Tyson Ross to DL; Padres Name Replacement Starter

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Apr 4, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley (36) talks to starting pitcher Tyson Ross (R) during the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 4, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley (36) talks to starting pitcher Tyson Ross (R) during the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /
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The San Diego Padres placed opening day pitcher Tyson Ross on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with inflammation in his right (throwing) shoulder. Early reports indicate the team is hopeful that Ross’s stay on the list will last the minimum amount of time.

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Ross felt a twinge in his shoulder during his first bullpen session following his season-opening start, according to a tweet from Dennis Lin.

Ross last pitched on April 4, and the move is retroactive to April 5.  He will be eligible to return on April 20.

Ross didn’t pitch well in his one game this year, as the starter in the team’s 15-0 loss to the Dodgers. Ross allowed eight runs, seven earned, in 5.1 innings. He will head to the DL with an ERA of 11.81.

Ross was scheduled to pitch in Sunday’s series finale against Colorado. Andy Green offered the start to number two starter James Shields, allowing Shields to choose between pitching Monday on his usual rest, or pitching a day early to take Ross’ spot. Shields opted to help the team out by foregoing the extra day of rest.

Taking over for Ross in the starting rotation is Robbie Erlin, who will start Tuesday against Philadelphia.  Erlin was not on the Opening Day roster, but joined the team last Friday when reliever Matt Thornton was sent to the DL with Achilles’ tendinitis.  He was immediately called into action, and responded brilliantly, throwing 3.1 innings of one-hit ball in the Padres 13-6 victory.

Erlin was in contention for a rotation spot during Spring training, and arguably outperformed all other candidates, wielding a fine 2.25 ERA in his four starts. But in his final Spring outing, an exhibition against the Padres’ AAA affiliate, the El Paso Chihuahuas, Ross was shelled for seven runs in four innings. On the final day before the season started, Erlin was sent to AAA.

One can only guess at the conversations he might have had in the locker room with the hitters who presumably prevented him from starting the season in San Diego. But it only took five days before he was back in the show.

Next: Padres Emphatically Change Momentum in Win

Erlin has had chances to start with the team for the last three seasons, but has produced inconsistent results. A lefty who relies on a fastball-curveball-changeup combination without a lot of power, the 25-year old relies on location and pitch selection to succeed. But his style and handedness offer a different look than most of the Padres’ rotation.

This opportunity will give Green some additional looks at Erlin. If he responds well, he may earn his spot in the rotation after all.

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