Note: This page is for major league pitcher Joe Ross who made his debut in 2015; for others with the same name click here
Joseph Andrew Ross
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 185 lb.
- High School Bishop O'Dowd High School
- Debut June 6, 2015
The brother of Tyson Ross, Joe Ross was drafted in the first round of the 2011 amateur draft. He had a UCLA commitment when the San Diego Padres took him with the 25th pick. He was timed at a high of 95 mph in high school and also threw a curveball and changeup.
Ross signed with the Padres and made his pro debut with the AZL Padres on August 28, 2011, pitching only one professional inning that year. It took him a while to put up interesting numbers however. He pitched for three teams in 2012, starting with the AZL Padres and then going on to the Eugene Emeralds and Fort Wayne TinCaps, with a combined record of 0-4, 4.28 in 15 starts. Back at Fort Wayne in 2013, he put up an ERA of 3.75 in 23 starts and 122 1/3 innings, but his record was only 5-8, and he had only 79 strikeouts, a low total for a top pitching prospect. That number improved significantly in 2014, as he struck out 106 in 121 2/3 innings, pitching at two higher levels: he first went 8-6, 3.98 in 19 starts for the Lake Elsinore Storm of the California League, then finished the year with a 2-0 mark in 4 games for the San Antonio Missions of the AA Texas League.
Now firmly back in the prospect ranks, Ross was traded to the Washington Nationals along with another top draft pick, Trea Turner, as part of a three-team deal involving 11 players in all which allowed San Diego to obtain OF Wil Myers and C Ryan Hanigan from the Tampa Bay Rays. He was sent to the AA Harrisburg Senators to open the 2015 season and was 2-2, 2.81 in 9 starts when he was called up to Washington. He made his major league debut on June 6th, starting against the Chicago Cubs with Stephen Strasburg and Doug Fister both on the disabled list. He gave up 3 runs on 6 hits in 5 innings to be charged with a 4-2 loss. He recorded his first win on June 13th, 7-2 over the Milwaukee Brewers, then on June 19th had another very solid outing as he stopped an eight-game winning streak by the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 4-1 win in which he struck out 11 in 7 1/3 innings. He went 5-5, 3.64 in 16 games, including 13 starts, logging 76 2/3 innings.
In 2016, Ross made 19 starts for the Nationals, pitching 105 innings and finished with a record of 7-5, 3.43 as a solid fifth starter for the first-place team. He also made 5 starts in the minor leagues, going 0-2, 3.38 but he was not used in the postseason. In 2017, he began the year in AAA with the Syracuse Chiefs, then bounced up and down between the majors and AAA. For Syracuse, he went 2-2, 4.88 in 5 starts, and for Washington he was 5-3, 5.01 in 13 starts. His season ended abruptly at the All-Star break, however, as he was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his elbow and had to undergo Tommy John surgery. He came back late in 2018 to go 0-2, 5.06 in 3 starts. He then split 2019 between the Nationals and their new AAA affiliate the Fresno Grizzlies, going 2-3, 4.28 in 8 AAA starts, and 4-4, 5.48 in 27 games (9 starts) for Washington. He pitched 64 innings in the majors. He was not used in the first three rounds of the postseason, but that changed in the World Series when he was used in long relief in Game 3, pitching a couple of scoreless innings in a 4-1 loss to the Houston Astros. He was then the surprise starter in Game 5 on October 27th, when scheduled starter Max Scherzer was pushed back by a day over health concerns. He gave up 4 runs in 5 innings and was charged with a 7-1 loss that put Houston within one game of winning the series, but the Nats came back to win the final two games on the road to win their first-ever championship.