ATLANTA — Ross Stripling, who starts here tomorrow, still hasn’t lost a game in the major leagues. His 2.03 earned-run average is lower than that of Zack Greinke, Adam Wainwright and a lot of good pitchers who aren’t household names, either.
Stripling is also on an innings limit this year, his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. He has guessed the limit falls in the 100-to-150 range. The folks in the Dodgers’ front office who helped set Stripling’s limit have declined to clarify.
Manager Dave Roberts said there haven’t been any internal discussions about moving Stripling to the bullpen at some point to preserve his innings. The Dodgers have time; Wednesday marks only his third start of the season. But when the time comes, Roberts won’t dismiss the idea.
“He’s shown he can get big league hitters out,” Roberts said. “It’s a way to temper the innings and keep him around long. That’s worthy of discussion.”
Stripling is only in the rotation because of the injuries to Brett Anderson, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy, Mike Bolsinger and Brandon Beachy. Getting one or more of those players back healthy could factor into the decision. None will be back this month (or possibly next month, either).
“You’ve got that fine balance between, he’s giving you a quality start when he goes out there, you want to keep him on that rhythm, and also when the innings start to run out,” Roberts said. “And you’ve also got to look at your roster — who’s coming back — for sure.”