Phillies: Would a Ross Stripling trade make sense?
With a reported trade involving Ross Stripling falling through, would Stripling be a good fit for the Philadelphia Phillies?
Right-handed pitcher Ross Stripling and outfielder Joc Pederson were reportedly part of a trade between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels, which was on hold while the Dodgers’ blockbuster trade for Mookie Betts was being finalized.
But, as the Betts deal took longer than expected, the Angels reportedly pulled out of their trade, leaving Stripling and Pederson with the Dodgers.
As the Phillies continue to work on improving their pitching, a trade for Stripling might actually be a good idea.
Stripling spent time as both a starter and reliever last season, finishing the year with a 4-4 record, 3.47 ERA, 1.147 WHIP and 0.9 WAR.
Those numbers look good compared to Zach Eflin, Nick Pivetta and Vince Velasquez, who figure to contend for starting spots at the back of the Phillies’ rotation.
Stripling had a better ERA, win-loss percentage and WHIP than those three pitchers, and was behind only Eflin in WAR.
In career totals, he leads Eflin, Pivetta and Velasquez in each of those categories with a 3.51 ERA, .455 win percentage, 1.196 WHIP and 4.7 WAR across four seasons.
The Phillies were just below the league average in ERA (4.53) and WHIP (1.374) last season, two categories that were led by the Dodgers. Meanwhile, Philadelphia was also tied for sixth in the majors for the number of pitchers used (34).
Starting pitching was addressed during the off-season, with the addition of Zack Wheeler, and the team will also have Jake Arrieta returning from injury. But, of course, fans wanted to see more done.
Stripling began 2019 as a starter for the Dodgers before heading to the bullpen when Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill returned from injury.
With Hill injured again, Stripling moved back to starter in late June before being sidelined from late July until the beginning of September with a stiff neck.
Overall, he appeared in 15 games as a starter and 17 games as a reliever.
As a starter, he went 2-3 with a 3.60 ERA and 1.129 WHIP. As a reliever, he went 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA and 1.210 WHIP.
While these comparisons show that Stripling would fit well in the Phillies’ rotation, he could also be a good fit in the bullpen, where he could enter in the seventh or eighth inning before closer Hector Neris.
The Dodgers’ attempted trade with the Angels was seen as a way to shed salary, so in a similar deal, the Phillies may not need to give up much in return.
While Wheeler and Arrieta should help the Phillies improve their starting rotation, a trade for Stripling could provide a notable boost for the club by adding more quality and depth.