Aside from Joe Nathan's stellar season, there hasn't been a bigger, more pleasant surprise for the Texas Rangers this season than the performance of rookie reliever Robbie Ross.
Ross, a 23-year-old lefty, wasn't even supposed to make the big-league roster out of spring training but was so impressive in the spring — surprising, in fact — that manager Ron Washington and pitching coach Mike Maddux had no choice but to start him in Arlington.
The decision paid off, and in a big way as Ross has been one of the best middle relievers in baseball this season, putting up a 1.78 ERA and a 6-0 record while logging 60 2/3 innings as the Rangers' only lefty reliever for much of the season.
Ross was placed on the disabled list on Friday with forearm stiffness, which can be a precursor to bad things. But this isn't expected to be anything serious, and the move was made retroactive to Thursday meaning he could return Sept. 14.
Assuming everything is relatively OK with Ross, this could be a good thing for the Rangers, just as it appears Yu Darvish's skipped start recently seems to have worked out well for him. Ross has worked a ton this season and any break would be beneficial to his young arm. Now he'll be forced to take two weeks off and can hopefully come back fresh for the stretch run and the postseason.