Ross Stripling appears to be moving from Chavez Ravine to Anaheim, as reports indicate that he will be headed to the Angels. But what are the Angels getting? Let’s take a quick look at Stripling.
Ross Stripling to the Angels
Stripling will head to the Angels as part of a deal that will also send outfielder Joc Pederson to Anaheim. Stripling, a fifth-round pick by the Dodgers in 2012, has been used in various roles since making his Major League debut in 2016. While he was mostly used out of the bullpen by the Dodgers, Stripling is a starter by trade, and he should get an opportunity to start with the Angels.
Here’s what the Angels are getting from Stripling:
Fastball and Changeup
Stripling’s four-seamer isn’t a blow-away pitch by any means. The righty usually sits in the 90-92 MPH range with his fastball, but it’s not a bad offering, especially when he uses it to set up his changeup. Last season, the 30-year old’s changeup, which had an average velocity of 82.7 MPH (according to Baseball Savant) had a 33.9% Whiff% rate, and hitters rarely made hard contact off the offering.
Knuckle-Curve and Slider
Stripling has two breaking balls in his arsenal, a slider and a knuckle-curve. Stripling’s slider is a serviceable offering, but his knuckle-curve can be devastating at times. Not only does it have good spin (73rd percentile via Baseball Savant), but it’s also a deep-diving offering with strong break. As you can see in the video above, it’s a tough pitch to catch up to when Stripling’s curve is on the money.
In case you’re interested, here’s a breakdown of Stripling’s curves from last season, broken down by events. One thing that you can see is the amount of whiffs the righty was able to get on the lower half and out of the zone.
Out of the 412 knuckle-curves thrown by the righty last season, 60 of them (14.5%) ended in a swing-and-miss.
I felt a bit uneasy about the Angels’ 2020 prospects prior to this move. The Angels certainly had the bats to compete, but their rotation was questionable. But by adding a quality pitcher who now gets a true chance to start, the Angels have a chance to do some damage this season. With a pitching staff of Dylan Bundy, Julio Teheran, Griffin Canning, Stripling and (sometimes) Shohei Ohtani, I think there’s a strong chance they can win at least 85 games and contend for a playoff spot.
UPDATE (2/10): According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the reported trade that would have sent Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling to the Angels fell through. As of February 10, the two remain members of the Dodgers.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 10, 2020
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