Nationals RHP Joe Ross to have Tommy John surgery

NEW YORK (AP) — Nationals right-hander Joe Ross will have season-ending Tommy John surgery, clouding his future with Washington in his final year under contract.

Washington manager Dave Martinez said Tuesday that Ross had opted for the surgery. The 29-year-old starter has been out since spring training with right elbow issues, and he exited a minor league rehab start last week with renewed soreness.

“He got different opinions, and they all came back to say that he needed surgery,” Martinez said before a game against the New York Mets.

Ross was a member of the Nationals’ 2019 championship team and appeared in two games during the World Series against Houston. Acquired as a minor leaguer in 2014 along with shortstop Trea Turner from San Diego, Ross is set to become a free agent for the first time this offseason.

Martinez had rosier news on injured starter Stephen Strasburg, who will make his first minor league rehab start with Triple-A Rochester on Friday. Strasburg has been out since last June following surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.

The 33-year-old right-hander could return to the majors in the next couple of weeks, depending on how he feels at Triple-A.

“I can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Martinez said.

Star slugger Nelson Cruz was out of the Nationals’ lineup with a left ankle contusion, but Martinez said he was available to pinch hit.

Washington also called up right-hander Jordan Weems and left-hander Francisco Perez from Triple-A, optioned righty Andres Machado to Rochester and designated right-hander Austin Voth for assignment.

Minor league left-hander Evan Lee was in the Nationals’ clubhouse and could make a spot start Wednesday against the Mets. It would be the 24-year-old’s big league debut.


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