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Nationals reportedly calling Joe Ross up to start vs Cubs on Saturday

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According to reports this morning the Washington Nationals are expected to call 22-year-old right-hander Joe Ross up from Double-A Harrisburg to start against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday afternoon. Ross was acquired from the Padres this winter.

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On Saturday, June 13th, 22-year-old, Padres' prospect Trea Turner, who currently has a .328/.395/.490 line with 12 doubles, two triples and five home runs in 50 games and 216 plate appearances at Double-A San Antonio in San Diego's system, is expected to become the Washington Nationals' Player to be Named Later in this winter's three-team trade with the Padres, Nats and Rays that sent outfielder Steven Souza and Travis Ott to Tampa Bay.

Along with Turner, a 2014 1st Round pick who couldn't be officially included in the deal until a year after he signed with the Padres, the Nationals acquired 22-year-old 2011 1st Round pick Joe Ross.

Ranked 10th overall in the Padres' system before the 2014 campaign by Baseball America, Ross was (8-6) in 19 starts with San Diego's High-A affiliate last season posting a 3.98 ERA, 3.83 FIP, 28 walks (2.48 BB/9) and 87 Ks (7.70 K/9) in 101 ⅔ IP, and he was (2-0) in four games and three starts, at Double-A, putting up a 3.60 ERA and a 2.67 FIP with one walk (0.45 BB/9) and 19 Ks (8.55 K/9) in 20 IP.

"You've got a big, physical, 21-year-old pitcher who's pitched in Double-A successfully and that can really command three pitches, and that we think is going to be a good performer for us in the near future,'" Nats' GM Mike Rizzo told reporters including MASN's Pete Kerzel after the trade.

Ross started the 2015 campaign at Double-A Harrisburg in the Nationals' system.

Through nine starts this season, the right-hander is (2-2) with a 2.81 ERA, a 2.83 FIP, 12 walks (2.10 BB/9) and 54 Ks (9.47 K/9) in 51 ⅓ IP.

According to two reports on Twitter this morning, the Nationals will call Ross up to start in Stephen Strasburg's spot in the rotation on Saturday in D.C.:

In his article on the reports, MASN's Byron Kerr quotes an "industry source" who confirmed the original tweet by @NorCalBaseball.

No official word from the Nationals thus far. A.J. Cole was called up yesterday, and though he seemed a likely option for Saturday's game against Chicago, Nats' skipper Matt Williams told reporters before the series opener with the Cubs that they hadn't yet decided on a starter for the third game of the four-game set.

"'(Saturday’s starter) hasn’t been determined,'" Williams said, as quoted by the Washington Post's James Wagner.

"'But given the fact that we had to push [Taylor] Hill last night and [Taylor] Jordan pitched so much that we do need a longer guy in the bullpen. We made that move today, and sent Taylor back and got A.J. here to be the long guy for the next couple of days. We’ll make a decision as we get closer.'"

More info when/if the Nationals confirm the news...