February 26, 2018

By Chris Ello, February 25, 2018


Opening Day, 2016. And it seemed like the whole world was out there, just waiting for Tyson Ross. An All-Star just two years previously, and coming off a year in which he made 33 starts, the most in the National League, Ross was coming into his own, establishing himself as one of the most dangerous young arms in baseball.


The hated Los Angeles Dodgers were the opponent. But certainly the then 28-year-old Ross, with a nifty 3.16 career ERA as Padre over three seasons, was ready for the challenge.


Flash forward to week or so after Opening Day, 2016. Wow – did things change in a hurry.


The Dodgers had touched him up for eight runs in 5.1 innings and handed the Friars an Opening Day beat-down. But so what? A so-so start to the season is no big deal if you’re Tyson Ross. Only it was.


He had suffered a shoulder strain – and would not pitch again, it seemed, forever. An entire season went by without a sign of Ross returning. A strain had turned out to be a huge pain.


It’s in the baseball record books: Tyson Ross, 2016….0-1 in 1 start. An ERA of 13.51. And that’s all there was until October when Ross underwent surgery. Soon thereafter, he was a Texas Ranger. He had gone from Opening Day to just being gone.


He hardly made much of a return in 2017 for Texas. In 12 games, he fashioned another ugly ERA number of 7.71. The Rangers let him go by the end of the season.


In less than two years, Tyson Ross went from star to flame-out. Now he’s trying to shine again with the Padres. Hardly over-the-hill at the age of 30, Ross was back on Saturday, pitching a couple of OK innings for the Friars against his original Major League team, the Oakland Athletics. He allowed three hits and two runs, but did strike out four.


“(Saturday) was a great start…..” was part of Manager Andy Green’s assessment.


But having fallen so far, Ross has a long way to go to once again find the limelight. Four spots in the Padres’ 2018 starting rotation are all but spoken for – by Clayton Richard, Bryan Mitchell, Dinelson Lamet and Luis Perdomo.


Ross will be competing with a handful of others to join them. Maybe things will change in a hurry again.