The San Diego Padres were handed some relatively good news after Tyson Ross' MRI revealed that he didn't need surgery. Ross was put on the disabled list after only one start to begin the season with inflammation in his right throwing shoulder.
However, despite the shoulder not requiring surgery, a timetable for Ross' return still hasn't been set. Instead, the team will "take a couple more weeks [and] re-evaluate," according to Padres' skipper Andy Green.
While a timetable hasn't been set, Ross did get a chance to play catch for the first time since Opening Day on Thursday. He has been rehabbing since then and said of Thursday that "it wasn't the first day of catch I was looking for."
Ross couldn't make it out of the sixth inning in his Opening Day start, giving up eight runs -- seven earned -- on nine hits and one walk. According to FanGraphs' PITCHf/x, Ross' slider -- his out pitch -- averaged no vertical movement at all. For a pitch that Ross uses nearly half of the time, that it stayed flat likely contributed to his bad start. That being said, the slider's horizontal movement was right in line with career norms.
The Padres, who are 6-10, are struggling without one of their key starters. With Ross on the disabled list, Drew Pomeranz and Andrew Cashner have had to pick up the slack, and have done so admirably. However, Robbie Erlin, Colin Rea, and James Shields have had some early season troubles of their own.
Last season, Ross was by far the most reliable contributor to the Padres rotation. In a season that began with high expectations, he was arguably the sole out-performer. With 196 innings of 2.98 FIP, Ross finished 16th in all of baseball by FanGraphs' WAR, sandwiched between Carlos Carrasco and Matt Harvey.
While losing Ross has been a tough blow, this latest news seems at least somewhat optimistic. If Ross continues to rehab well and the re-evaluation in two weeks goes smoothly, the 29-year old starter could still play an important role to his team's success.