Since the Texas Rangers have not re-signed Mike Gonzalez, one of the minor storylines this spring for the Rangers has been a consequence of that non-signing: who Texas' left-handed reliever will be.
As T.R. Sullivan noted on Sunday, Robbie Ross was a long shot to break camp with the Rangers a month ago. Now, it looks like he might be the favorite to earn the last spot in Texas' bullpen as we head into the last full week of Cactus League play.
Ross has impressed so far in the spring, striking out nine in seven innings, while allowing just four hits and issuing one walk. Ross has not allowed a run to score.
By contrast, Michael Kirkman, the other left handed candidate to make Texas' bullpen, has struggled. In 10.1 innings of work, Kirkman has given up 12 runs (10 earned), on 16 hits, walking two and striking out six.
Ross, Texas' No. 14 prospect per Baseball America, has worked exclusively as a starting pitcher in the minor leagues. Like almost all pitchers, the starting rotation is where a pitcher's maximum value is. However, per BA, some scouts believe Ross is best suited for the bullpen as is -- and if he can help the Rangers in 2012 out of the bullpen, then it's worth moving him to the bullpen, for now, at least.
Of course, if you had been checking out Lone Star Ball's YouTube channel, you'd have already seen Adam J. Morris talking about Ross earlier this month.
For more on the Rangers, be sure to head over to Lone Star Ball and join the discussion.