Texas Rangers left-handed pitcher Robbie Ross Jr isn’t having the kind of season he had hoped for. During the offseason he spent time in the Dominican Winter League working on his command issues and working on his secondary pitches. He struggled some at first, but towards the end of winter ball his command was picking up and he was recording outs.
He managed to carry that success to spring training with the Texas Rangers and managed to land a role in the starting rotation. But, his success would stop there. Yes, he did have some good outings in the rotation, but it was mainly a struggle for him to work through innings and keep the Rangers in games. He was even placed back in the bullpen where they hoped he would be a tough lefty that could come in for relief, but hitters weren’t fooled by his pitches and left-hand batters hit a whooping .349 against him.
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After his struggle in the bullpen the Texas Rangers optioned him back to the minors to play for the Round Rock Express (AAA). At first, his struggles continued there, but recently he’s seemed to be doing a lot better.
Before the All-star break his ERA ballooned to a sky-high 30.37 over 4 games. But, over his last 3 games he’s consistently pitched well and recorded 6.0 or more innings of work. During that period Robbie Ross has only allowed 5 earned runs, 22 hits, 2 home runs and 3 walks.
He hasn’t been striking out a lot, only 13 over his last 3 games, which is about average for him during his time in the minors. But, he has managed to ground balls. During his last outing 21 of 24 balls in play were ground balls.
Robbie Ross Jr is a huge part of the Texas Rangers 2015 plans and it’s important for him to regain his command and build up his secondary pitches. They will need him to either be a starter or a dependable reliever. At this time it appears he’s a likely candidate for a starting pitcher next year.
He’s had 3 quality starts in a row now with the Express, if he continues that trend he’ll likely be brought back up to the Texas Rangers. Since the season is basically lost they can easily allow him a few starts. Also it will allow them to see how well he does and if he’ll be part of the starting rotation plans for next season.
Watch: MiLB.com talks with Robert Ross – Archive video of him with the Pelicans -07/22/11
Affable Pelicans southpaw Robert Ross speaks with Ben Hill about his professional success, dealing with the heat, and why he never swears