The Texas Rangers are now looking for another starting pitcher in their rotation due to the injury to Derek Holland. Jon Daniels is persistent that the Texas Rangers are not going to search for a big free-agent such as Masahiro Tanaka or even a trade for David Price. The changes to the starting rotation are going to come from within.
This brings up the name Robbie Ross. Ross has not ever be a starter in the majors yet, but he does have plenty of experience in the minors and recently in the Dominican Winter League.
In 2012, the left-handed pitcher Ross quickly showed his dominance on the mound. With the use of his fastball and slider, he quickly racked up 6 wins as a reliever. And it should be noted, was the first to 6 wins in the 2012 season. At that time, Robbie Ross was pretty much thought of as unhittable with his speed, and command.
Last season, Ross did have troubles with his command which caused Ron Washington to reduce his playing time and wasn’t put in to key situations. Robbie Ross finished the 2013 season with an ERA of 3.03 over 62.1 innings. He recorded 58 strikes and 19 walks.
After a second half with issues, Robbie Ross played winter ball to regain his command and more than likely his confidence.
During his first game in the Dominican Winter League, his outing was a bit rough. In his first game playing with Toros, Ross only recorded one out, allowed 4 hits, 2 walks and 4 earned runs. The 4 singles Ross allowed dug Toros in a 4 run hole and Ross took the loss. After only recording one out, Ross started the Dominican Winter League with an ERA of 108.00. That’s about as sky high as an ERA can get.
Robbie Ross only pitched in 4 games, but by the 3rd game he had found his stride. He finished his 4 games with an ERA of 4.05, 11 strikeouts, allowed 5 walks and held opponents to average of .245 over 13.1 innings.
This is a small sample set, but if the Texas Rangers are able to see out of Robbie Ross what he did the first half of 2013, he’ll be an excellent replacement for Derek Holland. Last year, Ross started off red hot.
Ross posted some noteworthy stats in the first half of 2013. He had an ERA of 2.59, 1.272 WHIP, 41 strikeouts and 14 walks over 41.2 innings.
What does Robbie Ross have to say about? He was asked on MLB Network Radio.
Robbie Ross on being an SP: “I would love to be ‘that guy’ and start, I have to go do what I gotta do and try and get a spot”
— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) January 14, 2014
He’ll probably get a chance to start during spring training to test his abilities and to prep for the role. If he can replicate what he did in the first half the previous 2 season, the Texas Rangers will be fine until Derek Holland returns.