Going into this article, I had a feeling that Robbie Ross has been pitching worse lately perhaps due to their workload earlier in the season. Ross had been used quite often earlier in the year and I was wondering if it was affecting his performance as the season is coming to an end. Let’s go to the numbers.
Ross was a surprise to make this team and his performance this season has been stellar. Ross is a former starting pitcher so fatigue is not something we should assume right away but there has been a noted drop in performance the last two months.
This is Ross’s games per month: April-7, May-13, June-10, July-9, August-12. Now, when you look at pitches or at innings, it’s not the best way to judge Ross’s usage. He is used to pitching as a starter so he is probably throwing less pitches than he’s used to. However, as a starter your arm gets to rest for four days at a time. So I went to look at his usage in back-to-back days (not games). This is how it looks per month: April-1, May-3, June-3, July-3, August-3 (including once on three straight days). Those numbers are a little concerning. For the most part he is going out there every 2-3 days which is not even considering days he warms up but does not enter the game.
But how is this affecting his performance? Well, there has been a drop but how much of that is because of fatigue and how much is it the league figuring out a rookie. Here are the key numbers below.
So what does this tell us? The struggles he has been having have been mostly luck-based, that’s what. There is an increase in August for batting average but the BABIP is also quite high which means that even that could be based on luck although if the ball is getting hit harder, that makes it less luck and that brings us to the one point that could indicate he is getting hit harder in August. His LD% is the highest it has been at any point this season at 28.6%. The previous high was in June at 19% which was his luckiest month to date.
It is something to keep an eye on as the season gets closer to its end and the playoffs approach. Texas currently has a very good bullpen led by Joe Nathan, Mike Adams, Alexi Ogando and Ross. Ross is often the only left handed pitcher in the bullpen and in the playoffs, they will need him at his best. Let’s hope his best wasn’t several months ago.