SURPRISE, Ariz. -- As Texas Rangers relieve Robbie Ross talked with the media about an hour after he was told he'd made the big league club, GM Jon Daniels walked by and shouted: "We were just kidding."
Ross knew better after letting the news digest for a little while. The 22-year-old was told in manager Ron Washington's office Sunday morning and immediately grabbed his phone and called his wife, Brittany, who lives in Kentucky. Then he told his parents and the rest of his family. Ross said he tried to play an April Fool's joke on his wife but couldn't hold his excitement back for very long.
"I feel like a kid on Christmas," said Ross, who puts Sunday right up there with the other best days of his life -- the day he was drafted and when he got married. "I'm thankful for what I've been blessed with and thankful my family was able to experience it with me. They were freaking out. My brother's birthday is coming up and he's going to be turning 13 and that's a cool birthday present, I guess. Hopefully he can come out. It's just amazing."
Ross has impressed coaches and scouts with his cutter this spring and an ability to get hitters out on both sides of the plate. He's gone multiple innings and Washington doesn't think of him as a situational lefty. He can use him against specific batters, but also let him pitch an inning or more.
"He earned that spot. We didn't give him anything," Washington said. "I'm pretty excited about that. We didn't have to hand anything out. He earned it. I liked his maturity. I liked his demeanor on the mound. He attacked the zone and will continue to do that."
Before Saturday night's game with the Cleveland Indians, the left-handed relief spot was between Ross and Neal Cotts. But Cotts suffered a strained left lat muscle and won't throw for 10 to 14 days. He's expected to get an MRI on Monday.
"You've heard the old saying that it's easy to make the big league team, it's tough to stay here," Washington said. "Tough hasn't started yet."
Ross says he knows that and is committed to continuing to work hard.
"He told me to work hard and do what I have to do and keep the same approach," Ross said. "That's what I'm going to do."