SAN ANTONIO -- The worst-kept secret of Padres camp became official on Friday when Padres manager Bud Black named Tyson Ross as the fifth starter in the rotation.
Ross, who was acquired from the A's in November for two players, will start on April 6 when the team visits the Rockies at Coors Field.
"I'm really excited about it," Ross said Saturday. "It's going to be a great opportunity for me to get the ball every five days. I think I've made some strides in Spring Training, and now I look forward to that continuing into the season."
Few pitchers in camp made as many strides from February to now as Ross did. Working closely with his new pitching coach, Darren Balsley, Ross made subtle mechanical changes along the way, working on tempo and pitch selection. He learned how to use the run in his four-seam fastball to his advantage.
"I understand the movement I have better now and now I'm just trusting it, throwing it over the plate and challenging hitters," said Ross, who had a scoreless inning streak of 15 1/3 innings at one point.
"I think I've had confidence before, but everything I've gone through the last couple of years, but I feel now I'm at the height on everything. I feel like I have grown from my experience and I feel I'm in a solid place."
Balsley has noticed the difference.
"I think it's been more mental than physical. I think he realizes he doesn't need to overthrow to make a quality Major League pitch," Balsley said. "He's realizing his talent level and he believes in it."