Padres Should Trade Tyson Ross


In 2014, Tyson Ross was the Padres most valuable pitcher. Unlike pitchers such as Andrew Cashner, Cory Leubke, and Josh Johnson, Ross pitched the entire year without a trip to the disabled list. He was a 2014 All-Star and won’t turn 28 until late April of next year.  The Padres are shopping pitchers in the hopes of upgrading the offense. If A.J. Preller has to trade a pitcher, Tyson Ross should be the one. 

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Earlier, it was argued that Ian Kennedy should be the one traded.  However!  I argue that it should be Ross because his mechanics will make him brittle.  Yes, Andrew Cashner had two DL stints in 2014 and an extended one in 2012, plus a Tommy John surgery while still with Chicago. Ross hasn’t been prone to injuries thus far, but he will be. Between Kennedy, Cashner, and Ross, it is the final of those who has the worst delivery with Cashner’s being the best.  It isn’t necessarily that Ross has a herky-jerky delivery, though that doesn’t help.  It’s all about where his arm travels and where it is when his front foot lands.

Ideally, a pitcher’s elbow will be pointed in the same direction as the target and at the same height as the shoulder. The ball should be perpendicular (or 90 degrees) to the elbow. Ross, and to a lesser extent Kennedy, have what is called the inverted “W” – where the pitchers arms form that shape.  (You can see a picture of this below). Throwing in this manner puts excess strain on a pitcher’s shoulder and elbow making them more prone to injury especially after age 28 or so. Breaking down due to the bad mechanics described above is what I like to call Mark Prior Syndrome. I fear Ross will become a victim relatively soon.

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Now compare the arm position to that of Andrew Cashner.

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It also doesn’t help the arm to land as shortly as Ross does. His short stride makes it at the very least seem like he doesn’t use his legs enough. That adds extra strain.

The pitcher out of UC-Berkeley posted almost 200 innings and 200 strikeouts, was 11th in the NL with a 2.81 ERA, and led Padre pitchers in WAR (2.3). His WAR would have been higher had it not been for the 14 unearned runs Ross allowed. Note that Ian Kennedy and Eric Stults combined for 13 unearned runs with almost twice as many combined innings. So, Ross’ WAR was hurt by poor defense. He is under team control through 2017, whereas Kennedy and Cashner are inked through 2015 and 2016 respectively. Ross is also the youngest. Does that not sound like a really valuable player in trade negotiations?

Preller should decide to trade Ross while he is at his peak value for the offensive weapon they so desperately need. I am really opposed to the Padre tradition of being a farm system for richer teams. However, trading Ross might give the Padres the bat they need in exchange for a player that will deteriorate faster than average. I like Tyson Ross. I’d love for him to stay with the Padres if feasible. But if the Padres are to trade one of their big three pitchers, Ross should be the guy. Imagine if a trade with Ross could bring back a player like, say, Yoenis Céspedes.