ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 25: Robbie Ross #46 of the Texas Rangers throws against the New York Yankees at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 25, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
With Martin Perez's fractured ulna bone in his pitching arm, the race for the No. 5 starter job in the Texas Rangers' rotation opened up in a big way.
Perez was pretty much well on his way to locking up the gig with what had been a stellar spring so far, but now that he's out for two months he's out of the picture and has the Rangers wondering whether they should stay in-house for the job or go out of the organization.
The strongest in-house candidate at this point appears to be Robbie Ross, who was a big surprise last year as a rookie reliever, putting up a 2.22 ERA in 65 innings of work. He has experience starting in the minors and was actually preparing as a starter last spring before making the club as a reliever. Now, he's being stretched out as a starter with a shot to win the fifth starter job.
So far this spring, Ross has been good, throwing five innings and in the most recent of his five innings he gave up a two-run homer — the only two runs he's allowed so far.
The big question with Ross is what will happen to the Rangers' bullpen if he is in the rotation? He was such a versatile, effective piece to the Rangers' bullpen last season, along with Alexi Ogando who is slotted to be the Rangers' No. 4 starter.