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Pirates sign lefty Robbie Ross to minor league deal

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MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

Pirates Prospects is reporting that the Pirates have signed lefty reliever Robbie Ross to a minor league contract. Ross spent much of 2012-16 in the majors with Texas and Boston, but elbow soreness cut short his 2017 season and he eventually had back surgery as well. He pitched in AAA for the White Sox in 2018, but was released after 11 very bad outings in which he couldn’t throw strikes.

Ross pitched out of the bullpen throughout his major league career, except in 2014 when the Rangers unsuccessfully tried him as a starter. In 254 relief appearances, he has a 3.52 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 7.7 K/9. Ross throws his fastball around 93 mph and has used it less and less over time, instead relying heavily on a slider and curve. Maybe because of the sharply increased breaking ball usage, Ross got his K rate up to one per inning in 2016 with Boston. He has no platoon split.