Nationals demote Joe Ross to Triple-A

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The Nationals have demoted starter Joe Ross to Triple-A Syracuse, MASN’s Mark Zuckerman reports. A.J. Cole has been recalled to take the open roster spot, but will need to serve the final three days of a five-day suspension garnered at the end of last season when he threw at Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang.

Ross, 23, struggled in three starts, surrendering 13 runs on 20 hits and four walks with 14 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings. Zuckerman says that if Jacob Turner isn’t needed out of the bullpen between now and Saturday, Turner will start on the road on Saturday against the Phillies.

Manager Dusty Baker said that “Joe wasn’t Joe. That was it in a nutshell,” per Zuckerman. Baker stressed to Ross that the team will need him this season.