Dodgers News: Ross Stripling Embracing Uncertainty With Role

If there’s been any consistency for Ross Stripling in his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, it’s come with regularly being moved between the starting rotation and bullpen. Stripling’s four seasons have seemingly been split in those roles.

As a rookie in 2016, he primarily appeared as a starter. But the following year saw Stripling essentially convert to a full-time relief pitcher, only to again have the bulk of his opportunities during a 2018 All-Star campaign be in the rotation.

This season has seen the majority of Stripling’s appearances come out of the bullpen. Though in his return from the 10-day injured list, the right-hander turned in three scoreless innings in a start against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“I got off the IL on the first, and the days leading up to that they were like, ‘Hey, we might go with an opener that day, we might go Dustin May, we might go you,’” Stripling recalled.

“Even the day before, they were still saying they didn’t know and it depended who pitched out of the bullpen. And then I was starting, so it can happen fast.”

Stripling’s latest appearance was in relief, as he tossed two scoreless innings to help complete a sweep of the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday. Heading into the game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Tony Gonsolin and Stripling were available out of the bullpen but also candidates to start Sunday.

“I think we kind of knew the bullpen had been hammered a little bit in Arizona and a few games here, so we needed some fresh arms down there,” Stripling said. “Moving forward, I don’t necessarily know (about role).

“I’m always kind of in no-man’s land, so it works for me. We’ll see where we’re at going forward.”

The revolving door with his role is something Stripling has embraced this season. He previously told it’s akin to being “the Kiké Hernandez of the pitching staff.”

Of course, Stripling isn’t the only pitcher the Dodgers value versatility with. Julio Urias has experienced similar, and now Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May are being tried as starters and relief pitchers as the club evaluates their options for the postseason.