Minor league pitching updates: Ross and Fedde

On Saturday, right-hander Joe Ross made his debut with the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs in a 10-0 setback to Rochester. Ross went 2 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

Here’s what a source who was at the game told me: “First before anything, it has to be said that it was 41 degrees at first pitch, and felt a lot colder than that (with 17 mph winds). So I’m not sure it’s fair to judge a whole lot from anything that happened.

Joe Ross throwing white.jpg“A few balls fell in because of wind issues defensively. However, command was just okay, velocity wasn’t anything to write home about, around 91 (mph) on fastball, but again, it’s hard to say how much of that was weather/cold related. But a few balls definitely fell in that normally wouldn’t have.”

The Nationals need a fifth starter on April 22 against the Mets if they choose to slot Ross there. Ross could get one or two more starts for Syracuse (April 13 at Pawtucket and April 18 vs. Toledo). If they wanted to get Ross back on five days rest, they could push his start to April 23.

* Right-hander Erick Fedde won his first outing Saturday for Double-A Harrisburg in a 6-4 win over Altoona. Fedde tossed five scoreless innings, allowing one unearned run on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts.

Second baseman Adrian Sanchez crushed a three-run shot and catcher Raudy Read provided two RBIs.

Fedde went 2-0 with a 3.29 ERA in five games (three starts) in spring training. The UNLV product allowed only nine hits in 13 2/3 frames with seven strikeouts and four balls.

This is a very positive start for Fedde, who, along with Austin Voth and A.J. Cole, is a top candidate to get a spot start/look as the season progresses for the Nationals.

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