Tyson Ross = Breakout As Advertised In 2014

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Entering the 2014 season the Padres’ Tyson Ross was receiving a lot of love throughout the fantasy community. He thrived after being moved to the rotation last season and all signs pointed to a full breakout campaign. Thus far, he’s backed up the billing.

Granted it’s only 9 starts, but Ross owns a 2.81 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. Obviously we’d like to see a bit more out of the latter, something that could conceivably happen quickly.

It’s not that the walks are poor, with a 3.59 BB/9. Obviously it’s not an elite number, but it’s not a poor one and is only slightly higher than what he did as a starter last season (3.16).

He’s also continuing to generate groundballs, currently at a 59.4% mark. As a starter last season he was at 55.6%, so it is looking more and more like he simply owns this type of elevated mark. You put that in the friendly confines of Petco Park and good things are obviously going to happen. It also should help him on the road as well, though as is the norm with Padres pitchers he currently has a dramatic split:

  • Home – 1.59 ERA
  • Road – 4.56 ERA

The road mark is in just 23.2 innings, so it’s an extremely small sample size, but it is worth noting. Still, with his makeup you would expect the stuff to play well regardless of the ballpark so this shouldn’t be a major concern.

The biggest “issue” could be the drop in strikeouts, currently with a 8.27 K/9. However, the SwStr% s actually up, currently at 12.6%. That mark alone would indicate significantly more strikeouts than he’s shown. He has been trending up, with a 7.85 K/9 in April and an 9.00 mark in May, so he’s heading in the right direction.

Even more interesting is that the strikeouts simply haven’t been there on the road (6.46 K/9). That seems like an aberration, as it has nothing to do with the ballpark, and helps to explain while he hasn’t performed away from Petco Park as of yet.

The luck, overall, has been reasonable with a .287 BABIP and 73.6% strand rate. In other words, he’s still putting together all of the skills we look for. While the split is there, it also isn’t a major concern.

It’s not always the case that a pitcher lives up to the preseason breakout billing, but thus far Ross appears to be doing so.

Source – Fangraphs

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