Bad news for the Dodgers today, as J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group reports that prospect right-hander Ross Stripling will undergo season-ending Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery tomorrow.
Stripling originally injured his elbow during batting practice on February 21, but he didn’t say anything about it to trainers or coaches. However, he had no choice after he threw two innings in the Dodgers’ first Cactus League game last Wednesday and felt continued discomfort. An MRI confirmed the ligament tear.
A former teammate of Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha at Texas A&M University, Stripling has a 2.47 ERA and 154/36 K/BB ratio over his first 164 innings in pro ball. The 24-year-old was recently ranked as the organization’s No. 10 prospect by Baseball America. Stripling might have made his major league debut later this year if he continued to progress, but any such talk can now be pushed back to 2015.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.