Robbie Ross aiming for last rotation spot
|Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' offseason moves and Josh Hamilton's comments about DFW not being a baseball town.
With the bullpen undergoing some turnover, Ross could easily settle for another year in a relief role. Instead, he's aiming higher, with his sights set directly on that open fifth spot in the rotation.
"I'd love to be in the rotation," Ross said, "but at the same time it's not like I'd be disappointed if I returned to the bullpen."
Ross had his first extended audition for the slot Wednesday and responded by tossing three solid innings. He allowed a few base runners but never got into serious trouble. The left-hander was one out away from completing a scoreless outing when Paul Konerko hit a two-run home run on a 3-2 fastball that landed on top of the left field wall and bounced over.
"It's still early, but at the same time I felt good," Ross said. "Sometimes I don't need to do all I can to get outs, I need to understand I have guys behind me who can make plays. Maybe I tried to be too fine and should have made him put it in play earlier. Instead, I fell behind in the count."
Top prospect Martin Perez may be emerging as the early leader in the competition for the fifth spot, but Ross is nipping at his heels. With Kyle McClellan sidelined during the spring games so far and Justin Grimm getting hit hard his last time out, Ross has an opportunity to gain an advantage.
If both Perez and Ross prove worthy of the final starting spot, Ross could end up back in the bullpen after proving to be so valuable in that role.
If Ross is called upon to start, he has plenty of experience, with 68 career minor league starts with a 2.88 ERA.
He'd like to add more starts to his career total, only this time at the major league level.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.