Ross, 26, retired all six batters he faced on 23 pitches last week, when he went up against a New York Yankees’ lineup that featured a number of regulars.
“I loved everything about him,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, after the game, which was shortened by rain.
“He was under control. He threw first-pitch strikes. He threw the ball in when he wanted to. He got the ball elevated when he wanted to. He was really good.”
Ross is in camp competing for the fifth spot in the Nationals’ rotation, with Austin Voth and Erick Fedde the other two pitchers in West Palm Beach considered to be legit contenders, and Fedde the only one of the three with an option remaining.
This afternoon in the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, Ross is set to take on the Fish in his second outing.
Is this the year, his second full season back following Tommy John surgery, that Ross puts it all together, stays healthy, and locks down a spot at the back end of what is expected to be one of, if not the best rotations in the majors?
“This Spring for me was the Spring where I thought he’ll be back to the Joe Ross that we saw early in his career,” his manager said after watching some early bullpen sessions, “and so far he looks like that guy.”
Will Ross build on his solid first outing and continue to stake his claim on the fifth spot in the Nationals’ rotation? Today’s game starts at 1:05 PM EST.