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Ross Stripling pitching in relief has roster ramifications for Dodgers

Harry How/Getty Images

After the Dodgers used nine pitchers to throw 256 pitches in their 17-inning victory over the Padres on Sunday, there will likely be ramifications on the roster in the next few days.

For one thing, the Dodgers now need a starting pitcher for Tuesday, since Ross Stripling threw 38 pitches in his three innings in relief to earn the win on Sunday, on two days rest. Roberts confirmed after the game that Stripling won't pitch on Tuesday.

Chin-hui Tsao, whose bout of wildness earned him the loss on Saturday night, was the only one of eight relief pitchers who did not pitch on Sunday, and his injury could prove vital in Tuesday's starter.

The pickings for Tuesday are slim as it is. Jharel Cotton is the scheduled starter for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday, and is on the 40-man roster, but he was just added back to the rotation and hasn't pitched longer than three innings since April 24.

Zach Lee pitched Saturday and Carlos Frias pitched Sunday for Oklahoma City, so two more 40-man options are out for Tuesday, and before you get excited Julio Urias pitched on Friday and would be on short rest on Tuesday, so that's not happening.

Ian Thomas is also on the 40-man roster, but is currently on the Triple-A disabled list with shoulder soreness, and even if he were healthy by Tuesday he has not pitched more than two innings since April 29.

Mike Bolsinger would be the best option, and is on the 40-man roster, but since he was optioned on Thursday he would have to stay in the minors for 10 days unless he replaces an injured player. So it would basically take something like Tsao going on the DL to allow for Bolsinger to return.

Bolsinger is scheduled to start for Oklahoma City on Monday, and last pitched on Wednesday, so if he is tabbed for Tuesday in Los Angeles he would be on five days rest.

The only other realistic option from Triple-A is Sam LeCure, the longtime reliever who has been starting in Oklahoma City. He pitched seven innings on Thursday so would be on regular rest on Tuesday. But he is off the 40-man roster, and would require a corresponding move to be added to the 40-man.

There is also the issue of whether the Dodgers will need a relief pitcher to come up on Monday, after getting nine innings from the seven relievers used on Sunday.

J.P. Howell pitched three innings and threw 35 pitches, his second straight game.

Adam Liberatore has pitched three straight days and four of the last five.

Louis Coleman has pitched three straight days.

Joe Blanton has pitched three of the last four days.

Let's just say Monday is one of the best possible times to have Clayton Kershaw scheduled to pitch. Kershaw is averaging 7.78 innings per start this season and has lasted at least seven innings in all nine starts so far.

Normally, A.J. Ellis would be the easy call to start behind the plate on Monday, but Ellis just caught 17 long innings on Sunday. The solution could be to call up Austin Barnes, but to do that the Dodgers would likely have to demote a relief pitcher to make room, or place Grandal on the disabled list.. But Grandal doesn't seem hurt badly enough, espcially since he pinch hit on Sunday, and they might not have enough relievers to send down one, especially if Tsao has to be DL'd on Tuesday for  Bolsinger.

If the Dodgers do call up a relief pitcher, Luis Avilan is on the 40-man roster, while Casey Fien, Joe Thatcher and Matt West are not.

But whatever players the Dodgers need from Oklahoma City, it appears they will be delivered on the way to Fresno: