Robbie Ross went 6-0 last year for the Rangers… the last win came on June 10th. The sixth win for Ross came on appearance number 23. So in Robbie’s last 35 appearances, he didn’t record a win. How does that happen?
Seven appearances out of the first 23 were of two innings or more. In the last 35 games Ross played in, two were of at least two innings. In six of the seven outings of two or more innings before June 11th were scoreless outings.
April 22, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Robbie Ross (46) pitches in the tenth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Texas Rangers defeated the Detroit Tigers 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
You may be wondering what this has to do with Ross becoming the Rangers’ fifth starter in 2013…
Well it has everything to do with it. When looking back at last season’s outings, Ross was just as effective, if not more effective, when facing batters more than once than he was in his short relief appearances.
Looking back even further, Ross was dominant as a starter before his ML debut last year. In 68 starts from low-A Spokane to AA Frisco, Robbie went 26-20 with an ERA of 2.88. Ross also had a K/9 of over 8. It should be noted that Ross leap-frogged Triple-A Round Rock because of his impressive results from -A to AA.
The bottom line is this: Robbie Ross is a bulldog. The kid, and I do mean kid, knows how to flat out pitch. He attacks each hitter and 62.4 percent of the time, Ross makes them roll over a weak ground ball to the Rangers’ elite infield. Ross’ 62.4 GB% happens to be ranked fifth in the MLB last year among pitchers with at least 60 innings pitched. Ross induced more than three times as many ground balls as fly balls a year ago, that number was also fifth in the league.
Keep your mind open to the idea. The kid is 23 years old and has already earned our trust as fans. Being young is good. Being young and left-handed is better. Being young, left-handed, and forcing ground balls more often than any lefty in the entire league could be a winning combination in Texas.
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