Thomas Ross Stripling
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 210 lb.
- School Texas A&M University
- High School Carroll High School (Southlake)
- Debut April 8, 2016
Ross was a 5th-round pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2012 amateur draft, out of Texas A&M University (Michael Wacha was drafted in the first round from Texas A&M the same year). The scout was Clint Bowers. A little over a year after signing with the Dodgers, he had to undergo Tommy John surgery, missing all of the 2014 season.
He went to spring training with the Dodgers in 2016 completely under the radar, having never pitched above AA, but managed to make the team's starting rotation, taking advantage of a string of injuries that sidelined more heralded candidates for the job. He made his major league debut facing the San Francisco Giants on April 8th, facing the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. He was simply outstanding, not giving up a hit in 7 1/3 innings, although he did walk four batters. After he issued his fourth walk of the evening, putting Angel Pagan on base with one out in the 8th, rookie manager Dave Roberts took him out of the game because he had reached a pitch count limit. It was a somewhat controversial decision, as Stripling had a shot at making history - only Bumpus Jones had ever pitched a no-hitter in his major league debut - but most commentators agreed that there was no reason to take a chance with over-extending such a young pitcher. Chris Hatcher was summoned from the bullpen and surrendered a two-run homer to Trevor Brown. Stripling ended up with a no-decision as the Giants won the game in the 10th inning on a walk-off homer by Brandon Crawford. He had a few more good starts after that, but had to wait until May 13th to record his first major league win when he defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, 8-4. On May 22nd, he recorded a win in relief; it was not planned, as he was pressed into action when a game against the San Diego Padres went deep into extra innings. Scheduled to start the next day, he was brought in in the 15th inning and ended up pitching three scoreless frames as the Dodgers scored four times in the top of the 17th to win, 9-5.
Stripling was a starter in 2/3 of his games as a rookie. His ERA and WHIP improved in his second year, when he became primarily a reliever. In his third year, he was back to starting 2/3 of his games as his ERA improved yet again.
- NL All-Star (2018)