Across five innings Tuesday, Ross Stripling displayed the qualities that have impressed the
Stripling has resided on the periphery of the competition, probably slotted behind
In the first three innings of an 11-9 loss to San Diego, he retired eight of the first nine batters, striking out four. Then the
Even so, Manager
"If it does happen, it wouldn't be the first time it's happened," Roberts said. "You still have to look at [experience], and weigh that into your decision. Absolutely. But also you've got to look at the stuff that plays at the major league level. And his stuff plays."
After a leadoff double in the fifth by outfielder Jose Pirela, Stripling hung a slider and
"It was really my first time going through a lineup multiple times," Stripling said. "I think it maybe kind of proved that I needed to change some stuff up the third time through. It seemed like they were hitting balls harder as the game went, so maybe they were figuring some stuff out."
The final inning bothered him, but Stripling still considered his spring a success. He missed all of 2014 and most of 2015 after Tommy John surgery.
He appears to have made an impression:
"For me, it's still a matter of proving to this front office, coaching staff, pitching staff that I'm healthy, that I can pitch, that I'm ready to go and I can throw 140 innings, whatever, this year," Stripling said. "I think that's my first goal.
"I think I was able to achieve that this spring, make a name for myself a little bit, just prove to everyone that I'm ready to rock and I have some pitchability and we'll see how it happens in the season."
The Dodgers expect
Seager played six innings Monday in a minor league game and was scheduled to do the same Tuesday. He will rest Wednesday before returning to the big league schedule.
Roberts also sounded optimistic about catcher Yasmani Grandal, who has been sidelined with inflammation in his right forearm. Grandal is scheduled to play Saturday at Angel Stadium, and Roberts felt he could be ready for opening day.
Grandal was cleared to throw and take some swings Monday. "It was a step in the right direction," Roberts said. "He came in feeling better today, pretty good after yesterday. And we're going to ramp up the workload today."
"Today's better than yesterday," Roberts said. "But we still don't have him out there doing baseball activities. But we're encouraged that today he feels better."