Thearon W. Henderson
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 09: Robbie Ross #46 of the Texas Rangers pitches in the six inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on June 9, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
After Martin Perez jumped out to a great start to his spring in the competition for the No. 5 starter job in the Texas Rangers' rotation, it seemed that the spot was his to lose.
Then in an unfortunate break — literally — Perez fractured the ulna bone in his throwing arm when he was hit by a comeback liner and put on the shelf for at least two months, opening the job back up.
So far, Robbie Ross has taken the opportunity and run with it but the 23-year-old lefty had his first bad outing of the spring on Sunday, surrending two runs in 2 2/3 innings and having trouble finding his control, walking three batters.
"I was not feeling it today. It's the kind of thing where you are not always going to have your best stuff," Ross told ESPN Dallas. "I felt like I was behind all the time and trying to work from behind. It is something to learn from, obviously, that it's a lot easier to pitch when you are ahead."
After Sunday's outing, Ross has now worked 11 2/3 innings this spring with a 3.86 ERA, four strikeouts and four walks. He's allowed two home runs, which is one fewer than he gave up in 65 innings of work during the 2012 regular season as a middle reliever.