Jun 19, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Joe Ross (41) throws to the Pitsburgh Pirates during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Best Call-Up: Joe Ross
Joe Ross was called up from double-A Harrisburg back on June 5 when both Doug Fister and Stephen Strasburg were on the disabled list. The 22-year-old rookie made three starts and went 2-1 with a 2.66 ERA. He had 23 strike outs, only two walks, and a 1.03 WHIP in 20.1 innings of work.
He faced three good teams over that stretch, pitching against the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Pittsburgh Pirates in that order, with his only loss coming to the Cubs on June 6. After his start June 19th against the Pirates in which he gave up one run on six hits and struck out 11 in 7.1 innings, he was sent back down to triple-A Syracuse to continue his development as a starter.
Ross has pitched great between Harrisburg and Syracuse in 2015. He has gone 4-3 with a 2.79 ERA, has 66 strike outs to 19 walks and a 1.09 WHIP.
The Nationals found a gem in Ross when they acquired him via a trade with the San Diego Padres this past winter. Ross has the potential to be a solid number three starter in the future. When there is a spot available for him should someone get hurt, the Nats know they can count on Ross to not be afraid of the moment and to continue to pound the strike zone.
Honorable Mention: Felipe Rivero
The Nationals have had success bringing up young relievers this season, but their biggest success to date has been Rivero. The relief pitcher is 1-0 with a 2.40 ERA, 17 strike outs, two walks, and a 0.93 WHIP in 15 innings. His best game to date was against the Atlanta Braves on July 1, where he threw two scoreless innings and recorded two strike outs.
The 24-year-old lefty is pitching so well that I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take over the setup man role for the Nationals in the not so distant future. Again, the Nationals to not many people’s surprise, have found another pitching gem in their farm system. As long as he can consistently continue to attack hitters, he will work his way into a prominent role in the Nationals bullpen in the near future.