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The Los Angeles Dodgers will move both Kenta Maeda and Ross Stripling from the starting rotation to the bullpen, manager Dave Roberts announced Sunday, per the Orange County Register‘s Bill Plunkett.
The move comes as the team works around a number of injuries to its regular relievers, including closer Kenley Jansen.
According to The Athletic’s Pedro Moura, Roberts indicated Stripling could return to the starting rotation at some point in the near future, saying the 28-year-old right-hander “has earned the opportunity to continue to start.”
Stripling is 8-3 with a 2.62 ERA and a 3.10 FIP in 28 appearances this year. Maeda, meanwhile, is 7-7 with a 3.80 ERA and a 3.26 FIP in 22 appearances.
Since neither pitcher has struggled this season, their shift to the bullpen is more an indication of how desperate things are for the Dodgers.
Mike Petriello @mike_petriello
And until Jansen returns, the bullpen is something like …
.. still not great, but looks a lot better with the two starters there.
Daniel Hudson, Tony Cingrani, Josh Fields and Erik Goeddel are all on the disabled list, and it’s unclear when Jansen will return to the mound. ESPN’s Buster Olney and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported the three-time All-Star is out while receiving treatment for an irregular heartbeat.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Jansen will be examined Aug. 20 and that he may not be back until September, per the Los Angeles Times‘ Andy McCullough.
With the MLB non-waiver trade deadline passed, the Dodgers had few ways to add depth to their bullpen. Stripling at least has some experience out of the bullpen, and Maeda has made a handful of relief appearances over the last two seasons. They should help Los Angeles get through a difficult situation in the final stretch of the 2018 campaign.
Stats are courtesy of Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.