Texas Rangers pitcher Robbie Ross throws to the Los Angeles Angels during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday, March 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Robbie Ross has been a good pitcher for the Texas Rangers in the minor leagues the past couple of seasons.
Now, he's been more than good through spring training on the big-league club, and the 22-year-old is making a strong case to start the season in Arlington as a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen to help fill the void of Darren Oliver and Mike Gonzalez.
Ross posted a 2.88 ERA in 2011 while spending time at both high-A and double-A, but he wasn't really expected to be a key figure in the bigs heading into 2012, at least not in April. But now, it seems he might be.
Ross has turned in quite a spring, and that continued on Sunday when he threw two scoreless innings of relief in the Rangers' loss to the Los Angeles Angels with two strikeouts, a walk and a hit. Ross has been groomed as a starter, and he clearly won't start for the Rangers this season, barring disaster. So the Rangers will have to make a decision on whether Ross will be better off filling a relief role in Arlington or as a full-time starter in Frisco or Round Rock, grooming him for a possible 2013 appearance in Arlington.
He hasn't allowed a run in six spring appearance this season, but the Rangers are still pondering what to do with the bright star.
"We just haven't made a decision on that yet," Washington told the Star-Telegram. "It's obvious the kid is doing well."