Dodgers @ Giants April 8, 2016: Ross Stripling’s MLB debut

There’s no way to sugarcoat it: Yesterday’s game sucked. But hey, that’s baseball. And tonight, Ross Stripling is making his major league debut … weather permitting.

Dodgers
Giants
7:15 p.m. PT
San Francisco
2B
Utley
CF
Span
SS
Seager
2B
Panik
3B
Turner
RF
Pence
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Belt
RF
Puig
3B
Duffy
CF
Pederson
SS
Crawford
LF
Van Slyke
LF
Pagan
C
Ellis
C
Brown
P
Stripling (R)
P
Cain (P)

If you’ve read this blog at all or listened to the Dugout Blues podcast, you know I’m firmly entrenched in his corner. He’s a good kid and I want him to succeed. I ranked him as the No. 18 prospect heading into the season. He was No. 13 last year and was as high as No. 6 in 2014. Here’s what you might see tonight.

“The stuff is solid. Stripling has a low-90s fastball that he can sink a bit. He was able to hit 95 MPH with the pitch pre-surgery. Expect him to work more in the 88-92 MPH range, but it’s nice to know he has a little reach-back velocity if needed. His curveball has long been his best off-speed pitch. It’s a true 12-6 breaker that sits in the mid-70s. He can vary the shape of it so hitters can’t just sit on one break. It has the most swing-and-miss potential of any of his pitches. Stripling’s changeup was a developing pitch before the surgery and could be a legitimate third pitch. It features good fade away from lefties when he doesn’t rush it. His slider has cutter-like tendencies and is fringy at present, but he’s working on developing that pitch further.”

Stripling won the fifth starter spot out of spring training, even after being optioned a couple weeks before it ended. He beat out Carlos Frias and Zach Lee. He was helped also by a string of injuries on the major-league side (Brett Anderson, Mike Bolsinger), but the Dodgers and Dave Roberts wouldn’t have called on him to be here if they didn’t absolutely believe in him.

No matter how tonight goes, it’s great to see Stripling pitching in a major league game. That wasn’t a sure bet just 25 months ago, when he suffered a torn UCL early in spring training. If he hadn’t been hurt then, he would have either debuted in the majors well before this or he would have been traded.

If Stripling pitches well, it’s great. If he doesn’t, it’s not as great, but he has the mindset and attitude that is needed to bounce back from adversity. He has bounced back from Tommy John, and I’m excited to see what he can do in the majors.

What better way to introduce yourself to the fan base than pitching well against the arch rival?

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.