chase noticed my feet. Even (Brian) Dozier noticed my feet. Pratt noticed my glove.”
It’s no surprise that Utley, given his experience and close attention to detail, was part of the contingent to notice Stripling tipping his pitches. The veteran helped Rich Hill aid the same problem last month, to which the left-hander has since responded with a pair of excellent outings.
Stripling, who’s still in the running for a spot on the NL Championship roster, hopes for a similar outcome if given an opportunity to redeem himself against the Milwaukee Brewers.
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