SUGAR LAND, TX - The Sugar Land Skeeters today announced that they’ve signed veteran Major League left-hander Robbie Ross as well as former Oklahoma State right-hander Joe Lienhard.
With the addition of Ross, the Skeeters have 14 players on their roster with Major League experience. Ross’ six seasons of Major League experience are second-most on the Skeeters, trailing just outfielder Willy Taveras (seven seasons).
Ross, 29, is appearing in his first season with the Skeeters and his 11th at the professional level. He spent 2018 season at the Triple-A and Single-A levels with the Chicago White Sox, going a combined 0-2 with a 9.24 ERA in 12 games (12.2 IP). At the Major League level, Ross has appeared with the Texas Rangers (2012-14) and the Boston Red Sox (2015-17). He’s gone 16-12 with a 3.92 ERA and 109 ERA+ in 266 games (12 starts) in his MLB career, also compiling 2.6 Wins Above Replacement in his MLB career.
A native of Lexington, Ky., Ross appeared in the 2016 American League Division Series with the Boston Red Sox, throwing a scoreless inning of relief against the Cleveland Indians. He made a career-high 65 appearances in 2013 with the Texas Rangers, which were the third-most on the team and finished the season 4-2 with a 3.03 ERA. He also went 6-0 with a 2.22 ERA in 58 games as a rookie with the Rangers in 2012. His six wins in ‘12 were tied for the third-most of Major League rookie relievers.
The Texas Rangers selected Ross in the second round of the 2008 MLB Draft out of Lexington Christian Academy (Lexington, Ky.). He was Rated as the Rangers’ No. 7 prospect prior to the 2010 season, per Baseball America.
Lienhard, 22, begins his first season with the Skeeters and his first as a professional. He made his pro debut on June 18 at York, allowing three runs on three hits in two innings of relief. He began 2019 season with Oklahoma State University, going 4-1 with a 4.39 ERA in 21 games (eight starts), striking out 41 batters to 22 walks in 53 ⅓ innings pitched. He’s the only player on Skeeters roster who had yet to make a pro appearance prior to joining the team.
A native of Wichita, Kan., Lienhard was an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2018 after going 4-1 in eight Big 12 starts and went 5-3 with a 5.30 ERA in 18 total appearances (12 starts) that season. His five wins in 2018 were second on Oklahoma State. His father, Steve, was a four-year letterwinner and pitcher at Oklahoma State from 1984-87 and spent six seasons at the Minor League level with the San Francisco Giants (1987-90) and Milwaukee Brewers (1991-92)
The Skeeters, winners of the 2018 Atlantic League Championship, begin their eighth season of play in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball at Constellation Field. Individual tickets, season tickets and mini plans for the 2019 season are currently available and can be purchased by visiting sugarlandskeeters.com, the TDECU Ticket Office at Constellation Field, or by calling the Skeeters at 281-240-4487.
All Skeeters home games can be streamed live on the Skeeters Youtube page or can be listened to live by visiting sugarlandskeeters.com
Visit SugarLandSkeeters.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@SL_Skeeters) for all the latest team news and the latest on events to be hosted at Constellation Field.