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Ross accepts bullpen role

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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Robbie Ross came to camp hoping to be the Rangers' fifth starter. Instead, he was told he is going back into his old role as a setup reliever.

"I wasn't the absolute biggest candidate and show them they couldn't do without me as a starter," Ross said. "If I blew their minds and showed that I could do it right away, it would be different. I felt I put up a good fight. I'm not going to let it go that I couldn't do it."

Ross is 2-0 with a 3.07 ERA in three starts and two relief appearances. Returning to his old role gives the Rangers more clarity to an uncertain bullpen situation. Ross was the Rangers' best left-handed setup reliever in 2012, going 6-0 with a 2.22 ERA in 58 games. But he had a 0.95 ERA in the first half and a 5.60 ERA after the All-Star break, and that may have left the club with some concerns about his overall stamina as a starter.

"Starting and relieving are different," Ross said. "I really don't know if that was it, but I hope not. I felt I could have done it. I don't think innings were a big issue. They probably would have held me back some, but I feel some day I can throw 200 innings."

Ross said his experience as a starter this spring should help in one regard. As a reliever, he relied mainly on his fastball and slider. This spring, he worked on bringing back the curve and changeup to his repertoire, giving him a four-pitch mix again.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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