Per Drew Davidson (via Adam Morris), and verified by others, Robbie Ross will be making the opening day roster as the Rangers' sole left-handed reliever. Once again, his is not a completely comforting decision -- costing the Rangers a spot on the 40 man roster, and giving bullpen innings to someone with 38 whole innings above A ball -- but neither were any other options. On the plus side, it is always fun to watch a fairly interesting prospect make his debut.
In discussion the news, Adam made a good point:â†µ
While there's been some labeling of this role as a "LOOGY" role, the Rangers, Ron Washington, and Mike Maddux have all emphasized that they aren't looking for a lefty specialist. Ross won't be a LOOGY...he'll be a middle reliever, probably used more often when lefties are due up, but expected to get both lefthanders and righthanders out.â†µ
He's most likely correct (though I believe the term LOOGy has come largely simply to mean left handed middle reliever), and Ross will probably be used for more than just retiring left handers in high-leverage situations.â†µ
Ross allowed 28 walks and just one home run against 98 strikeouts over 123.1 innings in Myrtle Beach last season, good for a 2.26 ERA and 2.54 FIP. His 127 tRA+ ranked second among all Carolina League starters, in fact. Then he moved up to Frisco late in the season, and actually improved his strikeout and walk rates.â†µ
Anyway, congratulations to Ross! We wait and see who gets taken off of the 40 to make room.â†µ