SAN DIEGO -- Two teams currently heading in opposite directions are meeting at Petco Park this week and one of the reminders of the San Diego Padres' present plight is starting against them Friday night.
In 2011, the Padres made right-hander Joe Ross the 28th overall pick of the June draft. The dream was to have Joe advance quickly and join his brother Tyson in the Padres' rotation.
Well, Joe advanced quickly. He made his Major League debut last June 6 at the age of 22. And he's now in perhaps the best starting rotation in the National League.
But he's not with the Padres.
On Dec. 18, 2014, the Padres packaged Ross and another first-round pick (shortstop Trea Turner) and sent them to the Washington Nationals in a three-team trade that brought Wil Myers to San Diego.
Now, the Padres are very happy with Myers. The 25-year-old first baseman could be the Padres' representative in the All-Star Game they are hosting next month. In fact, Myers, who hit his 15th homer Thursday night against the Nationals, is hopeful of being part of the National League contingent competing in the Home run Derby.
Myers is hitting .286 for the season. Myers is also hitting .362 (21-for-58) in June with six doubles, eight home runs, 18 RBIs and 16 runs scored. He has a Major League-leading 14 extra-base hits in June.
Myers has become something of a fan favorite for the struggling Padres.
But other Padres fans look at how Ross and Turner, who is at Triple-A, are progressing with the Nationals and wonder if the price for Myers was too high.
Ross is 5-4 in 12 starts for the Nationals this season with a 3.01 ERA. Were he still with the Padres, Ross would have the third-lowest earned run average in the present rotation.
"I really like the makeup of Joe," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said recently. "I like the pitches, the arm action and the approach. He's got a solid future."
Just over five years ago, Joe Ross said pitching in Petco Park with his brother there was "my dream." Well, it happens Friday night ... but not as originally planned. Not only is he pitching for the Nationals, brother Tyson has been on the disabled list since experiencing discomfort in his right shoulder while starting on Opening Day.
Ross will be opposed by Padres left-hander Christian Friedrich Friday.
Friedrich has been one of the positive stories this season for a team that has lost five of the last six games and are mired in last place in the National League West.
Claimed by the Padres when he was released by Colorado during spring training, the 28-year-old Friedrich, who, ironically, was, like Ross, the 25th overall pick in a draft (2008), is 3-1 with a 2.12 ERA in six starts for the Padres since he was promoted from Triple-A El Paso on May 13.
"What we see with Christian is a pitcher getting the opportunity to show what he can do," Padres manager Andy Green said recently of Friedrich. "He'd been up and down and was moved between the rotation and bullpen with the Rockies. The potential was always there, it's just coming to the surface."