Thearon W. Henderson
Robbie Ross and his bullpen mates got a lot of work in over the weekend and the team used seven pitchers Sunday heading into Monday's doubleheader.
Robbie Ross was a starting pitcher in the minor leagues before surprisingly making the Opening Day roster as a reliever in 2012, as "the last man in," so to speak. Of course, Ross went on to have a stellar rookie campaign in 2012 and a pretty darn good in 2013, but it certainly wasn't as a starter.
Ross probably has the talent to be a starter, but now isn't exactly the best time to give it a go. With the Rangers' bullpen and its success hinging greatly on Neftali Feliz's career renaissance, the bullpen has a chance to be great, or in shambles, and Ross provides stability there in a versatile relief role of a guy that can give you three innings or get you one big out in a high leverage situation.
Ross, of course, is being stretched out to be a starter in spring training as he is looking to follow in a long line of recent Rangers relievers-turned-starters, with varied levels of success. Of course, the most successful of the bunch was C.J. Wilson, who went from a closer's role to a staff ace. Alexi Ogando has been the midpoint of success with an all-star selection in 2011 as a starter, but is probably best-suited as a late-game reliever. And then, there's Feliz, whose starting experience was basically a failure.
Ross could end up being a good starter one day, and one day soon. But right now, he's more needed in the bullpen.