Tyson Ross began the season with back-to-back Quality Starts, but he’s gone just 1-6 with a 7.34 ERA since then and yesterday’s ugly outing versus the last-place Twins was apparently the final straw, as the A’s demoted the 25-year-old right-hander to Triple-A.
No corresponding roster move has been announced yet, but Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon McCarthy are both on the verge of returning from the disabled list and McCarthy figures to fill the empty rotation spot.
Ross has good raw stuff with a 92-mph fastball and sharp slider, but the 2008 second-round pick has yet to figure out big-league hitters. Since debuting in 2010 he’s made 17 starts and 27 relief appearances, throwing 122 total innings with a 4.86 ERA and 79/54 K/BB ratio. He’ll be back in Oakland soon enough, but Ross might be destined for the bullpen long term.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network and FOX Sports reports that the Mariners have acquired starter Chris Heston from the Giants. The Giants will receive a player to be named later, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Heston, 28, logged only five innings in the majors this past season as he battled an oblique injury and otherwise spent most of his time with Triple-A Sacramento. Heston was solid out of the Giants’ rotation in 2015, posting a 3.95 ERA with a 141/64 K/BB ratio in 177 2/3 innings over 31 starts.
Heston will be under team control through 2021. He’ll provide depth for the Mariners’ rotation in the meantime.
Joe Nathan‘s agent, David Pepe, says his client wants to pitch in 2017, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. “He’s like the Energizer Bunny,” Pepe said.
Nathan, 42, came back from Tommy John surgery in July, pitching two scoreless innings for the Cubs with four strikeouts and two walks. The Cubs released him and the Giants picked him up, and Nathan went on to pitch 4 1/3 scoreless innings down the stretch with five strikeouts and two walks.
According to FanGraphs, Nathan’s velocity wasn’t where it used to be, which is to be expected of a pitcher in his 40’s coming back from major elbow surgery. Still, with teams always on the hunt for bullpen depth, it would be shocking if Nathan didn’t get any bites before spring training starts.