The St. Louis Cardinals have announced they have claimed right-handed pitcher Tyson Ross off trade waivers from San Diego. Ross is 6-9 with a 4.45 ERA (123.1 IP) and 107 strikeouts in 22 starts for the Padres this season.
For those looking at the glass half-full, Tyson Ross is a former National League All-Star who offers depth for either the rotation or bullpen.
For those who look at the glass half-empty, Ross’ recent numbers indicate why the San Diego Padres placed him on the waiver wire to be claimed by St. Louis.
So who’s right?
There’s no question the numbers have not been trending in a positive direction for Ross.
After opening the season by holding opponents to a .216 (53-245) average through May, that average has consistently risen to .234 (25-107) in June, .298 (28-94) in July, and .300 (6-2) in August.
Likewise, his strikeouts have dropped off from 68 in those first two months to only 15 in July.
And according to QOP Baseball, Ross only ranks in the top 19% overall on their MLB Quality of Pitch Average (QOPA). But he rates in the top 4% on his four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, slider, and cutter.
If the “stuff” is there, but the command or execution is not, then Ross may qualify as the perfect candidate to work with Mike Maddux. Having the likes of Yadier Molina behind the plate also shouldn’t hurt.
In addition, the Cardinals have some young arms they are counting on for the rest of the season. After the trade deadline, John Mozeliak expressed confidence the team had enough “coverage” to finish the season. But if not, Ross finished with a little under 200 IP in both 2014 and 2015, so he provides some innings insurance if he needed to step into the rotation or out of the bullpen.
So to pick up a pitcher that is only signed through this season at $1.75 million, pay the pro-rated amount, and add some veteran experience to the team is a sound, low-risk/high-reward scenario for St. Louis.
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