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 taken his first season in the big leagues all in stride. He's played along with the Rangers' bit of making the least-tenured guy in the bullpen carry a pink backpack with all the bullpen "supplies" in it. This year, the Rangers have even taken it a bit further, as Ross has sported a Cowboy hat, vest, badge and pop gun.
A few years ago, it was Derek Holland in that position, sporting the pink backpack. If Ross can get to where Holland is now, the Rangers will be big-time winners. He's off to a good start.
Over the past two days, Ross picked up two wins in relief, coming in for Yu Darvish on Saturday and pitching 2/3 of an inning to get the win, and going two full innings on Sunday after replacing Neftali Feliz. On Sunday, Ross was downright dominant, as he struck out three Twins and gave up one hit but still facing the minimum six batters.
So far this season, Ross has pitched 3 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and has allowed two hits. He's 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP (walks + hits per innings pitched).
It shouldn't come as much of a surprise after watching Ross basically wrestle the middle relief role right out of Michael Kirkman's hands in spring training. It's carried over into the regular season so far for the 22-year-old.