It has been known for a while now that Robbie Ross wants to be a starter, and we all remember he was a starter in the minor leagues. It is being reported that he asked to be able to compete once again for a starting rotation spot and the Rangers have told him he can try.
Robbie has made three starts for Toros del Este, and he’s 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA. He started really bad, giving up four earned runs in just one-third of an inning pitched, but has improved from there (giving up just one earned run in eight innings pitched since then) and is using his secondary pitches well, which is really what the Rangers are looking for from him if he wants to compete as a starter. I believe that the Rangers are interested in David Price as David wrote about here, but if they wind up not being able to get him, having another power throwing left-handed starter would be a good idea, and I think that is what the Rangers are looking for here in Ross.
My concerns would be that it appeared that Ross got fatigued down the stretch last season, when his ERA jumped from in the one’s to in the three’s at the end of the season, and he has not been a starter for two years. I also look at the Rangers track record of moving bull pen guys to the rotation. They succeeded with former closer C.J. Wilson, but Ogando faded down the stretch in his first stint as a starter, and did not do too well at all in his second stint. And then there was Neftali Feliz, who needed Tommy John Surgery after half a season as a starter. Also, when Robbie is bad, he seems to be really bad. I understand that he is young, but the Rangers need starters that can get the job done.
I still think another left-handed starter in the rotation would not be a bad thing, and I think Ross will get the chance to go into spring training as a candidate for the rotation. His performance will determine from there whether he wins a spot or not.