Ross Stripling’s Stock is Soaring

Many people, myself included, felt that Ross Stripling’s ceiling was as a #5 starter, notwithstanding the fact that he almost pitched a no-hitter a couple of years ago to start the season.  Ross has been a nice piece in the bullpen and occasional spot starter, but in his last four appearances he has been the starter. He went 4.0 innings in his first start, 5.1 in his second start, 6.0 innings in his third start and 6.2 in his last start. His pitch count has increased from 68 to 79 to 96 to 105.

At age 28, Ross Stripling is coming into his own for two reasons: (1) he is finally getting a chance; and (2) he has a new “killer” pitch. In his last four starts his strikeouts have went from 5 to 7 to 9 to 10 and in his first start he walked two batters, but has not walked one since. Currently, his ERA is 1.74 and in 41.1 IP he has 50 strikeouts to go with just 9 BB.  Yes, he is making the most of the opportunity, but it’s his new pitch that has made him increasingly more effective.

Writing forThe Athletic, Fabian Ardaya says that Ross Stripling has a new “secret” pitch, which he has been working on for some time with Rick Honeycutt.  Ross has four pitches and all are OK or above, but not anything outstanding, so he has been working on a “cutter.”  This is a pay site, which I strongly recommend, so I can’t publish much, but here are two paragraphs:

As Stripling walked into Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona for spring training, he had one goal in mind — perfect the cutter, especially as a backdoor pitch to lefties. He and Honeycutt began mixing the pitch into bullpens, flat-ground sessions and toyed with the development of the pitch even as the season began. Injuries to Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu forced Stripling back into the starting rotation, coinciding perfectly with the new comfort level Stripling was able to develop with the pitch.

Now, as he throws the two pitches, he maintains the same cutter grip, both fingers along the horizontal seam of the baseball. To righties, it’s typical slider, snapping off the wrist to develop topspin and depth to the pitch along with a little horizontal break. Against lefties, it’s a cutter, thrown with the same motion and high release point as his four-seam fastball, with a natural cutting action. It’s atypical action for a cutter, and below-average horizontal and vertical break for a slider, but the slight difference has done wonders. Brooks Baseball and Baseball Savant each classify Stripling’s cutters as sliders due to just how similar they are in velocity and movement.

Ross Stripling was #7 on the Dodgers’ starting pitcher depth chart (Striker Buehler was #6), so the Dodgers do have some depth that has carried them.  Ross is a strike thrower this year and the cutter, which he doesn’t throw a lot (as yet) is an outstanding “out pitch.” It’s too soon to anoint him as an Ace or even a #3 or #4, but one has to be watching to see where he goes with this new pitch.

At the present juncture, the Dodgers Top Three Starting Pitchers are all Right Handed!  Kershaw will likely be back next Thursday and Ryu is progressing.FLASH:This just in: Julio Urias threw off the mound for the first time since surgery a couple of days ago.  He is at least 5 or 6 weeks away… most likely as a reliever.

Photocredit: The Sporting News

I’m off to the Indy 500 early tomorrow, so I am posting this tonight.

This article has 33 Comments

  1. File this under how to make an entrance. Dodgers’ prospect Caleb Ferguson struck out 10 over five scoreless innings in his Triple-A debut with OKC dodgers.

  2. Dodgers leave the bases loaded. Dodgers’ pen implodes. Looks like the month of April and early May all over again/

    1. How can one game look like a month and a half of games?

      I think thew implosion occurred when Doc let Wood stay in the game. That was a bad non-move.

      It was also just some bad luck on a couple of ground balls. It’s not like they were getting shelled.

  3. Wood seemed perturbed after every pitch. It wasn’t going where he wanted it to.
    Can we just leave Forsythe and Muncy on the bench.

  4. Dodgers let one get away. Bellinger in his last 7 games is 2 for 24, hitting .083. Dodgers need his bat and need it soon.

  5. 5th inning, bases loaded, two out and the Dodgers have just taken a 5-3 lead. Fosythe up to bat and works a 3-2 count. If he can drive a pitch the Dodgers can step on the throats of the Padres and put the game away. NO, Forsythe does what he does best. Swinging strike three against a 90 MPH LH relief pitcher.

