MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Nats to take closer look at Ross' velocity drop

Nats to take closer look at Ross' velocity drop

WASHIINGTON -- Following their 9-4 loss to the Reds on Saturday night, the Nationals were concerned after seeing Joe Ross' velocity decrease significantly.

Ross has a sinker that averages 93.5 mph, according to Brooks Baseball, which listed his sinker as averaging 91.8 and sitting in the high 80s during the fifth inning.

Manager Dusty Baker indicated that the team is going to investigate.

"We are looking into some things," Baker said. "We have been limiting his innings. We usually take him out during the sixth and seventh inning, even though he cried for some more [innings]. We are trying to limit his workload."

Ross insists his arm his fine, citing command problems. In his last two games, the Mets and Reds scored early and often against him.

"I was feeling good," Ross said. "I was maybe 94 [mph] or 95 the first few innings. It kind of dropped. I was missing a lot of spots. Max [Scherzer] was telling me, 'Just locate.' That what I was trying to focus on and get more ground balls. But I felt good. My stuff wasn't there, the command wasn't really there. It's a little frustrating, but I feel all right."

Saturday's start aside, Ross is having a productive season overall, going 7-4 with a 3.49 ERA in 95 1/3 innings.

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 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.