Giants add Bay native Ross to pitching mix on minor league deal


The pandemic played a small part in Tyson Ross never getting a shot with the Giants. Three years later, they're hoping they can help his younger brother get back to the big leagues.

The Giants on Monday signed right-hander Joe Ross to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training, adding a former first-round draft pick and top 100 prospect to the organization. There is uncertainty, though, about whether Ross will be able to contribute during the 2023 MLB season.

The Washington Nationals, Ross' former team, announced last May that he would be undergoing Tommy John surgery for a second time. It's unclear how far along Ross currently is in his rehab, but the recovery for a second reconstructive procedure could make it difficult for him to get back on a big league mound before the end of this season.

The Giants have made a habit in recent years of adding rehabbing players, with John Brebbia and Luke Jackson being recent examples. It's easy to see why they're taking a similar bet on the 29-year-old Ross. 

A Berkeley native who went to Bishop O'Dowd High in Oakland, Ross was the 25th overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft and was one of Baseball America's top 100 prospects in 2015.

In six seasons with the Nationals, he had a 4.26 ERA. Ross made 19 starts in 2021, with a 4.17 ERA and 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings. When last on the mound, Ross relied on a fastball that averaged about 94 mph and a slider that big league hitters had a hard time squaring up.

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He is the younger brother of Tyson, who started his career with the Oakland Athletics and made an All-Star appearance with the San Diego Padres. Tyson Ross was in camp with the Giants in 2020 and hoped to make the team as a reliever, but the Giants released him just before opening up their shortened camp in July of 2020.

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