Every pitcher in baseball hopes to avoid the seemingly inevitable. Everyone knows that elbow injuries and a potential Tommy John surgery are always a possibility. These days it is prudent to hope for the best and prepare yourself for the worst. Unfortunately for Nationals starter Joe Ross, the worst was indeed announced today.
Joe Ross To Receive TJ Surgery
— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) July 15, 2017
It was announced earlier today that Ross will receive Tommy John surgery on Wednesday in Texas. Thankfully, the procedure will provide an opportunity for Ross to continue his playing career. It is indeed a tough break for the 24-year old Nationals starter. Ross was competing in his third season in the big leagues and was contributing to Washington’s rotation when he went down.
An issue was first noticed during Ross’ last start against the Atlanta Braves. He was pulled in the fourth inning due to reduced velocity throughout that start. An MRI would later reveal the damage to Ross’ elbow.
Ross posted by far his best season in 2016. He made 19 starts and posted a 3.43 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 105 innings pitched. His numbers certainly indicated a young pitcher on the rise with the potential to contribute on the back end of Washington’s rotation.
2017 had not been quite as kind to Ross. In 13 starts, Ross had posted an ERA of 5.01, a WHIP of 1.47, and the highest hit rate of his young career. The biggest issue for Ross this season was an inability to keep the ball inside the park. He had allowed 16 home runs in his 13 starts, and it is hard for any pitcher to be effective when they allow that many home runs.
Regardless of how one views Ross and his numbers, there is no denying that his injury leaves a hole for Washington to fill. It is yet to be determined who will take Ross’ spot in the rotation. Thankfully the Nationals have a formidable first four in Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and Tanner Roark. Ross will join what is an already crowded disabled list for Washington. Adam Eaton and Ross will miss the rest of ’17 while Michael Taylor, Trea Turner, and Jayson Werth all remain on the DL.