WASHINGTON — This season just keeps getting harder for Nationals fans.
Pitcher Joe Ross has torn the UCL in his right elbow and will have Tommy John surgery.
It’s a devastating blow to Ross, of course, as well as the Nationals, who have now lost Ross, Adam Eaton, Trea Turner and Jayson Werth to significant injuries this season. Ross will obviously miss the rest of the season, and it’s unclear if he’ll be back in action for Washington next year.
Just 24 years old, Ross was 5-3 with a 5.01 ERA this season, the worst ERA of his three-year career. He’d struck out 68 batters while walking just 20 in 73.2 innings, and his 1.466 WHIP was also a career-worst. However, he’d been getting back into a groove recently, and he had a 3.00 ERA and 1.367 WHIP.
Ross was pulled from his previous start, on Sunday, after just 3.1 innings with triceps soreness, and his fastball was noticeably down in velocity. In his previous outing, on the Fourth of July, Ross pitched a career-high 114 pitches over seven innings, the fourth time in five starts that he’d topped 100 pitches.
As for who will take his spot in the rotation, Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post says it could come down to Jacob Turner or Edwin Jackson for the initial turn.
A.J. Cole and Erick Fedde are options, as well, but they won’t be available for Tuesday’s game.