Joe Ross
Joe Ross
27-Year-Old PitcherRP
Washington Nationals
Out
Injury Opt Out
Est. Return 2/1/2021
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Ross tossed 16 post-Tommy John surgery frames to end 2018, so he headed into last offseason on a normal routine, with a chance to break camp in the Nationals' rotation. Despite working 10.2 innings in the spring, registering a 2.53 ERA with 10 strikeouts and three walks, he began the season with Triple-A Fresno as a reliever. It didn't take long before he was summoned to pitch out of the bullpen. The transition did not go well. In late May, he was sent back to Fresno after recording a 9.22 ERA and 1.83 WHIP. Ross was stretched out and when he returned, he was used as a starter and primary pitcher. His 3.83 ERA appeared impressive, but the 1.54 WHIP and 24 walks in 49.1 innings were more telling. Ross' velocity matched pre-surgery, but he never regained control. Despite the sketchy underlying metrics, Ross should get another chance to start. He's worth a flier provided his spring control shows improvement. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#582
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$Signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Nationals in January of 2020.
Plans to sit out 2020 season
PWashington Nationals
Personal
June 29, 2020
Ross is expected to opt out of joining the Nationals for the 2020 season, sources tell Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic.
ANALYSIS
Ross is the second known player who is expected to forgo playing in 2020 due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic after Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake announced his intentions earlier Monday. As a result, Ross will forgo his $1.5 million salary for 2020 before heading into his final year of salary arbitration in 2021. Ross had been a leading candidate for the fifth spot in the Nationals' rotation, but his decision to sit out the season could lead to more starting opportunities for Austin Voth and Erick Fedde.
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Pitching Stats
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2020
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2017
2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2018
 
 
-6%
BAA vs RHP
2020
No Stats
2019
 
 
-13%
BAA vs RHP
2018
 
 
-22%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2018vs Left .298 182 31 25 45 9 0 5
Since 2018vs Right .279 181 33 12 46 17 0 5
2020vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Left .314 144 27 22 37 7 0 4
2019vs Right .272 151 30 11 37 12 0 3
2018vs Left .242 38 4 3 8 2 0 1
2018vs Right .310 30 3 1 9 5 0 2
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2018
 
