Robbie Ross’ status in the Texas Rangers’ rotation is unknown at this point.
Manager Ron Washington didn’t know which way the team would go Sunday afternoon, saying it hasn’t been discussed yet.
The Rangers have a couple of internal options should they choose to make a switch and move Ross into a relief role.
Long reliever Scott Baker, who spent several seasons in the Twins’ rotation, is stretched out after beginning the season at Triple A Round Rock. And veteran left-hander Joe Saunders is getting closer to returning from a stress fracture in his left ankle.
It’s been a difficult stretch of late for Ross. He lasted only 4 1/3 innings against Toronto on Saturday, throwing 91 pitches and walking four.
But Ross held the Blue Jays to one run and felt it was a step in the right direction. His previous three starts he had allowed five or more earned runs.
“It’s been tough,” said Ross, who is 0-3 with a 5.49 ERA over his last four starts.
“Obviously you want to come out and throw up a zero and go seven, eight innings, but it’s not always the case. The last few outings have been tough, but it’s a growing process and I want to keep grinding.
“I’m not going to give up on it. It’s a long year and there’s a lot more outings. Hopefully I can go out there, however many more there are, and just try to prove and show that I can still do it.”
Whether those future outings are in a relief role is to be determined. Ross had two solid seasons as a lefty reliever before transitioning to the rotation this season.
“It’s not easy coming from reliever to starter, it’s a different animal,” Washington said. “It’s a different mindset; it’s a different mentality that you have to have. But the thing I like about Robbie is he’s being aggressive and he’s competing. He’s just not having the results.”
The injuries continue to pop up daily for the Rangers.
Second baseman Rougned Odor was scratched from Sunday’s lineup with soreness in his right wrist. He’s day to day.
The Rangers received good news on reliever Alexi Ogando, though. He won’t miss much time after taking a line drive off his right palm on Saturday. Washington said Ogando, whose hand was bruised, is expected to avoid the DL, but was unavailable for Sunday’s game.
Ogando has allowed nine runs over his last nine appearances.
“The velocity is there, the sharpness is still there,” Washington said. “It’s just location, falling behind hitters and not putting the ball in the zone.”
Washington said that Prince Fielder is feeling relief in his neck a day after receiving an injection on a herniated disk. Fielder is expected to return to the lineup on Tuesday and should be able to generate more power.
“He had a weak backside, your backside is your power,” Washington said. “Does that mean he’s going to come back and start hitting balls out of the ballpark with regularity? Well, it takes 600 at-bats to get 30-something bombs and I think if everything is well, he’ll get 30-something bombs.”
Outfielder Jim Adduci, meanwhile, had the pins removed from his fractured left pinky, but can’t fully grip a bat yet.
Briefly• Outfielder/infielder Daniel Robertson was recalled Sunday, giving the Rangers a full bench once again. Reliever Miles Mikolas was optioned back to Triple A Round Rock.
• The Rangers have not announced what role Tanner Scheppers (right elbow inflammation) will prepare for when he’s cleared to start a rehab assignment. Said Washington: “It’s a big decision, but that’s what we do. We make big decisions.”
• Colby Lewis has yet to reach the six-inning mark this season and hopes to do so Tuesday against Seattle. Said Lewis: “I want to go as long as I can in ballgames, sometimes it doesn’t work out. One of these days I’ll get there. Not really concerned about it.”