    Forsythe is the most frustrating Dodger right now. $9 million for this year on a team option. Time for the FO to make a trade with a real and meaningful impact. Time for Forsythe to go somewhere else. Jed Lowrie, Merrifield, Josh Harrision…….anyine other than Forsythe.

  6. Forsyth good defensive second basemen useless otherwise. Wood is average at best just no velocity therefor hitters sit on changeup. For Gods sake home runs from aj Ellis and Galvis I might make a comeback. You can’t win every game but these are the kind that you count on. Roberts can’t help but throw these stiffs in the game. He has to pitch somebody and he can’t pitch cingrani everyday. This kind of reminds me of when mattingly was here. He had no bullpen options so he would leave the starter in. He got beat either way. This is now on ownership to fix the bullpen. Roberts is now starting to think that he will leave a starter in because he doesn’t have a good bullpen option. Hudson just can’t pitch, Fields you know the homer is coming, Alexander well maybe. Faz needs to act before it is too late. Kc is ready to deal how is Herrera doing? Just one dependable bullpen guy would change the complexion. I thought Garcia would help but he is homer happy also and where is the Liberatore we used to know. Maybe try Santana he can’t be any worse.

  7. These are the types of games that make us realize how much we miss Seager. Think his bat might have made a difference? And we definitely need an upgrade at 2B. Who that is I don’t know, but it’s not anyone currently on the team. As long as the Dodgers remain close I doubt if FAZ will rush into anything. So while something may happen soon, it could just as easily take some time.

    I have confidence that Bellinger will ultimately figure it out, but have no idea when that might be. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt for him to spend a little time at OKC. Perhaps that’s not the solution, but it’s something to think about.

  8. Is it just me, or is Padre Freddy Galvez an amazing fielder? I remember thinking this when he was a Phillie as well.

    As far as our team, just win today, and it means we took the series. That’s all you ever want! Buehler can get us another series win. Man up!

  9. Trout was sent back to the minors before he stayed up for good. Bellinger now hitting .181 .258 .398 .656 in May.
    Grandal bounced back after getting 3 days rest. I can’t understand why Doc can’t see what is so obvious–that Grandal needs more rest. Dodgers need to use Barnes more if for no other reason than to keep Grandal rested.
    The Dodgers best second baseman is Taylor right now and for the foreseeable future. Why not put him there now and let Hernandez play short until Seager returns or, until the Dodgers trade for Machado.
    Lineup against both righties and lefties
    2B Taylor
    CF Pederson
    3B Turner
    LF Kemp
    1B Bellinger
    RF Puig
    C Grandal/Barnes
    SS Hernandez
    i’d leave it that way but if it humors Doc and others to switch Pederson and Kike’ depending on the righty/lefty thing, so be it.

    1. Bum

      First, your right, Bellinger is obviously struggling, but to be fair, Joc’s numbers in May, are not that much better, and he doesn’t face lefties, like Bellinger does, so Bellinger isn’t the only one, not performing well, in May.

      1. Why do you insist on saying something negative about Joc? I only said something about Bellinger to be supportive of Brooklyn Dodger’s comment.

        1. Bum

          I have been saying postive things about Joc lately.

          And that is not the first time you have said something, about Bellinger.

          I merely said the truth, and that is why you are really upset.

          Why would you say something like that about Bellinger, if Joc was not doing much better?

          It is just double standards, and it is not fair.

          Especially when you don’t expect much, from an even more experienced, player.

          1. MJ, ask yourself why you didn’t say anything about Joc after Brooklyn Dodger said Bellinger was struggling. I have always tried to support someone’s thinking or comment unless I really disagreed with it. I was doing that with Brooklyn. You on the other hand had to bring Joc into the conversation.
            I am aware of how well Joc is doing and so is everybody else. It is only me that you feel you have to set straight. You come across like you think you are an expert psychologist and think you know why I say what I do.
            Again, why can everybody else but me gripe about a player without you saying something about joc? I am the least negative person on this site so why pick on me? I ask you again to leave me alone if you can’t stop trying to restrict and control what I say.
            Geese you are annoying MJ.

