What started off as a triceps strain has apparently morphed into something much more serious for Nationals’ right-hander Joe Ross, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Friday with a right elbow sprain. Ross underwent an MRI arthrogram, but the team is still awaiting the full results before making any kind of projection for his return. He was removed from his last start before the All-Star break, lasting just 3 1/3 innings against the Braves before triceps soreness forced him off the mound.
Comments from both Ross and club manager Dusty Baker suggest that this is uncharted territory for the 24-year-old righty. He served a stint on the 60-day disabled list in 2016 with inflammation in his right shoulder, but hasn’t fallen prey to any other serious injuries to date. Despite his relative good health over the first half of the season, Ross maintained a career-worst 5.01 ERA in 73 2/3 innings, paired with a 2.4 BB/9, 8.3 SO/9 and a 5-3 record in 13 starts.
Naturally, there’s some concern that lingering elbow trouble could spell the end of the season for Ross, who told reporters that he plans on seeking a second opinion before making any decisions. A long-term replacement for Ross has not been announced yet, but the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes and Jorge Castillo report that right-hander Jacob Turner could get the nod in his place against the Angels on Tuesday.
The Angels have placed Andrew Heaney on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, the club announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 17, though it’s not yet certain that he’ll be cleared to pitch again by the end of the month.
It’s an unfortunate development for the 28-year-old southpaw, who has battled inflammation in his pitching elbow on and off since spring training. In fact, his arm issues date back several years, including the shoulder impingement that put him on the shelf in 2017 and the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2016. With such a complicated medical history, it makes sense that the Angels would want to proceed with caution as they facilitate the lefty’s eventual return to the mound.
Given his ongoing struggles, Heaney has seen mixed results with the club in 2019. Prior to his recent IL assignment, he pitched to a 1-3 record in nine starts with a 5.09 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.6 SO/9 through 46 innings. Since the end of June, however, his starts have gotten shorter and shorter; he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his final outing against the Astros, expending a tremendous 103 pitches and issuing two runs, two walks, and five strikeouts during the team’s eventual 7-2 win.
In a corresponding roster move, the Angels claimed lefty reliever Adalberto Mejía off of waivers from the Twins. Mejía, 26, is expected to be activated ahead of Saturday’s game versus the Mariners. Over 13 appearances with Minnesota, he turned in an 8.80 ERA, 7.0 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 in 15 1/3 innings.