A Dodgers staffer interrupted Ross Stripling’s workout on Wednesday afternoon and told him to report to manager Dave Roberts’ office. Stripling had an idea what awaited him. He admitted he felt “bummed” when he did not make the initial All-Star roster on Sunday, but he had seen how other pitchers became ineligible in the interim. He figured he had a shot to fill the void.
Inside Roberts’ office, a film crew was ready for his arrival. Roberts, general manager Farhan Zaidi and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt all congratulated Stripling on his achievement: After starting the season in the bullpen, after earning a spot in the starting rotation after a flurry of injuries decimated the other arms, Stripling had earned a spot on the National League All-Star team.
“It’s been a crazy season,” Stripling said. “Still a long ways to go. But to be an All-Star midway through is special, and something that I’ll remember forever.”
Stripling will join a Dodgers contingent that includes Roberts, the rest of the coaching staff, Matt Kemp and Kenley Jansen. Max Muncy will compete in the Home Run Derby, but he did not make the National League roster. Brewers slugger Jesus Aguilar won the fan’s final vote. Muncy finished in third place.
Roberts called a team meeting to congratulate Stripling later in the day. The group gathered in the batting cage at Petco Park.
“Ross was obviously very grateful, very humble,” Roberts said. “So to share that moment with his teammates, I think that was great.”
Stripling officially replaced Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas, who is not eligible to pitch because he will start for St. Louis on Sunday. Cubs starter Jon Lester will also pitch on Sunday.
Stripling already possessed a strong case for making the roster. He entered Wednesday with a 2.22 earned-run average, second to only Mets starter Jacob deGrom among National League starting pitchers with 80 innings thrown. Max Scherzer, the presumptive starter with the game being held at Nationals Park, has a 2.33 ERA. Stripling also ranks 10th in the N.L. with 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings.
“He’s one of the elite pitchers in the National League,” Roberts said.
Stripling had planned to vacation at Lake Tahoe with his wife over the break. He was scrambling to deal with logistics on Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m just looking forward to meeting everyone,” Stripling said. “Meeting Scherzer and Lester and maybe Goldschmidt, just everyone. Maybe picking their brains in the dugout, during B.P., seeing what those guys are like. Seeing how big some of them are, people I’ve never met before.”