Robert Charles Ross Jr.
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 11", Weight 185 lb.
- High School Lexington (KY) Christian Academy
- Debut April 8, 2012
Ross went to high school at Lexington Christian Academy and originally planned to attend the University of Kentucky. However, he was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 2nd round of the 2008 amateur draft and was signed by scout John Poloni.
Ross made his pro debut with the Spokane Indians in 2009, going 4-4 with a 2.66 ERA in 15 starts and earning a spot on the Northwest League All-Star team. He began the 2010 summer with the Hickory Crawdads, posting a 8-7 record and 2.59 ERA in 16 starts before being promoted to the Bakersfield Blaze in July. He went 4-4 in 11 outings for Bakersfield and then joined the AA Frisco RoughRiders in time for the playoffs, making one start and taking a loss in the contest.
Ross started 2011 with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. He went 9-4 with a 2.26 ERA for the team and was named Carolina League Pitcher of the Year. He also earned an August promotion to Frisco, making 6 late-season starts for the club. He made the Rangers' Opening Day roster in 2012 as the sole lefty in their bullpen and appeared in his first big league game on April 8th, throwing a scoreless inning of relief against the Chicago White Sox. He was credited with his first victory on April 14th, when he came in in relief of Yu Darvish with two outs and the bases loaded in the 6th inning of a game against the Minnesota Twins and the score tied at 2-2; he retired Justin Morneau on a pop fly, then inherited the win when his teammates scored a pair of runs in the next half inning. He made 58 relief appearances for the Rangers in his rookie season, going 6-0 with a 2.22 ERA. He allowed 55 hits in 65 innings while striking out 47. He returned in the same role of middle reliever in 2013 and had another solid season, with a 4-2 record, and a 3.03 ERA in 65 games. He pitched 62 1/3 innings and had an excellent K/W ratio of 58/19. He was third on the team in games pitched after Tanner Scheppers and Joe Nathan.
The Rangers had bigger things in mind for Ross in 2014, deciding it was time for him to move back to a starting role. The Rangers were known in recent years to have made the move with a number of successful short relievers, most prominently Neftali Feliz and Alexi Ogando; Scheppers, the team's main set-up man in 2013, was following the same pattern as well and ended up starting on Opening Day. Robbie thus made his first career big league start on April 2nd, holding the Philadelphia Phillies to 2 runs in 5 innings. He had a no-decision in his second start, then on April 15th earned his first win as a starter with 7 2/3 scoreless innings against the Seattle Mariners. After three starts, his ERA stood at 1.00. However, the success did not last; he quickly began to struggle, was moved back to the bullpen, and then ended up with a very disappointing statistical line of 3-6, 6.20 in 27 games, including 12 starts. He pitched 78 1/3 innings but gave up a whopping 103 hits and 30 walks while striking out 51.
He is the son of Charles Ross, who was a catcher for five season in the minor leagues. His father's full name was also Robert Charles Ross, and Robbie is also known as Robert Ross Jr.