Right-hander Tyson Ross was back on the mound Monday for his fourth bullpen session of the spring, mixing in some breaking balls for the first time, and he is hopeful to be facing hitters before camp breaks.
Ross is expected to be out until mid-May as the Rangers take a cautious approach with him after an invasive operation for thoracic outlet syndrome. Despite the advances he has made by climbing onto a mound and throwing as many as 30 pitches, he is still committed to the slow-and-steady approach.
“I’m still a ways off from pitching,” said Ross, who had surgery Oct. 13. “It’s been a good program that I’ve been on so far. It’s one step at a time. Right now, I’m happy with where I am.”
Assistant general manager Mike Daly, who delivers injury updates, said that it’s reasonable to expect that Ross will pitch to hitters before Rangers spring training ends March 29.
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“He’s hit all of his checkpoints,” Daly said. “He feels good. We feel good.”
The Rangers shut down infielder Hanser Alberto because of a sore shoulder and will scratch him from the travel roster to Big League Weekend in San Antonio this weekend. Alberto has been playing nearly every day with Rougned Odor and Jurickson Profar at the World Baseball Classic and with Elvis Andrus sidelined much of camp.