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Ross Stripling named Dodgers 5th starter

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The fifth starter race has a winner, with right-hander Ross Stripling beating out Carlos Frias to start for the Dodgers on April 8 in San Francisco, manager Dave Roberts told reporters today.

The club optioned Frias to minor league camp. For now the number in camp remains the same, at 35 active players, since Stripling was already optioned on March 17. That will be rectified once rosters are submitted on Sunday.

Spurred by a question from friend of True Blue LA Andrew Grant, I looked through all the Dodgers who started a game in a season in which they began with zero major league service time, as Stripling is now. It appears he will be the first Dodgers pitcher — excluding international free agents with professional experience elsewhere — to make an opening day roster as a starting pitcher with zero service time since Don Sutton in 1966.

In other news, the bullpen is down to once choice, between a Louis and a Luis.

More info will surely come on that last note on Saturday, when Yasmani Grandal was supposed to catch five innings for the Dodgers if everything went right. If he missed that game and starts the year on the disabled list, Grandal could miss as few as five games, something he is prepared to do.