With less than a month remaining in the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have rearranged their starting rotation a few times to ensure Clayton Kershaw pitches in games against formidable opponents. Particularly for teams that are also in the National League postseason race.
Kershaw was originally scheduled to pitch in Wednesday’s series finale against the Cincinnati Reds, but he was pushed back a day so he can face the St. Louis Cardinals.
That left a void for the finale with the Reds, and it appears that Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has decided to fill it with Ross Stripling, via Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA:
.@RossStripling will make Wednesday’s start. Likely 3/45.
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) September 10, 2018
Considering Stripling recently spent time on the 10-day disabled list and has been utilized as a reliever since returning, he likely won’t be able to go longer than three innings and 45 pitches. That essentially would make it a bullpen game for Los Angeles.
Stripling has appeared in 29 games (17 starts) for the Dodgers this season, going 8-3 with a 2.61 ERA, 3.10 FIP and 1.13 WHIP while striking out 121 and walking 17 in 110.1 innings. He has appeared in just one game over the last month, facing two batters on Friday against the Colorado Rockies.
Stripling got an out while giving up a double to the other hitter he faced. Making spot starts is not something that is new to Stripling as he has made a handful of them across the last three seasons.
His success early on this season led to him earning a full-time spot in the rotation while a bunch of the team’s other starters were on the disabled list.
While Stripling was moved to the bullpen when they all got healthy, Roberts said that he still hoped to get Stripling back in the starting rotation at some point, and he is now getting that chance against the Reds.