ARLINGTON, Texas -- All Robbie Ross is looking for is another chance.
He pitched so well in spring training, then the season began and he struggled. He was demoted to Triple-A Round Rock, solved his confidence and mechanical issues and was given another opportunity
When Yu Darvish was placed on the 15-day disabled list, it opened the door for Ross to take on the Rays and show the big league club what he could do.
Ross lasted 4 1/3 innings Thursday night, allowing six runs on eight hits with two home runs in a 6-3 loss.
Manager Ron Washington wouldn’t commit to another start for Ross, but given Darvish is out for two starts, he might not have a choice.
“I think I can grow up from this outing and I see what I need to focus on instead of just kinda dwelling on it,” Ross said. “This is definitely one of those ones where it’s disappointing. We need guys to go out and do the best they can right now. I’m trying to battle and make good starts.”
Time for a new leadoff man: Shin-Soo Choo is in a terrible slump for a leadoff hitter. He’s struck out 23 times the last 12 games and produced just a .264 average. Choo struck out three times on Thursday. It’s the third three-strikeout game Choo has had in the last 12 games. In some ways, he’s all Washington has.
Washington could replace Choo in the leadoff spot with Leonys Martin or Daniel Robertson. If he gives Choo a break, Robertson or Jim Adduci could play left with Alex Rios in right and J.P. Arencibia could possibly DH.
Washington is limited in what he can do with the lineup, so Choo might remain in the leadoff spot for a while.
Rookies leading the way: In such a lost season, finding young talented players who produce on a regular basis means something. Washington is pleased with three rookie relievers who will get tested this weekend against the Los Angeles Angels.
Alex Claudio hasn't allowed a run and has only allowed one hit with two strikeouts in two innings in the majors. After a slow start where he gave up home runs in each of his first two appearances, Phil Klein hasn't given up a run in three consecutive outings and pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings Thursday. Roman Mendez gave up just one hit in an inning of work Thursday. Mendez has given up three runs the last 7 1/3 innings.