The move was already listed on MLB.com’s transaction page and the Nationals’ official site, but the Washington Nationals made it official this afternoon: Joe Ross has been optioned to Triple-A Syracuse and the Nationals have recalled right-hander A.J. Cole to take Ross’s spot on the major league roster.
Cole, 25, started the season with the Nats’ top minor league affiliate, going (1-1) with a 6.63 ERA, 4.71 FIP, 10 walks (4.74 BB/9), 14 Ks (6.63 K/9) and a .329 BAA in four outings and 19 innings pitched for the Chiefs.
Cole, a 2010 Nationals’ 4th Round pick, made eight starts for the Nationals last season, putting up a 5.17 ERA, 4.74 FIP, 14 walks (3.29 BB/9), 39 Ks (9.16 K/9) and a .243 BAA in 38 1⁄3 innings pitched in his second season in the majors.
Ross, 23, has given up 20 hits (5 HRs) and 13 runs total, all earned, over three starts and 15 2⁄3 innings, over which he has a 7.47 ERA, a 6.13 FIP and a .303 BAA against.
Dusty Baker talked recently about needing to get Ross right since he’s expected to be a fixture in the Nationals’ rotation going forward.
Last week in Colorado, Baker talked about the decision to keep Jacob Turner around as being at least in part as insurance until the Nationals got Ross straightened out.
“We’ve got to get Joe together,” Baker said, “so [Turner] gives us an extra arm.
“We know he can give us multiple innings. He throws strikes. We need to know the resiliency of his arm.
“And we feel his arm is probably more resilient than Joe Ross’s has been, so that’s the plan right now.”
Washington Post beat writer Chelsea Janes, citing a source familiar with the Nats’ plans, wrote on Twitter that Turner will fill in at the back end of the rotation.
As reported earlier, Nats' initial plan is to have Turner serve as fifth starter, according to person familiar. Cole can provide length tho.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) May 2, 2017
He’ll be placed on the suspended list now that he’s called up, after he served two games at the end of the 2016 campaign.