When it comes to the starting rotation the Texas Rangers just can't seem to catch a break. If you leave out Tommy Hunter hitting the disabled list out of spring training, they experienced very few setbacks with their rotation in 2011. The most notable situation was when Alexi Ogando suffered from fatigue during the second half and saw his starts limited. So far 2012 is turning out to be much different. Once Neftali Feliz hit the disabled list six weeks ago things began to change and it has not been for the better. Derek Holland found the DL shortly after and now Ogando, who was most recently moved back into the rotation, will be out for four to six weeks.
The Rangers have already signed Roy Oswalt, but still desire to give him all the time needed to get ready for big league action. He will make his third minor league start tonight in Frisco, but things could change after that. At this point the Rangers have recalled Michael Kirkman from Triple-A Round Rock, but that will not be to help the rotation. Kirkman will be in the bullpen and with him being a left-handed reliever, it could signify that Robbie Ross will make the start on Saturday.
Ross is the most likely choice for the Rangers. He has pitched multiple innings on multiple occasions this season and went four innings in relief of Ogando on Sunday. He still did not throw a lot of pitches on Sunday, but is stretched out more than anyone else on the big league roster. In reality, he is the only option the Rangers have that is prepared to go anywhere near five innings.
While Ross is the only realistic option due to being stretched out a bit, he has also earned to opportunity. Washington has said he is not working his way into a rotation spot, but this is out of necessity and within the circumstances Ross deserves it. Not only is he 6-0, but has a 1.30 ERA and has not allowed an earned run in his last 10 outings.
It was this time last year that Ross was starting for High-A Myrtle Beach and is now very close to making his first big league start. The Rangers gave him the opportunity in spring training to earn the left-handed reliever spot. At that time, they said that they wanted someone who could get both lefties and righties out and that ended up being Ross. That has been the case during the regular season as well and he has turned himself into one of Ron Washington's most trusted arms. The only downside to Ross' success and possible start on Saturday is that Washington has lost both of his multiple-inning weapons in Ogando and Ross.
John Bowman is a lifelong baseball and Texas Rangers fan that loves to ponder the deeper aspects of the game. Some of his first baseball memories involve Arlington Stadium nachos, Charlie Hough's knuckleball, dirt on Pete Incaviglia's uniform and the voices of Mark Holtz and Eric Nadel as he fell asleep.
- Sports & Recreation
- Alexi Ogando
- Robbie Ross