Giants activate former Blue Jay Ross Stripling from the Injured List ahead of series in Toronto
Photo credit:Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
5 months ago
Last off-season, one of the biggest questions regarding the Blue Jays was whether the club would bring back right-hander Ross Stripling, who was arguably their highest-profile free agent heading into this past winter.
Stripling was acquired by the Blue Jays at the trade deadline during the condensed 2020 season from the Los Angeles Dodgers, with prospects Ryan Noda and Kendall Williams heading the opposite way. Over the two-and-a-half seasons he spent with the Jays, Stripling spent time in both the rotation and the bullpen, doing everything the Jays staff asked of him depending on the scenario.
By the end of it all, Stripling finished his Jays tenure with a 3.94 ERA through 61 appearances, 45 of which were starts. He would amass a 1.158 WHIP through 251 1/3 innings while posting a 7.8 K/9 and a 2.0 BB/9 to the tune of a 104 ERA+. Arguably, Stripling is held in high regard for what he did last season, as the Jays called upon the right-hander to start games once Hyun Jin Ryu went on the IL after undergoing Tommy John surgery, with the Pennsylvania product posting one of the best seasons of his career.
Ross Stripling Returns to Toronto to Face the Blue Jays
As a starter, the former Dodger posted a 2.92 ERA through 24 starts, a career-high for Stripling who also posted a career-high in innings pitched (134 1/3). On the year, Stripling amassed 111 strikeouts and finished with a 3.11 FIP and a 1.020 WHIP and would have likely gotten the ball had the Blue Jays forced a Game 3 in the AL Wild Card.
It’s the stats you want to see if you’re Stripling, who was heading into a contract year and his first as a free agent, with some floating the idea of the Jays’ front office potentially presenting a qualifying offer to the 33-year-old. When the dust settled, Stripling eventually signed with the Giants on a two-year deal worth $25 million, with the second year a player option worth $12.5 million. Stripling later revealed that the Blue Jays presented a similar offer but would not provide an option at the same valuation, which lead to the right-hander choosing the Giants instead.
The 2023 campaign has not been kind to the former Blue Jay, as the right-hander has struggled both on the field and with the ability to stay on the field. Stripling has amassed a 7.24 ERA through nine outings, with five of those outings coming out of the rotation. After his first start where he allowed four earned runs against the Yankees through five innings, the Giants moved Stripling to the bullpen for a few outings before bringing him back to the rotation in late April. He has seen his ERA rise dramatically compared to last seen but also his WHIP (1.577), his HR/9 (2.9 with 10 home runs), and his BB/9 (2.8) before he went on the IL in mid-May with a back strain.
This injury kept Stripling off the field for over five weeks and with the Giants coming to Toronto for a three-game set starting today, it appeared that Jays fans weren’t going to be able to see the unsung hero from the 2022 season, as he was still rehabbing in the Minor Leagues.
That all changed two days ago however, as the Giants announced that they placed reliever Luke Jackson on the IL with a lower back strain and reactivated Ross Stripling, meaning the former Jay will be back at the Rogers Centre over the next few days. It isn’t clear yet where the Giants are planning to use Stripling moving forward, although the club currently hasn’t announced a starter for the Thursday game and could potentially use him there, otherwise, he will likely be a bullpen piece while Sean Manaea could get the ball as well. Similarly, for the Giants, they will be facing former teammate Kevin Gausman and Brandon Belt today, with the right-hander facing San Francisco for the first time since he signed with the Blue Jays during the 2021/2022 offseason and Belt facing the Giants after spending 12 seasons in the Bay Area.
A reunion of sorts for a pitcher who did everything that was asked of him when with the Blue Jays who will hopefully find some success on the diamond now that he is healthy and back with the Giants.
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