Tyson Ross pushing for Padres roster spot

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Tyson Ross has thrown 11.1 consecutive scoreless innings in the Cactus League, pushing his overall spring ERA down to 2.76. His early success is pushing his stock higher and higher, which may eventually result in his winning the #5 spot in the starting rotation. At the very least, he may warrant a spot in the bullpen.

Via Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, manager Bud Black is impressed:

“I like the way he’s pitching the last couple starts,” Black said. “He’s doing his part to forge his way onto our roster, whether it’s in the bullpen or it’s in the rotation.”

Coming over from the Oakland Athletics in a November trade, Ross has a career 5.33 ERA in 148.2 innings. Despite the scoreless streak, Ross has allowed eight walks in 16.1 spring innings, which may be one cause for concern.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.