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UPDATED: Ross getting promoted from AA to start Saturday

Jun 5, 2015, 1:47 PM EDT

Minor League Baseball

Updated at 6:30 p.m.

Right-hander Joe Ross, one of the players acquired in last winter’s complex trade that most notably will bring shortstop Trea Turner to the Nationals next week, will be promoted from Class AA Harrisburg and start Saturday’s game against the Cubs, manager Matt Williams announced.

Ross, 22, isn’t currently on the Nationals’ 40-man roster, but he can have his contract purchased, with the organization clearing a spot for him by transferring one of several injured players (Craig Stammen, Jayson Werth, Reed Johnson, Nate McLouth) from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. Another player will have to come off the 25-man active roster in exchange for Ross.

Though the Nationals have starting candidates with experience at both Class AAA Syracuse and the big leagues — right-handers A.J. Cole and Taylor Hill both are currently on the major-league roster — they will instead turn to the promising (if inexperienced) Ross to make his debut Saturday.

“We’re excited to see him, having come from a different organization,” Williams said. “He’s pitched very well, though. He’s commanded the zone and done everything that’s asked of him. So he’s going to get a chance.”

Ross is 2-2 with a 2.81 ERA in nine starts at Harrisburg, striking out 54 batters while walking 12 in 51 1/3 innings. He was already on schedule to start Saturday against Trenton.

A first-round pick of the Padres in 2011, Ross was part of December’s complex, 3-team trade that saw the Nationals send outfielder Steven Souza Jr. to the Rays while also acquiring a player to be named later from San Diego. That player, prized shortstop prospect Turner, will finally be eligible to be dealt June 13.

The 6-foot-4 Ross is the younger brother of Padres right-hander Tyson Ross, who beat the Nationals at Petco Park last month.

“I think he was a guy that we thought that would be quick through the minor leagues for us,” general manager Mike Rizzo said. “But this has accelerated his development even a little faster than I thought he would.”

  1. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 5, 2015 at 2:06 PM

    I’m excited to see it.

  2. nats106 - Jun 5, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    Nice to see the Nationals finally taking my advice. (Please refer back to my comment on the Mets 6 Man rotation)

    I’m so confident he will do well I’m going to pick him up in both my fantasy baseball leagues

    • nats128 - Jun 5, 2015 at 2:35 PM

      Hold on, you think the Nats are going to a 6 man rotation?

      • nats106 - Jun 5, 2015 at 2:37 PM

        haha. No, but I’ll take a flyer on Joe for a game or two.

      • nats128 - Jun 5, 2015 at 2:53 PM

        Me two.

  3. Just. Dave - Jun 5, 2015 at 2:24 PM

    Good stuff. I hope this guy kills it. Rendon is back and hope for this
    guy, makes me think the sky’s the limit.

  4. nats128 - Jun 5, 2015 at 2:36 PM

    Jhonatan Solano was DFA’d.

  5. Steady Eddie - Jun 5, 2015 at 2:37 PM

    I saw him at Bowie on Sunday and he was impressively dominant. Three up three down in sux out of his seven innings pitched (one single wiped out by a DP, one ROE thrown out stealing which includes credit to the pitcher. Equally impressive as his 7 IP, 3 H (all singles), 1 ER, 1 R, 7 K, 0 BB line was the way he really impressively mixed speeds (FB 94-96, change ~89, slider ~83-84) and locations. Don’t know where the WaPo story on Tuesday said he was 91-93 up to 95 on the FB; he sat reliably at 94-95 to 96, only lower than that early.

    Obviously bringing him up so quickly is not ideal but it’s a reflection of how much Rizzo knows and isn’t thrilled with what he can get from Cole or the Taylors.

  6. letswin3 - Jun 5, 2015 at 2:39 PM

    I’ve read only good things about this kid. Glad to see him get an early start.

    On another note, all the Zobrist talk has me wondering who would have to go west to pull off a trade like that … particularly since he would be a 2015 rental.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jun 5, 2015 at 2:52 PM

      When the Sousa/ Turner trade was made I mentioned that Ross wasn’t chopped liver.

      • nats128 - Jun 5, 2015 at 2:57 PM

        The Nats gave up alot as did the Rays. Hopefully for everyone it turns out to be a good trade and selfishly Im hoping for the Nats it was the trade of the decade.

      • Doc - Jun 5, 2015 at 2:58 PM

        BTW, Souza (last time I checked about a week ago) had 10 big ones.

  7. Joe Seamhead - Jun 5, 2015 at 2:43 PM

    How about this ambidextrous kid that the A’s are calling up?

    • Joe Seamhead - Jun 5, 2015 at 2:49 PM

      The video on Venditte is fun. Worth a couple of minutes to watch it.

