Dodgers News: Ross Stripling ‘Pain Free’ After Playing Catch, But Date Of Return Unclear

The Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation has taken a bit of a hit in recent weeks, losing a couple of notable contributors to injuries. Last month, Rich Hill was lost for the foreseeable future after suffering a flexor strain in a shortened start against the San Francisco Giants.

The left-hander has since been transferred to the 60-day injured list and is said to be targeting a potential return in September. Filling his void in the starting rotation was Ross Stripling, who was recently been bitten by the injury bug himself.

The 29-year-old made six starts in Hill’s place before exiting his last outing against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim with neck stiffness. He initially hoped to avoid a stint on the 10-day injured list, but was officially sidelined with a different ailment.

After throwing off flat ground at Nationals Park, Stripling was placed on the IL with right biceps tendinitis. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts later attributed the condition to his recent neck issues.

As a result, Stripling was unable to take the mound for his scheduled start against the Colorado Rockies this week. He still managed to play catch in his full pitching motion, however, without suffering any setbacks.

Roberts was encouraged by the progress but ultimately ruled out Stripling from making his next start as well, via Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:

He played catch from 90 feet at Coors Field on Tuesday and was “pain free,” according to Roberts, but the progress isn’t enough for him to make a start the next time through the rotation. “We’re going to err on the side of caution, which we typically do, but today was a good day for Ross,” Roberts said.

With Stripling currently working his way back from injury, Julio Urias was selected to make a spot start against the Rockies on Tuesday. In just 2.2 innings of work, he allowed six hits and three runs (two earned) while accumulating three strikeouts.

As the Dodgers juggle their options as starters, Dustin May was called up to make his MLB debut. Furthermore, Tony Gonsolin was recalled and is slated to start Monday in place of Hyun-Jin Ryu, who now is on the injured list with his own neck trouble.