If I can keep it up all month, 31 days of positive posts! There's going to be enough negativity going around with the Cardinals not in the post-season.
On August 5th, 2018, Tyson Ross was selected off of waivers by the St. Louis Cardinals. Prior to that he was a second-time member of the San Diego Padres. Ross did a great job of endearing himself to Cardinals fans fairly quickly as he got a spot start against the Kansas City Royals in his first outing - after several short starts and the bullpen being overworked and unavailable. Ross basically needed to go deep. That was his ONLY requirement in that first game as a Cardinal. Not only did he go 6 innings against the Royals, but he only faced 23 batters in the process, allowing just 4 hits and 2 walks to go along with 2 runs allowed in an eventual 8-2 victory.
Ross then earned the long-relief role of almost being a secondary starter when a pitcher needed to be pulled quickly to stay in the game. He excelled in the role until basically his last outing of the year. In the 7 outings between his spot start and his last game of the year, Ross threw 19 2/3 innings (nearly 3 innings an outing out of the pen with an average of 4.7 days rest). He had a WHIP under 1.00 and an ERA of 1.83 to go along with allowing just a .190 average against and .539 OPS against. His 10:6 K:BB is not good. However, everything else looked great. As a Cardinal, he excelled at getting ground balls - at a 55.8% rate.
My favorite stat for Ross this (partial) year for the Cardinals is also the reason why I could see the Cardinals discussing bringing him back for another season. He had 1 start of 6 innings and 8 relief appearances of more than one inning, averaging 7.6 outs per relief appearance. With the way that MLB is moving - not quite "bullpenning" but by not having starters go more than 2 times through the order, he could be a good arm to have paired up with a more live, hard-throwing arm as a back-to-back combo to get the team through 6-8 innings on just 2 pitchers.
Positive October Day 21, in the books!
In case you missed them: