White Sox: Who is Robbie Ross and what did the Sox see in him?
The White Sox added left-handed pitcher Robbie Ross to the minor league system.
Along with the minor league signing, the White Sox invited Ross to join the team at Spring Training at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona.
The team announced the signing on Twitter on Sunday morning.
By the numbers
Ross is a 28-year-old pitcher from Kentucky who stands 5’11, weighing in at 215 pounds. In 2008, the Texas Rangers drafted him in the second round. He pitched for the Rangers, both starting and finishing games between 2012 and 2014. In his first two seasons with the Rangers, he posted an ERA of 2.62 in 127.1 innings, all in relief. In his final season in Texas as a swingman, he posted a 6.20 ERA in 78.1 innings. He started the 2014 season as a starting pitcher and in nine starts he posted a 4.78 ERA. The Rangers moved him to the bullpen for most of the remaining season.
Landing on the DL
Then, he was traded to the Boston Red Sox in early 2015. In Boston, he was used as a reliever and closer. Unfortunately, he spent the majority of the 2017 season on the disabled list with elbow inflammation, the flu, and eventually with back surgery. With Boston, he threw 125 innings with an ERA of 3.82.
With Ross coming off of microdiscectomy, it makes sense that the Sox would give him a minor league contract to enter the season. This surgery is designed to relieve herniated discs and pinched nerves. According to MLB.com, Ross had this surgery on August 30, 2017, with the goal of returning to the mound in Spring Training.
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What he can do
According to Fangraphs, he has three pitches. His fastball is in the low 90s and has been that way for his entire career. He also throws a slider in the mid-80s and a curveball in the upper-70s. As he’s moved through his career, Ross relies less on his fastball and more on his slider.
Other than his injury in 2017 and his one bad season with the Rangers in 2014, Ross has been rather consistent with ERA numbers in the twos and threes. He could be an asset to the bullpen and possibly even get a few starts, if he can pitch well in the next few weeks.
Next: White Sox series to see live in 2018
After trading away much of the bullpen in the 2017 season, the White Sox have been busy rebuilding. The team added Joakim Soria in a trade with the Kansas City Royals. They also added free agents Bruce Rondon and Hector Santiago to the minor league system in February.