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Dodgers: Ross Stripling Was Tipping His Pitches In 2018

While ‘tipping pitches’ might sound like a cool thing to do – it is the enemy of every pitcher in the game. Indeed, this is when a pitcher has a ‘tell’ or is doing something that allows the hitter to know exactly what pitch is coming.

Ross Stripling had an All-Star first half in 2018. Then things seemed to fall apart after a tough appearance during that exhibition. Now, Stripling was interviewed by J.P. Hoornstra of the OC Register about a trend he developed that may explain some of the troubles.

Moreover, Stripling was giving opposing hitters the key to the castle; so-t0-speak. Equally important, Stripling says that he was even giving away his out-pitch; the curveball. A pitch so devastating that I have donned it ‘The Winner’s Curveball’.

“I would do this on a curveball,” Stripling said, biting his upper lip. “Just on curveballs, which is my moneymaker, so if I’m tipping that then I’m fricked.”

So, Stripling was gripping a little too tight when he would throw the curve. Or perhaps just biting nervously at his lip. There’s more, the Dodgers right-hander also developed bad habits before fastball and off-speed deliveries.

“For a fastball, I’d go 1, 2, then stop,” Stripling said, demonstrating each step as he stood in front of his locker. “For offspeed, I’d go 1, 2, 3. So that was tipping.”

Stripling currently has an ERA of 3.22 in 6 starts (9 appearances overall). He also has struck out 36 batters in 36.1 innings pitched. The four-year veteran believes that he’s fixed the glitch.

“I mostly have it fixed,” he said. “Sometimes I bite my lip on a fastball or a changeup or whatever. When I was starting, we found maybe one (curveball) in an outing where I bit my lip. Thought maybe I should do a mouthguard. But I haven’t bought a mouthguard or ordered a mouthguard.”

I have always felt that a guy like Stripling is essential to a winning ball club. Versatile, smiling a lot, and competitive guile that is quite possibly his strongest trait. Without question – good things await Stripling and the Dodgers if he’s locked in and at his best for the rest of the year.

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

10 Comments

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  1. Great insight in what goes on inside baseball and pitching. Stripling does not get the credit he deserves in my opinion. He is a very valuable member of the Dodgers and as you stated his professional behavior in being in the starting rotation and then back to bullpen is incredible. He was an All Star last year!

    It will be interesting to see if the Dodgers give him the opportunity to compete for the rotation next year with Hill gone. I am not convinced they let Ryu go without a solid offer. He is a great competitor and pitcher and there is a very strong Korean fan base that rightfully loves to root for him.

    • The tips that many pitchers have can be hard to correct because they do it wo knowing it. I had a pitcher that would regrip the ball in her mitt after getting the sign from the catcher and batters would know the sceewball was coming. So instead of trting to get her to stop I had her twist her hand in her mitt on every pitch. Worked like a charm!

  2. Nice to read about Strips and positive direction his career is taking. Like many writers on this board, I would welcome his presence back into the starting rotation sooner rather than later. Strips, Buehler, Kersh, Ryu, and Urias works for me; Hill can fill in at 6. Will it happen? I doubt it. But at present, Hill and Maeda are totally out of synch, and non-productive. I would trust Maeda in the BP. Go Blue!!!!

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