      • ArVAFan - Jun 5, 2015 at 3:08 PM

        I like the story where people used to think that Pat was twins–one pitching with each hand. Or the story (Joe, you should appreciate this) where Pat’s dad was sitting behind two guys who were watching Pat pitch. One guy says, “Hey, I thought that pitcher was pitching left-handed, and now I see he’s pitching right-handed.” Other guy says, “Better put that beer down, you’re driving!”

        If he’s pitching, I’ll watch a game on that I normally wouldn’t care about, just to see something like that for the first time.

      • natsfan1a - Jun 5, 2015 at 4:22 PM

        It’s all done with mirrors.


        I like the story where people used to think that Pat was twins–one pitching with each hand. Or the story (Joe, you should appreciate this) where Pat’s dad was sitting behind two guys who were watching Pat pitch. One guy says, “Hey, I thought that pitcher was pitching left-handed, and now I see he’s pitching right-handed.” Other guy says, “Better put that beer down, you’re driving!”

    • Doc - Jun 5, 2015 at 2:57 PM

      He seems to have some good minor league stats, so I’m wondering if no team wanted to take a chance with his ambidexterity. I hope he does well. He and his dad have put in a lot of time getting good at this.

  8. nats128 - Jun 5, 2015 at 2:59 PM

    Wilmer Difo finds himself already in AAA. I hope he can prosper there. Ive always liked the Nats stars stashed in Harrisburg.

    • nats128 - Jun 5, 2015 at 2:59 PM

      Scratch that, James Wagner had that wrong. Glad he’s still in AA>

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 5, 2015 at 3:03 PM

        “@JamesWagnerWP: My bad. Misread a release. Wilmer Difo at Class AA Harrisburg.”

        Good call Nats128. I like him better at AA then surrounded by retreads at this stage of his career.

      • nats128 - Jun 5, 2015 at 3:04 PM

        I didnt like how MW used Difo. He had the chance to give him some late inning reps in the field in some games recently and even for some pinch-running.

        Glad hes back in AA.

      • Steady Eddie - Jun 5, 2015 at 3:40 PM

        128, you really didn’t get what Difo’s promotion was about. As a player, apart from him bring a “break glass in emergency” fallback before TTB returned and giving him a handful of at bats to introduce him to actually playing in the MLB, Difo was up mostly as a reward, an incentive, and a brief education, all as him being the Nats’ first Dominican recruit to get called up. It was a reward for his progress and coachabity, an incentive to dramatize and make real to a kid raised in poverty what he was aiming for (MiLB sure doesn’t do that!), and to educate him by the example of the pros around him how to act, play, and generally comport yourself as a major leaguer.

        The value of all that to Difo personally, and as an example to the other Dominican recruits in the system, is so huge as to far outweigh whatever very marginal technical benefits he would have gotten by staying in Harrisbutg and letting a Syracuse AAAA guy sit on the bench.

      • nats128 - Jun 5, 2015 at 3:42 PM

        Really? I got what it was but you can give the kid a taste of being on the field in one of those blowout games or take advantage of his assets and let him pinch run.

        Could’ve used him yesterday to pinch-bunt too!

      • langleyclub - Jun 5, 2015 at 3:50 PM

        No one expected Difo to get a bunch of starts, but MW’s refusal to sit Desmond for even an inning over ther last month defies logic. There were several games when Difo was up, where the Nats were either getting worked (pretty much every SS start) or where the Nats had a big lead, when it would have been smart to rest Desi, and let Difo get some reps in the field and more than 1 at bat in the game. Also, why not sit Desi one of the games when the Nats played the DH?

        MW plays Desi as SS like he is Cal F-ing Ripken. He is not. Desi could benefit from sitting a little just like everyone else on the roster not named Bryce Harper. Not saying Desi should be a part time player, but he does not deserve 160+ starts without even a half game off.

      • nats128 - Jun 5, 2015 at 3:52 PM

        langleyclub, thats my point which must have been missed on Steady Eddie. Thanks for stating that so well.

  9. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 5, 2015 at 3:12 PM

    Matt den Dekker hit a HR for ‘cuse. Yes you heard that right.

  10. nats128 - Jun 5, 2015 at 3:27 PM

    Its the 3:30 and no lineup. Whats the holdup Mark?

  11. nats128 - Jun 5, 2015 at 3:30 PM

    Cubs are batting Anthony Rizzo 2nd and Kris Bryant 3rd tonight. Joe Maddon doesnt seem to care about jd’s historical stats to bat your best player 4th.

  12. nats128 - Jun 5, 2015 at 3:38 PM

    jd may have a coronary. Bryce Harper batting 3 and Rendon batting 4th. Where’s Ryan Zimmerman: 2nd





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