7/28/2014 7:55 P.M. ET
Ross' resurgence in Minors gives Rangers options
By T.R. Sullivan and Grace Raynor / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Exiled left-hander Robbie Ross Jr. is starting to find himself again at Triple-A Round Rock. His resurgence comes at a time when the Rangers are getting trade interest in left-hander Neal Cotts before Thursday's 3 p.m. CT Trade Deadline.
Ross, who has been pitching out of the Round Rock rotation, is 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA in his last three starts. In 19 innings, he has allowed 22 hits, walked three and struck out 13.
"Robbie is starting to find his command of his fastball, and getting his life [on the pitch] back," said Danny Clark, Rangers Minor League pitching coordinator. "His slider is starting to show better tilt. His confidence level is starting to come."
Ross was optioned to Round Rock on June 17 after going 2-4 with a 5.61 ERA in nine starts and nine relief appearances for the Rangers. He spent his first two years in the Major Leagues as a reliever before his ill-fated move to the rotation this season.
The Rangers are getting interest in Cotts, who is a free agent after the season. If the Rangers trade Cotts, the only other left-handed reliever in the bullpen would be Ryan Feierabend. The Rangers also have left-hander Aaron Poreda at Triple-A.
Jeter reflects on battles with Rangers over years
ARLINGTON -- Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter knows, with no hesitation, what he's going to miss the most after he retires from baseball at the conclusion of the season.
"Competing. I enjoy competing, I enjoy playing against guys," Jeter said Monday before the Yankees' game with the Rangers. "I like to win, I like to compete in anything."
Jeter has certainly had his fair share of competition with the Rangers, and it will continue through Wednesday as he makes his final Texas stop in a three-game series.
Jeter and the Yankees defeated the Rangers in the American League Division Series in 1996, 1998 and 1999 en route to their World Series titles. In 2010, 11 years later, the Rangers knocked off the Yankees in the AL Championship Series.
"We've had some battles here in the postseason. There's been a few of them, so those are things that stand out the most, whether it's early in my career, or a few years ago when we were playing the playoffs," Jeter said. "We played some tough Texas teams. On the way to the World Series, we had to go through some Texas teams. There was a team in particular that stopped us in our quest to go. The playoffs is what I'll remember most."
Jeter said throughout the course of his career, one of the things he's enjoyed is getting to know other players both on and off the field. Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus is one of them.
"I've enjoyed getting a chance to play against him. It's fun to play against him, watch him play, see him develop, see him improve, get to know him a little bit. Get to talk to him," Jeter said. "I know they've enjoyed watching him play here in Texas, and hopefully they get a chance to watch him play for a lot of years."
Jeter added that he's not quite sure what he'll take up to keep him occupied once baseball is over.
"I don't know. I don't want to make any plans. Whatever comes comes," Jeter said. "At this point, it's hard for me to figure out what that's going to be. I still have to play this year. We're still trying to accomplish our goals as a team."
But there's one thing it won't be -- broadcasting.
"I have a tough time criticizing people," Jeter said. "So no."
Rookie reliever Mendez impressing Rangers
ARLINGTON -- Rookie reliever Roman Mendez pitched another scoreless inning for the Rangers on Sunday night. That gave him a streak of eight consecutive scoreless outings to start his Major League career, matching Alexi Ogando for the longest in Rangers history.
"The most important thing is I have confidence in all my pitches," Mendez said. "It's a little bit surprising, because I was a little inconsistent in the Minor Leagues."
Mendez, going into Monday's game, had pitched 11 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and five walks while striking out six. Opponents were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
"He's using all his pitches, he's throwing inside to right-handers, so far he has a nice back-door slider to left-handers," manager Ron Washington said. "He comes in, throws strikes and gets outs."
The Rangers acquired Mendez from the Red Sox on July 31, 2010. He was one of three players acquired in exchange for catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. His progress has been slowed down the past two years by elbow issues, but now he is starting to show the Rangers how good he might be.
"It means a lot. ... To be here is important," Mendez said. "But to be successful is more important."
• The Rangers are still going with 13 pitchers, one more than normal, and just three reserves. Said Washington, "Right now, it's not an issue. More than anything else, we have to protect our pitching."
• Round Rock's Justin Germano was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week. He threw a complete game in beating Oklahoma City last Thursday, allowing one run on three hits.
• Double-A Frisco infielder Joey Gallo and Alec Asher were the Texas League's Player and Pitcher of the Week. Gallo was 10-for-28 with five home runs and 13 RBIs. Asher allowed one run over 14 1/3 innings in his two starts. He allowed 10 hits, walked one and struck out 11.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.