Bill Ladson

Ross eager for chance to compete for spot with Nats

Ross eager for chance to compete for spot with Nats

WASHINGTON -- Last week, right-hander Joe Ross was hanging out with his roommate, Nationals outfielder Jeff Kobernus, when he received word that he had been traded. He thought the Padres had sent him to the Rays before learning that he was part of the three-team, 11-player deal that brought him and shortstop Trea Turner to Washington. Ross joins an organization that has a plethora of pitching in the Major Leagues and the farm system, and he can't wait for his chance to compete.

"I wasn't sure if I was going to the Nationals or somewhere else. I had to wait it out," Ross said via telephone. "But I'm excited. It's obviously good news. It's obviously a good organization. It's kind of like a fresh start."

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By getting Ross, the Nationals added to their pitching depth. The younger brother of Padres right-hander Tyson Ross, Joe is a lanky hurler who has a fastball that is clocked in the low to mid-90s, and he induces a lot of ground-ball outs. He went a combined 10-6 with a 3.92 ERA for Class A Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio last season and could be in the middle of the Nationals' rotation in a couple of years.

Ross hopes to start the 2015 season at Double-A Harrisburg.

"I don't know. They may have other plans in mind. I'll just show up to Spring Training, do what I can and see where they will put me," he said. "I'm looking forward to this year with the trade and all. I'm itching to throw on the mound and get back to work."

Ross had dreams of playing with his brother, who was an All-Star with the Padres last season, and admits to being disappointed that it won't happen.

"I was hoping soon we would play together," said Joe, 21, who is six years younger than Tyson. "It's all business. Hopefully, I get to pitch against him. Maybe we will be on the same team somewhere. It's a bummer to think about. I'm sure I'll see him later down the road."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.