Cal Baseball: Tyson Ross Opts Out of Playing 2020 Season and He's Not Alone

Former Cal star Tyson Ross has decided he will sit out the 2020 baseball season.Photo by Jesse Johnson, USA Today

Jeff Faraudo

Former Cal star Tyson Ross opted out of this major league baseball season late last week and his younger brother, Joe Ross of the Washington Nationals, has announced the same move.

Tyson Ross, a 33-year-old right-hander who pitched last season for the Detroit Tigers, had signed a a minor-league deal with the San Francisco Giants as a free agent in January, then was released late last month.

It’s possible that Ross already had informed the Giants of his inclination to sit out the season, and there is no guarantee the 6-foot-6 free agent would have a roster spot in 2020, anyway. There will be no minor league baseball this summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ross has battled shoulder and elbow injuries in recent years, was 1-5 with a 6.11 earned run average with Detroit last season and has a 10-year career ledger of 44-70.

Ross has pitched for the Oakland A’s, San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals, along with the Tigers.

Born in Berkeley and raised in Oakland, Ross played for Bishop O’Dowd High. He was a two-time All-Pac-10 selection at Cal, winning 19 career games before being a second-round pick of the A’s in the 2008 draft.

But he has made the decision to sit out against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ross’s father, Willie, is a pediatrician and his mother, Jean, is an emergency room nurse, so he certainly has access to legitimate medical advice.

Given all the circumstances and the fact that Baseball Reference reports Ross has earned more than $31 million over his career, it's possible he's finished with professional baseball. 

Meanwhile, Nationals pitcher Joe Ross, who did not play at Cal, has joined his brother among the growing list of MLB players who have decided against playing this season.

Joe Ross, 27, was a first-round draft choice of the Padres out of high school in 2015, and has a five-year record of 21-19, all with the Nationals.

Big leaguers Mike Leake, Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond also have opted out of this season, and it seems clear the list will continue to grow.

Angels star Mike Trout has expressed doubts about this season and Cubs star Kris Bryant said Monday he has problems with baseball’s coronavirus testing protocols, suggesting his team is tested too infrequently. Bryant’s wife recently had a baby and he said he’s concerned about bringing home the virus to his wife and child.

"When my players are asking to be tested more, a red flag goes off in my head,” Cubs manager David Ross said.

Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo has tested positive in advance of MLB’s planned season re-boot, the team announced Monday. Gallo is asymptomatic and in good health, Sports Illustrated reported.

The Nationals, Astros and Cardinal all canceled workouts Monday while awaiting results from last Friday’s test results.


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