As June rolls on into July, fan bases far and wide are whipped up into a frenzy to vote for their team’s marquee players to be starters in the 2014 MLB All-Star game. Meanwhile, in San Diego, fans are left to debate who will get their likely one and only nod to the National League roster.
This year, as the books close on a supremely disgusting month at the plate for the Padres’ line-up, the only All-Star-worthy performances have come from the stable of arms. With respect to relievers Dale Thayer, Joaquin Benoit, Alex Torres, and closer Huston Street, who all have been as lights out as any ‘pen in baseball, starter Tyson Ross is looking to claim his first spot on an All-Star roster.
Ross, with Andrew Cashner on the DL yet again, is the lone healthy starter that could make a case to headed to Minnesota. His 3.18 ERA puts him in the top 20 in the league in earned run average, while he is top ten in innings pitched (107.2), the top 15 in opponents average(.238), and is one of the 10 pitchers with 100 strike outs already this season.
Also going in his favor, starters will tend to get more of a nod than relievers may when it comes to the Mid-Summer Classic. Certainly more than middle relievers, which will put Ross ahead of his fellow arms in San Diego in the minds of Mike Matheny, as he fills out his pitching staff for the July 15th game.
It would be the first All-Star selection for Ross should it come to fruition. As MLB.com’s Corey Brock points out, Ross has put together a long string of success going back to last year, that has not been reflected in the win-loss column. With just nine wins in the last two seasons, Ross has posted a 3.12 ERA over 33 starts. For even more proof of sustained success, since July 23, 2013, Ross has engineered 15 starts of at least seven innings.
As the Padres send at least one player to the North Star State to be their representative in front of all of baseball, sending Ross and his numbers to the game would be a great way to keep the conversation away from just how putrid an offense he has backing him, and his fellow pitching mates in San Diego.