It’s been a busy couple of days for the San Francisco Giants. The Giants grabbed Sean Manaea off the market on December 12, and wasted no time inking another starter to its pitching staff. Right-handed pitcher Ross Stripling is headed to the Bay Area, as the former Jay reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with the Giants. Stripling is now headed back to NL West, a place very familiar to the right-handed pitcher.
A Look at Stripling
Drafted by the Dodgers in 2012, Ross Stripling made his debut with Los Angeles in 2016. After his call-up, Stripling slotted in as a jack-of-all-trades arm for the Dodgers. The Pennsylvania native made 143 appearances with the Dodgers from 2016-2020, with 53 of those being starts. While the Dodgers never fully committed to using Ross as a starter full-time, the righty did have success in that role when asked. Stripling’s best season with the Dodgers came in 2018, a season in which he recorded a 3.02 ERA and 10.0 K/9 across 33 appearances (21 starts).
The University of Texas grad nearly wound up as a member of the Angels, in the aftermath of the megadeal that sent Mookie Betts to Southern California. That didn’t happen, but LA did move Stripling a few months later at the 2020 Trade Deadline. Stripling was sent to Toronto, in a move that worked out well for both sides.
Stripling started 45 games for the Jays between 2020-2022, and the righty delivered solid results for a team in need of help in the back end of the rotation. This past season, Stripling recorded a 3.01 ERA, striking out 111 over 134.1 innings pitched.
While the former Blue Jay won’t blow anyone away with his velocity, there are a number of notable data points that stand out regarding Stripling. For one, Stripling possess above-average control; his sparkling 3.7 BB% rate (MLB average is 8.4%) in 2022 is proof of just that.
Another key piece of Stripling’s arsenal is his changeup, a pitch that he has used much more frequently since being traded. Back in 2019, Stripling used the change 14.7%. Fast forward to 2022, and Stripling used it 27.2% of the time.
The increased use of the change has worked for Stripling. The pitch, which has an average difference of nine MPH as compared to his fastball, netted the righty a lofty chase rate last season. Stripling’s Chase% sat in the top seven percent of all pitchers last year.
After a successful stint in Toronto, the right-hander earned himself a two-year deal with the Giants. Now, Stripling returns to the NL West.
What it Means for the Giants
A day after signing left-handed pitcher Sean Manaea, the Giants shore up its 2023 rotation with a steady hand at the back of the rotation. It’s a sensible add for San Francisco, given Farhan Zaidi’s familiarity with Stripling from their days in Los Angeles.
With the addition of Stripling, the Giants’ rotation may very well be set for 2023. Stripling and Manaea join Logan Webb and Alex Cobb in the rotation, with Anthony DeSclafani, Jakob Junis, and Alex Wood set to fight for the fifth spot in that rotation. It is possible that Carlos Rodón is still in play, but the Giants could very well opt to add to its lineup instead. Rodón is reportedly looking for a deal that eclipses $200 million in total value, something that San Francisco just might not be able to stomach.