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Rangers LHP Ross seeks spot in rotation

The SportsXchange

After making 123 relief appearances over the last two seasons for the Texas Rangers, left-hander Robbie Ross is trying to win a spot in the starting rotation this spring.

"I'd love to get a starter spot and that's what I'm going to battle for until they tell me I'm back in the bullpen," Ross said.

Ross, the Rangers' second-round pick in the 2008 amateur draft, was a starting pitcher throughout his professional career until he reached the major leagues at the start of the 2012 season. He has compiled a fine 2.62 ERA in 127 1/3 major-league innings.

Rangers manager Ron Washington believes Ross will have to step up his conditioning to become a starting pitcher.

"Starting pitchers have a different work ethic and he has to develop a work ethic so he can sustain," Washington said. "That's what it comes down to. He can pitch. It's a matter of whether he can pitch six or seven innings instead of one inning at a time."

The Rangers have two spots open in the rotation with left-handers Derek Holland and Matt Harrison being out.

Holland will likely be out until at least the All-Star break after undergoing microfracture surgery on his left knee in January. Harrison will start the season on the disabled list as he has been slowed by stiffness in his back after needing two surgeries last year to repair a herniated disc.

Ross believes he can start in the majors, especially after going 26-20 with a 2.88 ERA in 68 minor-league starts. He made his spring debut Sunday and allowed one run and two hits in two innings against the Chicago White Sox with one walk and no strikeouts.

"You're just expected to throw longer innings, more pitches, facing batters more than once and trying to keep your team in the game," Ross said. "You're in control."


--RHP Colby Lewis made his first appearance of the spring Monday, starting against the Cleveland Indians and needing 32 pitches to get just two outs before being lifted. He gave up two runs, two hits and two walks and struck out one. Lewis sat out last season as he underwent right hip surgery in August while recovering from Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his right elbow.

--LF Shin-Soo Choo returned to the lineup Monday after sitting out Sunday with mild soreness in his left arm. Choo said he would have played if it were a regular-season game and the Rangers had him miss the game solely as a precaution.

--SS Elvis Andrus began playing catch Monday, the first time he had thrown since being diagnosed with mild tendinitis in the flexor tendon of his right arm. Andrus was shut down for two days after feeling pain in his arm while making a throw across the diamond on Feb. 28.

--INF Andy Parrino was claimed off waivers from the Oakland Athletics on Monday and will compete with INF Adam Rosales for the utility infielder's job. Parrino, 28, played in 14 games with the Athletics last season and batted just .118. In 108 games with Triple-A Sacramento, he had a .210 batting average and four home runs.

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