  10. If Hill and Wood were to move to the bullpen to make room for Stewart and/or Santana in the rotation, the Dodgers could solve their bullpen problems.
    Kershaw, Buehler, Stripling, Maeda, Ryu/Stewart/Santana for the rotation.
    Jansen, Wood, Cingrani, Hill, Stewart/Santana, X, X

    1. Bum

      You are not going to pull that on me, you are not innocent.

      I see your passion agressive comments, that are related to pushing Joc up, and pulling another player down, that you believe is in Joc’s way.

      And Cody is playing center field right now, and for some reason you think Joc should be playing center, even though he has had bad numbers the last couple years, in center.

      You are the most demanding person on this site, because you take anything personal, said about Joc.

      And you know I am not picking on you, I am just pointing out that Joc is not doing much either this month, like you have mentioned more then one time about Cody, in the last week.

      Yet you don’t want everyone to not have any expectations when it comes to Joc, after three plus years, but your are suggesting Cody should go down to AAA.

      That is really rich, from someone that doesn’t have the same expectations on a player, in their fourth year.

      And since you when out of your way to post Cody’s numbers this month, I will post Joc’s numbers for this month, right after this post, since I don’t want to rewrite this, again!

      1. Here are Joc’s numbers for May.


        Those numbers are not much better then Cody’s numbers for the month.

        And Cody is only in his second year, and he faces lefties a lot more.

      2. Dr. MJ, before you analyze my motives as if you were that smart, might you first figure out when to use than vs. then.

  11. Why have I been to talkative lately? Had double hernia surgery two weeks ago and am rather impatiently waiting for three weeks to pass so I can do more things like golf and yard work.

  12. When Galvis hit the HR, I recalled in my mind that I remember him having some power. Turns out that that’s true. But what’s also true is that he doesn’t have a history of getting on base much, and has a history of striking out a lot. So Bobby, if you were suggesting above that the Dodgers consider trading for Galvis, I might want to consider other options, although he would probably be an upgrade over Forsythe. Here are his career stats:

  13. On another subject when you look at the farm a team like the cards weren’t given any wow factor. However, look at their young pitching: flaherty, Weaver, Reyes, Hicks and more. We talk about urias and youth but Reyes is one year older. The cards and Yankees are built for the long haul while getting younger. Hicks might fit in our bullpen lol. We have seager, bellinger, Buehler Verdugo and not much else. I know faz drafted Buehler but any of the others. Our international crop looks to be a flop or overrated. I just don’t see how you get a good farm system and be a World Series contender as well. Look at all the guys who were hyped and are flops at this point. DeJong, Deleon, Calhoun, lee, oaks, and more I can’t remember. I know the jury is still out but not looking good. Flaherty threw 120 pitches a couple of starts back. The dodgers won’t even let Kershaw do that. A difference in philosophy. Oklahoma City is good but all 4a players, Tulsa competitive but a long way off seemingly. Rancho not good, Great Lakes awful. Our nearest best players are Santana and Rios bring them up they can’t be any worse. I think faz has tried to do what they can but drafting in the 25-30 range is making it very difficult. Also, the cards went out and got mikolas who is 6-0. I guess my point is we don’t really want to trade prospects but maybe we really don’t have much to trade and maybe that’s why everybody wants Buehler and Verdugo.

    1. Speaking of Calhoun, which you mentioned above, things are not going so bad for him.

  14. Therealten, your positivity N assessment of the Blue’s minor lgs. and in general remind me of the Stones: Uh Huh Shattered. Look at me I’m in tatters..
    Muncy does it again. He must have rabbit ears.

    1. Great dodger victory!! Go Muncy!! He sure wasn’t in there to face a lefty so much for analytics! If I am Kiké I am beyond pissed to be taken out in the fifth inning after driving in one of the 2 runs. Roberts puts Muncy in to go lefty righty and he strikes out then hits the homer off the lefty. Go figure huh well it’s all good the dodgers win! I just think Kiké has to be mentally beaten and basically be told you can’t hit a right hander. His stats say he can’t but he hasn’t been given consistent play against righties. I know when he hit that homer off strasburg that would have given some confidence but apparently not. About the farm just trying to get Mark fired up.

