Robbie Ross struggled again last night in Colorado. He continued a seemingly endless string of Rangers' starters that have failed to go deep into games. Last night, the bullpen was so used up by the bottom of the 8th inning that the Rangers put Mitch Moreland -- yes the DH/1B/OF with the power bat -- on the mound.
Read whatever you want to into Moreland's pitching performance -- he touched 94 on his fastball and had a changeup that clocked in at 78 in what was the best pitching outing of the night for the Rangers -- but what's concerned me the most is the current state of the rotation, and the trickle-down effect it's had on the bullpen.
You see, Nick Tepesch has been dealing in AAA, and before he struggled in Spring Training, he was my trendy pick to actually break into the rotation. Nonetheless, he's been getting the job done to a tune of a 6-1 record with a 1.58 ERA.
Robbie Ross, on the other hand, has never really looked entirely comfortable as a starter to me. Furthermore, the same struggles that plagued him as a reliever the last two seasons have reared their ugly head now.
As a southpaw, it's generally thought that Ross should be proficient in getting left-handed hitters out, and yet that hasn't been the case. His xFIP against lefties is 5.06 as opposed to a figure of 3.70 against righties.
3 of the 4 home runs Ross has allowed -- one of which came last night courtesy of Charlie Blackmon -- have been hit by left-handed hitters.
It remains to be seen whether or not Ross could be effective if moved back to the bullpen, but as bad as it may sound, the bullpen simply needs arms right now, and it could be that giving Nick Tepesch a shot in the rotation provides some trickle-down effect of the positive variety to help get things back on track.