 
-40%
ERA on Road
2020
No Stats
2019
 
 
-54%
ERA on Road
2018
 
 
-43%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2018Home 6.70 1.85 41.2 2 4 0 6.9 4.3 1.1
Since 2018Away 3.99 1.33 38.1 2 2 0 7.5 4.0 1.2
2020Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Home 7.63 2.02 30.2 2 3 0 8.5 5.0 1.5
2019Away 3.51 1.35 33.1 2 1 0 7.6 4.3 0.5
2018Home 4.09 1.36 11.0 0 1 0 2.5 2.5 0.0
2018Away 7.20 1.20 5.0 0 1 0 7.2 1.8 5.4
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Joe Ross
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7 days ago
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14 days ago
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2012
Ross pitched a handful of forgettable innings as he continued his recovery from Tommy John surgery. He will be 18 months removed from his surgery when pitchers and catchers report to camp this spring, and there is still some recovery work ahead of him. The common problem with pitchers returning from Tommy John surgery is how we define success in that return. The pitcher can get their velocity back within 12-to-15 months of the surgery, and that has happened for Ross. The larger issue is regaining command of their arsenal. Without it, the results are often pretty poor. We saw that last year with Ross when he did pitch, and we'll likely see more of it this season as well. In a standard redraft league, you can cross him off your draft prep list. In NL-only leagues, keeper leagues and deep draft-and-holds, sure, you can take an endgame flier.
The Nationals surprisingly sent Ross to Triple-A at the end of spring training, instead opting to use Jeremy Guthrie as their fifth starter to open the season. Guthrie's stint with the Nats lasted less than one inning, and Ross was ultimately called up in mid-April the next time the team needed a fifth starter. After winning his 2017 debut, Ross scuffled in consecutive outings and was sent back to Syracuse. Once he returned in May, he tossed a gem in his first start back, but he struggled to find consistency with his sinker and slider. Ross had a six-start stretch that included a 2.95 ERA from early June through July 4th, but his velocity dropped and it was revealed that he had a torn UCL, which required Tommy John surgery in July. A return in 2018 is possible, though it's unlikely to happen before August, if it happens at all.
Ross followed in his brother Tyson's footsteps straight to the DL in 2016, as shoulder issues cost him 10 weeks over the summer, but his overall numbers were similar to his rookie performance. His BABIP spiked and took his WHIP with it, but his K/9, BB/9 and HR/9 rates were all right in line with 2015. Left-handers still punished him to the tune of a .356 wOBA, as he has yet to find an offspeed pitch that can give them trouble. The biggest concern with Ross remains his long-term health, considering Tyson's career arc and the similarities in their builds and mechanics on the mound. The Nationals are counting on a healthy Ross to shore up the middle of their rotation. His 93-mph fastball, excellent slider and work-in-progress changeup should be up to the task. The long-term health risks are certainly legitimate, but in single-season leagues, the younger Ross deserves another look at a clearance price.
Tyson’s younger brother seemed to have learned a lot from big brother (six years difference) and looked a lot like him on the mound physically, in mechanics and pitch arsenal. Joe’s biggest difference is a positive: his walk rate. Tyson has never had fewer than 3.3 BB/9 in a season which kept in line with his minor league record. Joe had a 2.6 BB/9 as a minor leaguer and then a 2.5 with Washington. There’s work to be done, though. The changeup was a nightmare and led to a 348-point platoon split in favor of lefties. Big bro’s response to a similar issue has been “what’s a changeup?” as his use of one has essentially vanished. Joe doesn’t need to do the same just yet as his change has shown flashes of being at least average. He’ll need to improve vs. lefties because he’s unlikely to stay otherworldly vs. righties (2nd-best OPS vs. RHB from his callup; between Kershaw and Greinke). His 2015 ERA over a full season would still be good at 23 years old.
Ross was trending toward joining his older brother Tyson in the San Diego rotation as early as 2015 before he was traded to Washington in the offseason. Reaching Double-A for the first time as a 21-year-old last season, the younger Ross impressed with a 19:1 K:BB over 20 innings with San Antonio. The success down the stretch followed improvement in his numbers with the move from the Midwest League to the California League to begin 2014. In addition to missing bats at a steady clip, Ross has continued to induce a lot of contact outs on the ground, posting a combined 1.59 GO/AO in 2014. With a three-pitch arsenal that includes a 91-92 mph two-seam fastball (he can touch 96 mph with his four-seamer), above-average slider and improving changeup, Ross may become a very good mid-rotation starter in short order.
The Padres used their 2011 first-round draft pick (25th overall) on Ross, a right-handed pitcher out of Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland. His fastball has been clocked as high as 95 mph and he also throws a power curve and a nice change-up.
More Fantasy News
Still in hunt for rotation spot
PWashington Nationals
March 26, 2020
Ross remains in the mix to win the No. 5 starter role when the regular season finally begins.
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Trouble finding plate Saturday
PWashington Nationals
March 8, 2020
Ross gave up two runs on three hits and three walks over 2.1 innings while striking out one in Saturday's split-squad game against the Marlins.
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Leader in battle for No. 5 spot
PWashington Nationals
March 3, 2020
Ross has had a strong start to spring training, posting a 0.00 ERA and allowing only two baserunners in five innings over his first two outings.
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Spring debut delayed
PWashington Nationals
February 23, 2020
Ross had his first game action of the spring rained out Saturday, Jessica Camerato of MLB.com reports.
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Gets $1.5 million from Nationals
PWashington Nationals
January 10, 2020
Ross agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Nationals on Friday, avoiding arbitration, freelance baseball writer Robert Murray reports.
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