Stripling, back in contention for the fifth-starter spot after his aborted trade to the Angels, has been tinkering with a new grip for his changeup. The early results were so positive that the club set up special video and spin-rate technology to better analyze the pitch.
“In today’s baseball, there’s so many tricks and toys and analytical stuff you can do,” said Stripling. “Two out of three I throw with this new grip have been good, and they wanted to get it on the slo-mo camera and Rapsodo to see what it’s spinning like and seeing if it’s better than what I threw last year. It seems to hide my spin better.”
Stripling said he played around with different changeup grips while playing catch during the offseason until finding one that clearly worked best. Catch partners said the new one is tougher to pick up as a hitter.
Stripling has a four-pitch mix and his changeup usage last year was 14.7 percent, a career high.
• Manager Dave Roberts on Sunday reported that right-hander Jimmy Nelson had tightness in his left groin and hip area during his bullpen session on Friday, but called it “benign.”
• Right-hander Dustin May had tightness in his left side after his bullpen session on Friday.
• Right-hander Brusdar Graterol had his first bullpen session pushed back another day because of lingering effects from a fever he had when he reported.
• The status of right-hander Yadier Álvarez remains fuzzy. He spent most of last year on the restricted list after leaving Double-A Tulsa. He reported to camp with the other pitchers, but apparently remains on the restricted list and hasn’t been allowed to work out on the field.
• Kyle Garlick, traded on Saturday to the Phillies, came by the clubhouse to clear his locker and say goodbye to teammates.