Joe Ross is back in business with the Milwaukee Brewers after finalizing a one-year deal on Tuesday following an exhaustive physical exam to test the health of his twice-surgically repaired right elbow.
Ross, 30, underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017 and again in June 2022 before returning to pitch in the San Francisco farm system late last season.
In between roadblocks he’s been a versatile arm with the ability to perform as a starter or middle reliever. He really stood out in 2021 at 28-years-old as the Nationals braced for the departure of arm to replace legend Max Scherzer, who was on his way out of the door.
The one-year, “Show Me” deal with no options will earn Ross $1.75 million.
The Brew Crew reportedly views Ross as a viable candidate to join the starting rotation. In any event, he’s an innings eater and every contending team needs such a role player.
He elected not to play during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, then returned in ‘21 and was 5-9 with a 4.17 ERA in 20 games (19 starts), last appearing on Aug. 10 of that season in relief at the Mets.
Ross has been a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as far as performance is concerned. He’s had flashes of brilliance and he’s never been able to get in a consistent groove for one reason or another. Reaching your maximum performance on the field is hard enough.
Dealing with two major arm surgeries, rehab AND trying to come back and solidify a place in MLB is the ultimate challenge for an athlete.
After Ross’ second elbow reconstruction he signed a Minor League deal with the San Francisco Giants for 2023 and worked through the system, ending the season in Triple-A Sacramento. There’s another melanated mound marauder in the building and he’s looking to stay healthy and keep throwing heat.