DENVER -- The Dodgers activated All-Star pitcher Thomas Stripling on Friday, juggled their starters for Sunday and Monday and were about to open a showdown series against first-place Colorado with a closer by committee.
First Stripling, who finally returns after nearly a month on the disabled list from lower back soreness he believes stems from a soft hotel mattress the last time the Dodgers were in Denver. Stripling said he's been told by the club that he might resume starting again before the season is over, but he's in the bullpen for now.
"We're a team that plays matchups, so if a lefty is up in the rotation but the team we're facing has trouble against righties, since I was going to start against the Cardinals when I got hurt, I think that could definitely happen," said Stripling, who was ticketed to the bullpen after a shaky July when he was placed on the DL instead. "For now, I'm focused on the bullpen stuff and getting that routine back in order."
Because he threw three innings of a sim game on Wednesday, his usage for Friday would probably be very limited, if he's used at all.
As for upcoming probable starters, manager Dave Roberts said the club decided to push Alex Wood, who was originally scheduled to start Sunday against the Rockies, to Monday in Cincinnati. Rich Hill moves up to start Sunday on regular rest.
"We like Rich on regular rest against these guys," said Roberts. "Alex has made every start this year, so we're trying to give him an extra day."
Wood made one start at Coors Field this year and allowed six runs in two innings. He has a 9.75 career ERA at Coors Field and a 1.32 ERA at Great American Ball Park. Hill made one start at Coors Field this year and allowed two runs in six innings. He has a 7.17 career ERA at Coors Field and a 3.38 ERA at Great American Ball Park.
Closing without Jansen
Roberts said "it's not fair" to expect newly acquired Ryan Madson to close all three games of the weekend series in Colorado after pitching in three of the last four games. Some combination of Kenta Maeda, Scott Alexander, Caleb Ferguson and even Stripling could be utilized if the Dodgers have a ninth-inning lead.
"Mainly Kenta I can see in that spot against the middle of their order with a lot of righties, but you get to the back part of the lineup, we have other options," said Roberts. "We have a handful of guys to match up with those guys. I know it didn't go well without Kenley the first time around, but I'll bet on these guys this time."
• The Dodgers released reliever Adam Liberatore, who had been designated for assignment to make roster space after the club acquired Madson.
• The Dodgers will hold the first MLB Digital Bobblehead Night for the Sept. 21 game against San Diego. Fans will have the opportunity to download a Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner or Kenley Jansen Crypto token. While supplies last at guest's point of entry, the first 40,000 ticketed fans in attendance will receive a card with a unique code and directions to a website where a digital bobblehead can be unlocked and added to their Ethereum wallet. The player Crypto token received will be randomly selected, with approximately an equal number of Kershaw, Turner and Jansen codes distributed at the stadium gates.