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What to expect from Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Ross Stripling

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Ross Stripling goes to the mound tonight against the San Francisco Giants. Here's what to look for.

First, the report from the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book.

Ross Stripling, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-3 WT: 190 DOB: November 23, 1989

2013: Grade C+; 2014: Grade C+; 2015: Grade C+


Ross Striping missed all of 2014 and the first part of 2015 recovering from Tommy John surgery. As a result he is easy to overlook, but his recovery has gone well and he should/could see the majors sometime in 2016. Stripling’s stuff has survived the procedure and he looks like his old self most of the time: low-90s fastball, with solid-average curves, sliders, and change-ups. His command was wobbly when he first returned but he looked better late in the year with a 27/6 K/BB in his final six starts. This is a fourth starter profile but his pitching instincts have always been respected. Grade C+.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY

Stripling threw 11 innings for the Dodgers in spring training, posting a 4.09 ERA with an 11/4 K/BB and eight hits allowed. The best news is that his stuff has definitely returned to pre-injury standards, his fastball averaging 93 MPH as it did before Tommy John. His curve, slider, and change-up all appear unaffected and his command is steady. I've always liked his curveball but more observers seem impressed with the slider. In any event, while none of his pitches are outstanding they are all solid and he knows how to use them.

Projection systems don't love him; PECOTA predicts a 3.72 ERA, Steamer a 3.88, and ZiPS a pessimistic 4.66. I assume they don't like his age and his lack of big recent strikeout totals, but the whole may be greater than the sum of the parts with Stripling. I think he'll be close to the PECOTA or Steamer numbers, essentially a league-average starter, perfect for the fifth spot in the rotation.