After starting the season with 18 consecutive scoreless innings, Class-A Myrtle Beach left-hander Robbie Ross suddenly found his command struggling and his earned run average soaring.
He was tagged for 11 runs over 10 innings on back-to-back outings at the end of April and beginning of May, but looking back on it now, Ross thinks that turbulence might have served him well.
"It was disappointing because I felt good, but the thing was I wasn't executing pitches and things like that," said Ross, a Texas Rangers prospect who starred at Lexington Christian. "It was frustrating, but at the same time, it was something I needed to work through and go through to kind of learn my lesson, you know. ...
"It was great to go through early instead of trying to get it later on down the road when it's just falling apart."
Ross has things turned around. He pitched six scoreless innings to lead Myrtle Beach to a 6-0 victory over Lynchburg on Saturday.
Ross had six strikeouts and walked two batters to improve to 5-1. He has allowed one run in his last 12 innings to lower his ERA to 2.79.
A second-round draft pick by the Rangers in 2008, Ross credits his conversations with Pelicans pitching coach Brad Holman for helping him work out of his funk.
"We've been working on a lot of things, like just trying to keep the ball down and spotting up and not feeling like I've got to hit like a fine point," Ross said. "I'm just throwing the ball and trying to get outs, just working down and just trying to put the ball in play more than anything."