Washington Nationals: Joe Ross optioned to AAA

Washington Nationals starter Joe Ross has been sent to the minor leagues after three mediocre starts. Even though the 23-year-old struggled, was it the right move to demote him?

After just three starts this season, 23-year-old Joe Ross has been demoted by the Washington Nationals, according to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post.

The move shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise to those who have followed the right-hander’s progress this year. Through 15.7 innings, Ross allowed 13 runs, good enough for a 7.43 ERA. In addition to the high ERA, Ross’s WHIP sits at 1.532.

Stepping in for Ross will be Jacob Turner. The journeyman 26-year-old holds a 5.14 ERA this season with four earned runs through seven innings.

Even with Ross’s struggles, does it really make sense to plug Turner, someone with far from a proven track record, into the rotation?

It’s safe to say Ross has already showed far more promise than Turner ever did as a 23-year-old. Despite giving up a lot of runs, Ross managed to strike out 14 throughout his three starts.

Turner, on the other hand, has a .284 average against. Not exactly what you want from a pitcher about to step into the rotation.

Ross has had a problem with the long ball, with five given up so far this year. But after crafting a 3.83 ERA through seven years in the minors, he has little left to prove. He only allowed one home run per nine innings in that time, too.

At this point, it makes more sense for Ross to stay in the rotation and go through the growing pains of being a young pitcher in the major leagues. The most surprising thing is that he was demoted after just three starts. Normally, pitchers have a much longer leash.

For the Nationals, though, they are gunning for the World Series. It seems as though they are trying to see who can fill out the last spot in the rotation and give them consistency.

This all makes sense, but it would have been far more beneficial for Ross to get another shot in the rotation before being sent down.

Either way, expect Ross to return to the majors at some point soon.

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