The Los Angeles Dodgers are no stranger to the surgery, having seen a handful of pitchers and prospects undergo the procedure in recent years. Of course, the surgery did begin with a Dodger pitcher by the name of Tommy John in 1974. Last season, the team lost a highly regarded prospect to the surgery in Ross Stripling.
According to Jon Weisman of Dodger Insider, the right-hander is recovering from the operation and could be pitching again this upcoming season:
I just passed nine months, so I’m in the stage where I’m about to really start ramping everything up,” Stripling said Friday. “I took the holidays off — I was in Arizona right before Christmas, and that’s when I started flipping a couple of curveballs and changeups for the first time. Everything went great with that.”
Stripling is taking it slow with the process, not wanting to come back too quick and risk more injury:
“I started throwing again two days ago. Pretty much from here on out, I’ll gradually start increasing the intensity of how hard I throw and how much I throw: curveball, slider, changeups, everything.”
The 25-year-old was the team’s fifth-round pick in 2012 out of Texas A&M University. He pitched in High-A and Double-A in 2013, and would have likely began the year back in Double-A had he not gotten hurt. Stripling came under a bit of criticism because he originally felt pain in his elbow, but did not say anything to any coaches or trainers. Stripling pitched in a Cactus League and it was discovered after that he had a tear.
If Stripling can make it back this year, the Dodgers will take their time and make sure to not stunt his development.
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