Before the second of four with the Atlanta Braves in SunTrust Park, Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters that Joe Ross was being scratched from today’s planned outing after he experienced pain in his forearm while throwing as he prepared for the start.
Ross, 26, underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017, but returned to the mound last season, and he’s in his first full year back this summer.
Ross gave up three runs total in five starts and 25 2⁄3 innings pitched (1.05 ERA) in the month of August, walking 13, and striking out 16, while holding hitters to a .200/.301/.267 line after he’d transitioned back to the rotation following a stint in the bullpen at the beginning of the 2019 campaign.
His first start of September, however, did not go well.
Ross gave up eight hits, three walks, and seven earned runs in 3 2⁄3 IP last week in D.C. in what ended up a 7-3 loss to the New York Mets.
“His command was a little off today,” Davey Martinez told reporters when asked about Ross’s outing after the game. “Left a lot of balls up in the zone, and he got hit.
“He got ahead of hitters, and then would work the count to 2-2 again. And then I said when you’re ahead, you’ve got to stay ahead and try to get outs quick. He didn’t do that today.”
Then the forearm was an issue when he threw between starts.
“Joe threw a bullpen the other day and complained about his forearm,” Martinez said Friday, as quoted by MASN’s Byron Kerr.
“So he’s got a little bit of a forearm strain and because of his history we want to make sure that we take care of it.
“I told him, ‘Hey, we are not going to push it. We will treat it and get you right and see what happens.’“
With Ross unavailable, the Nationals decided to turn to Austin Voth in the third of four with the Braves.
Voth, 27, made his first start of the season in the majors against the Braves on June 23rd in the nation’s capital, holding Atlanta’s hitters to two runs on four hits in a six-inning outing, which saw him throwing with increased velocity after a long break between starts.
In his last appearance for the Nationals, the right-hander came out of the bullpen with 2 1⁄3 scoreless.
“He pitched well (against them previously),” Martinez said, as quoted on MASN. “He worked really hard to come back and he threw the ball well the other day as well.”