Dave Roberts announced Hyun-Jin Ryu made the rotation Monday afternoon. He also confirmed Brandon McCarthy and Alex Wood will be on the team.
But what does that mean for Ross Stripling?
Both Brandon McCarthy and Alex Wood will make the club, Dave Roberts said. One bound for bullpen.
It's a bad day for Ross Stripling, then.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) March 27, 2017
Presumably, Wood is the one going to the bullpen in the long relief role Stripling was competing for. The Dodgers can opt to retain him in the ‘pen, or send him to Triple-A as a starter. The former is possible, but the only route for consistent playing time (and a starting opportunity) may be in Oklahoma City.
Stripling is risking being lost in the shuffle. Aside from the players currently on the roster, there are a few other arms vying for roles. Julio Urias’ arrival is a matter of when, not if. He’ll bump someone else from the rotation into the bullpen.
Scott Kazmir will open the season on the disabled list, but if he’s able to complete his comeback, he’s likely destined for the bullpen. Brock Stewart won’t return until May, and while he’ll start in Triple-A, he could beat out Stripling for a call-up. Stripling also lacks upside or a large salary commitment that may prompt the team to make room for him.
On the other hand, L.A. could simply convert him to a reliever/long reliever full-time. Barring injury, there’s little route to him joining the rotation in the future. The bullpen could be a place for him to develop his craft while helping the Dodgers win games.