Stripling will begin the season as part of the Dodgers' starting rotation, Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register reports. With Clayton Kershaw still working his way back from injury, manager Dave Roberts told reporters Monday that Stripling will open the season as a starter. How long he stays there will depend on Kershaw's progress, but the development increases his value, at least in the short term. The right-hander had a strong season last year, with a 3.02 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP over 122 innings in split duty between the rotation and the bullpen.
Stripling is set to make his next start on Sunday in the Freeway Series, Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register reports. Stripling started Monday night, throwing 4.2 innings and allowing two earned runs on five hits. He also walked four and struck out one. Stripling continues to stretch out as a starter, and with Clayton Kershaw's (shoulder) return date in question, he has a strong chance to begin the season in the rotation.
Manager Dave Roberts said Wednesday that Stripling will continue to build up towards a starter's workload, Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reports. Stripling is scheduled to pitch four innings during Wednesday's spring start against the White Sox as he remains on the path to work as a starter. Clayton Kershaw (shoulder) and Walker Buehler are still on the comeback trail, otherwise Stripling likely would have begun to wind down in preparation for a bullpen role. The 29-year-old will likely be in the starting rotation should Kershaw or Buehler not be ready to begin the season.
Stripling will be the Dodgers' fifth starter if Clayton Kershaw (shoulder) is not ready to go for the start of the season, J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles Daily News reports. While this was a pretty safe bet, Julio Urias is also a deserving candidate, so it is good to get some clarity from manager Dave Roberts. The skipper also noted that it will be "tough" for Kershaw to be ready for Opening Day, so it seems like Stripling is a good bet to make at least one start in the first week of the season.
Stripling (illness) faced live hitters last Thursday, the Orange County Register reports. An upper-respiratory issue put Stripling a little behind most of the other arms in Dodgers camp. His Cactus League debut has not yet been scheduled, but it sounds like Stripling has shaken the illness, so we should see him in exhibition play soon. With Clayton Kershaw (shoulder) shut down from throwing, the door would appear open for Stripling to potentially crack the rotation.