What Happened In 2017: Spent nearly the full season as a middle/long reliever for the Dodgers, save for a couple of brief Triple-A stints.
With the Dodgers’ glut of starting pitching heading into the season, Ross Stripling was relegated to the role of reliever. It was one he filled pretty ably, putting up solid (albeit not sensational) numbers. Much of Stripling’s value was in his durability, as he put up the most innings of any Dodger reliever. In more than half of his appearances (28 of 49), Stripling pitched for longer than a full inning.
Stripling’s April was okay, but he was really good in the month of May. In 16.1 innings pitched across eight games, he allowed just three earned runs, striking out 19 batters versus only three walks. In June, Stripling found himself the odd man out when roster space was needed, getting optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City twice. When he got recalled in early July, he remained with Los Angeles for the rest of the year.
Stripling then had a very strong run during July and August, allowing just six runs in 25.1 IP, with 27 strikeouts versus five walks. September was a bit less kind to him, though, as he posted a 6.55 ERA for the month; two consecutive appearances of three earned runs allowed did not help matters much.
Stripling made only two starts this year, both in bullpen games. One of them came during Players Weekend, when he donned arguably the best jersey on the team.
Tonight I started a Major League Baseball game with "Chicken Strip" across my back. Dreams do come true people! pic.twitter.com/CSmYmdXs6R
— Ross Stripling (@RossStripling) August 27, 2017
Stripling made the roster for all three rounds of the postseason. He didn’t pitch in the Division Series, making his first appearance in Game 3 of the Championship Series. In three innings pitched across five appearances in the playoffs, Stripling allowed four hits and a walk while striking out two. He was not charged with any runs, nor did he allowed any inherited runners to score.
2018 Status: Pre-arb eligible. Stripling will likely once again see plenty of work as a long reliever.