Dusty Baker is not one for negative thoughts, but he did acknowledge the fact that the Washington Nationals could be without Joe Ross for an extended period of time when he spoke about the 24-year-old right-hander’s elbow injury before the series opener Friday night in Cincinnati.
“I don’t want to speculate on things and don’t want to think the worst,” Baker told reporters, “so we’re preparing for it to be a longer situation.”
Ross, 24, was placed on the 10-Day DL with a right elbow sprain before the first of four with the Reds in Great American Ball Park.
Baker said Ross was getting an MRI after the righty’s last start of the first-half, and the Nationals are now waiting on the results of an MRI arthrogram.
“We’re giving him an MRI arthrogram,” GM Mike Rizzo explained when he too talked to the press at GABP.
“We’re going to have it read and we’ll take the next step and make a diagnosis and take it from there once we find out.”
“It’s being read and diagnosed now and we’ll come up with a plan after that,” Rizzo explained.
“We’ll see how serious it is and then we’ll take the appropriate steps after that.”
Ross, as quoted by MASN’s Pete Kerzel, said that he’s dealt with injuries before, but never to his elbow, so he’s not sure what to expect.
“I’m definitely concerned,” Ross said. “You never want to be hurt, in general. I’d like to be out there pitching, stay in the rotation. Whatever I can do to just try and get back. I guess it’s not really up to me, kind of see where we’re at...
... for it to be elbow-related is fairly new to me, which is weird for me, just trying to figure it out,” he said. “I’ve talked to a few other guys that have had similar-ish issues, cause it’s always been shoulder for me. I guess we’ll see what they say.”
Rizzo said that while Ross has dealt with, “normal elbow soreness... that most pitchers have... he’s never had elbow surgery.”
Ross said there was no one pitch where he felt a pop, but he thought that it built up and happened over his last few outings.
Whatever the final diagnosis is, the Nationals are likely to be without his services for a while, so, Rizzo was asked, does he need to go out and get a pitcher to take over in the rotation?
“I think we have some internal options that we’re going to try first that we’re comfortable with,” Rizzo said.
“Then we’ll evaluate it from there and see where we go.”