Ross Roughed Up In Padres Loss

San Diego's Opening Day starter is off to a rough Cactus League start

The Padres lost to the Rangers 12-11 on Friday night in Cactus League play. Texas got a walkoff home run from Bobby Wilson, who hit a 2-run shot off Padres reliever Blake Smith. None of that is of too much concern.

What is a bit disconcerting, however, is the way Tyson Ross threw.

Ross started the game and went 5.2 innings, allowing six runs (four earned) and striking out seven. What’s out of character is Ross gave up three home runs in the game. In May, June, July and August of last season, a span of 23 starts, Ross only gave up two home runs total.

So far this Spring Ross has thrown 11.0 innings and has an earned run average of an even 9.00. That is not the kind of stat line you’re hoping to see from your Opening Day starter after four starts against the Cactus League.

Ross has never started the first game of the season but he certainly has the makeup of a top-of-the-rotation arm. Plus there’s always the possibility he’s simply tinkering with things, working on fastball location or throwing a certain percentage of changeups regardless of count. In fact, a lot of starters do that in Spring Training.

Ross is not the only Opening Day starter who has sub-par numbers this year. How about this list of aces:

Madison Bumgarner (SF): 11.1 IP, 11.12 ERA
Cole Hamels (TEX): 4.1 IP, 10.38 ERA
Jake Arrieta (CHC – reigning NL Cy Young Award Winner): 6.1 IP, 8.53 ERA
Jose Fernandez (MIA): 10.2 IP, 5.06 ERA

All of those guys are a heck of a lot better than what they’re showing so far. In fact, Hamels started Friday night’s game against his home town team and allowed four runs in 3.0 innings, two of those runs coming on a Derek Norris home run.

So it’s not time to panic about Ross yet. If this keeps up, however, there may be cause for a bit of concern.

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