Ross Stripling has built a budding reputation as a Minor Leaguer for preventing opposing hitters from leaving the park. It could be a while until he gets the chance to pitch in one again, however.
The 24-year-old right-hander will undergo Tommy John Surgery on Wednesday and is likely to miss the entire 2014 season, the Dodgers announced Tuesday.
"Kind of sucks," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told The Los Angeles Times. "He was on a good roll. He was one of the guys that's been throwing the ball good."
The Texas A&M product was a fifth-round pick in the 2012 Draft. He's shined as a pro, thanks to his ability to keep the ball on the ground. Over 164 innings in the Minor Leagues, Stripling has allowed only five home runs.
Stripling split last season between Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga. In the hitter-friendly California League, he posted a 2.94 ERA in six starts with a gaudy 2.10 groundout-to-flyout ratio and 34 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings. The Texas native had similar success with the Lookouts, compiling a 2.78 ERA and 1.77 GO/AO while fanning 83 over 94 innings.
Stripling tore the elbow ligament while tossing live batting practice on Feb. 23, telling the newspaper he felt a tearing sensation after throwing a series of cutters to Dodgers No. 2 prospect Joc Pederson.
Stripling did not inform the team of his discomfort until Feb. 26, when he pitched one inning against the Diamondbacks. An MRI taken after that outing revealed the extent of the injury.
"All it does is it changes the timetable more than anything else," Mattingly said. "We assume he's going to come back as good or better than ever."