Joe Ross moved to Nationals’ bullpen to finish out impressive rookie season

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Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com has the news:

Joe Ross won’t start another game for the Nationals this season, but he’ll still get opportunities to pitch out of the bullpen over the next four weeks while Tanner Roark takes his spot in the rotation.

Ross lasted just 4 1/3 innings Sunday against the Braves and 2 2/3 innings last Tuesday against the Cardinals. The 22-year-old is well above his previous career high in innings pitched and showing definite signs of fatigue, so the Nats pretty much have to lighten his workload despite their desperate position in the National League East.

And maybe Roark gives them a better shot at this point.

Ross registered a 3.79 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 68/20 K/BB ratio over his first 73 2/3 major league innings (13 starts) this season for Washington. He has a rotation spot locked up for 2016.

Cubs sign Drew Smyly to a two-year, $10 million contract

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday evening that the club signed pitcher Drew Smyly to a two-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the contract is for $10 million total and allows Smyly to earn another $7 million with performance bonuses. Smyly was non-tendered by the Mariners at the beginning of the month and became a free agent.

Smyly, 28, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in late June. He’s expected to miss, at minimum, the first half of the 2018 season. The Cubs are hoping he can contribute to a playoff push in the latter half of the season as well as in 2019.

Smyly didn’t pitch at all in 2017. When he was healthy the season prior, he made 30 starts for the Rays and put up a 4.88 ERA and a 167/49 K/BB ratio in 175 1/3 innings.