  15. If Buehler keeps this up he will be in the running for NL ROY like Maeda (#3) in 2016…

  16. I agree therealten about our farm system but I remain hopeful. AC needs to be heard from on this matter, hopefully a post on the state of our farm is coming.

    Santana looks like he could be a solid 3 or 4 by 2020, and on the team next year. Maybe Ferguson could be a 5 or a long man out of the pen in late 2019. I have no idea about White, Alvarez or Sheffield. Alvarez and White seem to have high floors and ceilings at this point with no current timeline. I believe Sheffield’s ceiling is a high leverage pen piece at best but just as likely a bust. Too early to call on May but the early returns are mostly positive, with late 2021 or 2022 in play. Smeltzer amd Gonsolin, both starters now seemed destined for the pen at best. I am curious AC’s take on what kind of trade pieces any of the above pitchers are? I believe they all should be on the table maybe except Santana at this point.

    On offense it seems to be Ruiz and Verdugo as the only locks to eventually be a starters, 2020 for both, if neither is traded. Peters should be on the team in some compacity but his strikeout rate is concerning, maybe a late season call up in 2019. Diaz also in play for 2019 but I go back and forth on what kind of pro he will be. Smith is a future backup in my mind, and Lux likely the same but maybe a little more upsIde then Smith.

    Again AC will have a lot to say on all matters above as I very superficial knowledge of our farm.

    Our current team still needs pieces, a bat and a bullpen piece is must for us to win this thing and compete in the postseason. I know any trade is far away and likely something small. Our front office is not like Seattle’s, they are very methodical and calculated. And likely they know best but it has been frustrating to watch them pass and wait so often. Therefore I guess any improvements are going to have to come from the farm. However on offense only Verdugo, Toles and possibly Rios seem like possible helps. Unfortunately they are all blocked somewhat, however i feel we need to fit in Toles or Verdugo in at some point this year. Rios is a long shot and seems in play if Muncy regresses.

    On the pitching side Santana seems like he has the best potential to help our below average pen, or Chargois if he can find his control again. Garcia has the same issues he did in 2016, homeritis, and Broussard, Sborz amd Libs don’t seem to be upgrades at this point.

    So what can we do? Standing pat seems concerning despite all the West teams being seriously flawed. Injuries have been a huge factor for everyone at this point how the injured come back will also play a role in things. Obvious statement of the year lol.

    Anyway The next few weeks will tell a lot about where this team is truly at.

  17. I omitted Kendall from my farm comments, a long way off but likely the most potential of anyone in our system, or great bust potential. Very interested on his trade value??

  18. I don’t know how deep the international market is this year, but whatever depth there is might influence how the Dodgers approach the upcoming international draft period that opens on July 2. I haven’t kept up with any of the rules changes the last couple of years, but I was wondering if the Dodgers who are now out from under the $300K signing limit, might open up there checkbook in this coming draft, if there is a deep talent pool. Or will they stay within the limits of there allotment, and avoid the penalties?

    I imagine AC might have some insights along those lines.

  19. Calhoun not doing so well with Texas’ AAA team:

    “According to the Rangers, Calhoun is not being promoted to the majors and is not injured. That leaves “manager’s decision,” which in this case suggests Calhoun did not run hard on the grounder. The Rangers encourage their minor-league mangers to do that when justified.”
    And his attitude? “Top Rangers prospect Willie Calhoun admitted that starting the season with Triple-A Round Rock “felt like it was a slap in the face,” according to

    The Rangers shipped Calhoun to their top affiliate so that he could work on his defense in left field. Calhoun primarily had been a second baseman in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ organization before coming to the Rangers in the Yu Darvish deal in July.

    “I was really mad, just because I felt like I had nothing else to prove here at Triple-A,” Calhoun told in his first public comment on the demotion. “When you hear that you’re going back to a league after you had such a good year like that … I just kind of felt like it was a slap in the face.””

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