From the moment that he came up to the big leagues, Ross Stripling didn’t have a specific role with the Dodgers. Stripling made the team in 2016 as a start after injuries decimated the pitching staff. He made his big league debut that year and pitched 7 1/3 innings of no-hit ball before being pulled.
A few months later, Ross was in the Dodgers bullpen again, bouncing back and forth between spot starts. It would remain that way with the team essentially for the next four years. Then came Ross’ opportunity to be a full-time starter with the team in 2020. Unfortunately, he didn’t perform quite like the All-Star we all knew he could be.
Stripling was traded on Monday to Toronto for players to be named later. Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman discussed the decision to move him, and why it was tough.
From our standpoint, with Gonsolin coming back up, we made the decision going forward to put Tony in the rotation. With that, we didn’t feel comfortable moving Ross to the bullpen. We have a ton of professional and personal respect for Ross and believe that he is a major-league starting pitcher. And ultimately, we didn’t feel comfortable putting him in the bullpen, especially when, as we look out to next spring training, we felt like it was going to be difficult then as well…So as much as he’s helped us through the years, we felt like it was in everyone’s best interest with just the depth that we have right now and also caring about him.
Even though it comes down to a business decision for the Dodgers, Friedman admitted that it was a difficult one. Stripling has been with the team since they drafted him in 2012, and he will be missed greatly. Looking forward though, things were just working against him.
This was extremely difficult, moving Ross. He’s absolutely a major-league starting pitcher and a lot of it has been a function of just kind of timing. From our standpoint, as we look out to next year, we see a strong group that would have made it really difficult to give him any kind of assurances about next year. That was kind of more of the guiding light for us, coupled with the number of guys we have up here. Getting Woody and Buehler back soon and hopefully Joe (Kelly) and Petey (Baez) in a little bit, and just getting in front of that a little bit. But it certainly was not easy at all and he’s been a big part of what we’ve accomplished in the last four years.
Stripling finishes up his Dodgers career with a 3.68 ERA and a record of 23-25. He threw 420 2/3 innings and struck out 404 batters over his five-ish seasons.
Andrew Friedman Discusses Ross Stripling Trade, Padres, Playoffs, and More
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