The philosophy is “you can never have enough pitching.” The Rangers are sticking with that mentality, adding veteran righty Tyson Ross to the staff. The deal is reportedly for one-year with a $6 million price tag.
Apparently, the deal was good enough to convince Ross to pass on the World Series champion Chicago Cubs and go to Arlington. Picking the Rangers over the Cubs can also benefit Ross, who’ll likely pitch much higher in the rotation in Texas than in the Windy City. If all goes well with the Rangers, Ross could demand a higher price on the open market next season.
Ross could slide into the No.3 spot behind Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels. Martin Perez and Andrew Cashner would round out the rotation with A.J. Griffin and Mike Hauschild possibly in the mix. That’s if Ross is completely healthy and ready to go.
The signing of Ross isn’t without question marks. He’s coming back from shoulder issues that saw him make only one start last season. Ross also had surgery in October to remove a rib due to thoracic outlet syndrome. The expected recovery is four to six months, so he could join the Rangers rotation in April barring any setbacks.
Ross is a below .500 record career-wise, 32-53 as a member of the Oakland A’s and San Diego Padres. However, Ross was an All-Star in 2014 with Padres and just like Cashner, his teammate in San Diego and now again in Texas, a victim of lack of run support during many of his starts. He wasn’t expected to hit the free agent market this season, but the Padres decided to non-tender him.
The scouting report on Ross is that he has four pitches, the main one being the four-seam fastball which can reach 95 mph. He also has a two-seam fastball, a slider and a changup in the arsenal, with the changeup used mostly against left-handed hitters. Ross relies on the slider as his strikeout pitch against right-handed hitters.
Something noticeable while watching video of Ross is how his delivery is somewhat unorthodox. Ross is more “up-and-down” with the pitching motion, appearing to rely more on his arm and upper body with very little movement from his lower body. One might make the argument that shoulder issues could amount due to the more standup throwing style, but he’s had success using that motion.
The Rangers struggled with the staff prior to the All-Star break last season due to lack of depth and consistency. If Ross is healthy and can return to form, it could allow the rest of the rotation to settle in, which makes the gamble worth the risk.