Tyson Ross spoke recently with Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune about the likelihood that he’ll be traded by the Padres at some point in the near future. Ross spoke like a pitcher who is anticipating that he’ll be traded, though he notes that his experience with the Padres in 2015 taught him that there are no certainties. That season, Ross was considered to be among the top trade assets in baseball, but the Padres held onto him — a decision GM A.J. Preller likely regrets, given that Ross was injured for the whole 2016 season and ultimately released. “I was one of the bigger names being thrown around as a trade piece,” Ross said of that 2015 campaign. “A.J. held on to me. He didn’t get his return on that. If he wants to make a move at some point, that’s the game. For him, it would be a great investment — buy low, sell high.”
MLBTR’s Jeff Todd recently took a look at Ross and another pair of Padres starters, Clayton Richard and Jordan Lyles, and explored their trade candidacy as the summer approaches. Ross, right now at least, looks like a rare thoracic outlet surgery success story; in 60 1/3 innings he’s notched a 3.13 ERA with 9.6 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 0.75 HR/9 and a 44.1 percent ground-ball rate.
A few more notes from the game’s Western divisions…
- MLB.com’s Thomas Harding addresses a number of Rockies-related issues in his latest Inbox column, writing that while fans are champing at the bit to see Brendan Rodgers in the Majors, it may very well that infield prospect Garrett Hampson beats the more highly-touted Rodgers to the big leagues. Rodgers is still just 21 and has yet to play in Triple-A, Harding notes, while Hampson was recently promoted to Triple-A, has experience hitting leadoff and has a strong history of on-base skills. With DJ LeMahieu on the shelf, that skill set holds some appeal to the organization. Harding also looks at what could be a challenging trade deadline for Jeff Bridich as he looks to improve an inconsistent offense, though he adds that he isn’t hearing any indication that the Rox are aggressively exploring the trade market just yet. Of course, in late May, that’s hardly an uncommon stance for any team.
- Adrian Beltre hasn’t made a decision about his future beyond the 2018 season, writes Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, though he’s open about the fact that he’s not looking to play for several years beyond 2018. Asked if he had any desire to play to age 45 like his countryman Bartolo Colon, Beltre joked, “My wife would divorce me.” For now, the Rangers third baseman is merely focused on getting healthy enough to return to the field, and Wilson notes that the current plan is for the 39-year-old to return to the lineup in about two weeks’ time. Whether Beltre will finish out the season in Texas remains to be seen as well, of course, as he’s already come up as a potential trade candidate should he return to the lineup in good health and avoid further trips to the DL.
- Mariners southpaw Marco Gonzales chatted with Corey Brock of The Athletic in an interesting Q&A about his return from Tommy John surgery, the process of reestablishing trust in his curveball and his use of data and analytics. The 26-year-old said he feels like this is “the best curveball I’ve had in my career,” explaining that because he’s largely recovered from TJ surgery, his grip strength is improved and he can throw from his natural arm slot. Gonzales, though, added that he doesn’t feel that he (or any other pitcher) can ever say he’s 100 percent recovered from such a major surgery. “It’s a constant job,” Gonzales said of managing his recovery. “And it’s something I take a lot of pride in, getting my arm ready each day. It’s 45 minutes worth of stuff each day to make sure I’m feeling good. Even on days when I don’t need to do it, I still do it because it helps me feel secure. I think that’s what the rehab process did: give me some pride and some conviction in how I go about my routine.” Gonzales has turned in a 4.05 ERA with 8.3 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 0.84 HR/9 and a 46 percent ground-ball rate in 53 1/3 innings this season, with FIP (3.22) and xFIP (3.20) looking even more favorably upon his work.