Robbie Ross Jr. began his stint in the Texas Rangers' Opening Day starting rotation with a decent bit of effectiveness. Then, things took a massive downhill turn.
After being returned to the bullpen, where he was effective in 2012 and 2013, Ross continued to struggle and was sent down to the minors in June to work on his mechanics and try to regain some confidence.
Now, he's back.
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Ross will start Thursday night's series finale with Tampa Bay in place of Yu Darvish, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with elbow inflammation, because, why not?
Though it was never explicitly said, it seemed the Rangers probably wanted to move Ross back to the bullpen whenever he returned, but he was still working as a starter in Round Rock. He initially struggled for the Express, too, but has lately turned things around and pitched well.
In fact, over his last five starts, Ross has a 2.91 ERA in 34 innings of work — nearly seven innings per start — and pitched a complete-game five-hitter against the Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate recently.
“It’s an opportunity and we’ll put him in there tomorrow and he feels good about himself,” Daniels told reporters. “He’s got his confidence back and made a couple of mechanical changes, but the biggest thing is he’s got his confidence back.”
Ross would've likely gotten a September call-up had the Darvish injury not come about, but you'd have to think it would've been coming out of the Rangers' bullpen. Maybe Ross can stick, pitch well and be a piece moving forward in the rotation. But don't count on it.