WASHINGTON -- A day after the Nationals announced that Joe Ross would stay in the rotation for the rest of the season, teammate Max Scherzer gave his take on the right-hander.
Scherzer said on Friday that Ross doesn't pitch like a rookie. In each of his seven starts, Ross has allowed three or fewer runs, tying left-hander Micah Bowie for the second-longest streak in Nationals history. The record is nine straight, held by Mike O'Connor and Stephen Strasburg.
"You see progress in what he has been able to do," Scherzer said. "You could see the command of the off-speed pitches. That's what vital to have success [in the big leagues]. The fact that he is learning to pitch backward and understanding different things, it shows how far along his development is. He doesn't strike me as a rookie. He strikes me as somebody who has pitched a couple of years in the big leagues. That's so encouraging from within seven starts."
Ross lockers next to Scherzer when the Nationals are at home.
"I've given him advice on little things," Scherzer said. "I tell him, 'These are the type of things you pay attention to. These are the things you probably haven't experienced so far in your career that you are going to experience in the big leagues.' It's nothing major.
"You still are going to pitch to your fastball. Nothing changes. The little things change. You have to be aware of them. It's something he can grasp on to because he has the ability to learn on the fly. I think that's what makes him able to be in our rotation."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com 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.