Stripling may be added to taxed bullpen

Stripling may be added to taxed bullpen

CINCINNATI -- Three days after being optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, Dodgers starter Ross Stripling found himself in the Dodgers' clubhouse in Cincinnati on Monday.

Before Monday's game, Stripling was designated for the taxi squad, which allows him to retain his Minor League status while traveling with the Major League club. The team has 24 hours to add Stripling to the big league roster or send him back to Oklahoma City.

"It could be out of the 'pen for coverage, and I think that right now that's what we're thinking," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "As the days go on, we'll make a decision, just kind of see whatever Ross' usage would've been."

However, because Stripling hasn't been down for the required 10 days per MLB rules, he can only be added to the roster as an injury replacement. That could spell bad news for Brett Anderson, who left his Saturday start after three-plus innings with a blister on his left index finger.

With intent on using Stripling to help alleviate a taxed bullpen after swing man Julio Urias threw 97 pitches in a spot start on Sunday, Roberts said that the team would be willing to accelerate a decision on putting Anderson on the disabled list.

"If Brett doesn't respond to treatment, then that would probably be the corresponding move," Roberts said.

There's also a possibility that Stripling could cover Anderson's next scheduled start on Thursday. However, Bud Norris could also cover that on normal rest, and the team is watching Stripling's innings in his first full season back since having Tommy John surgery in April 2014.

"Options are good," Roberts said.

The importance of Anderson being healthy is magnified, because his next start would come against the Giants, who trail the Dodgers by just a half-game in the National League West. On Monday, Anderson was able to play catch, throwing fastballs and changeups, but the blister is still hindering his ability to throw a curveball.

Anderson has also struggled mightily in his two starts since missing most of the season with a back injury, posting a 24.75 ERA in four innings and allowing 14 hits.

"If a pitcher's not feeling 100 percent, whether it be a blister or any other health thing, it's a concern," Roberts said. "His first two times coming back from the disabled list haven't been something he wants to hang his hat on. So that's why, as we get closer to Thursday, it's really important that he feels that the blister, we've got it controlled and it won't bother him in any capacity."

Worth noting

• Right fielder Josh Reddick was a late scratch on Monday with a jammed right middle finger. Reddick has not had the finger X-rayed and Roberts said that he didn't believe it would be necessary and that Reddick would likely be available off the bench if necessary. It's possible that Reddick could also sit Tuesday with lefty Madison Bumgarner on the mound for the Giants.

"The training staff got to me right before I came out and told me that he's having a tough time throwing," Roberts said. "I'm going to get some more details, but I know it's his right middle finger."

Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati and covered the Dodgers on Monday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.