David Ross showing his value to the Cubs even before his first game


Some believe that David Ross made his way to Chicago because of Jon Lester alone. While the familiarity does help, Ross brings his own set of qualities to the Cubs. One of those being leadership, something this young Cubs team was in need of on the field and in the clubhouse. The 37-year-old catcher is likely to push last year’s  starter Welington Castillo out of town, so what was it that the team saw in him? His recent comments in a telephone interview speak volumes of what the see.

“The one thing I would say having won a World Series — that’s the only reason I play the game now, I want that in Chicago.”

"“I want to win in Chicago,” Ross stated in a phone interview on Wednesday. “I’m not playing for the Hall of Fame. I promise you that. I’ve made enough money and made some great relationships. I want to win. That’s the goal for everyone that’s coming there.” h/t Jesse Rogers, ESPNChicago.com"

Even with spending time together in Boston, the Cubs made sure to cover all their bases, checking in with some of Ross’ former teams. Former Cubs Ryan Dempster and Mark DeRosa filled Ross in on what it’s like to play for winning team in Chicago that hasn’t seen a whole lot of it in recent years.

"“Coming from one of the greatest places I’ve ever played in Boston, there were a lot of similarities,” he said. “When you’re talking about a guy like me on the back end of my career, winning in 2013 [with the Red Sox], I realized how great that is, how great that adventure is. What a feeling that is."

Ross has been in the league for 13 years, and has posted a career .233 average, with 95 home runs – 21 of those in his best year in Cincinnati in 2006. And no, Castillo isn’t an All-Star that is being forced out, but he is 10 years Ross junior. Is this a good move on the organization’s part? Yes it is. The leadership of a veteran player like Ross can’t be overlooked, but it’s hard to sum up. But he knows what his role is.

"“Just be a teammate,” he said. “A teammate isn’t just somebody that’s on your team. A teammate is family. Every team I’ve been on I consider my teammates like family. I love them all like a brother, and I treat them like one: Sometimes I’m going to be nice, and sometimes I’m going to be a jerk.“Everyone’s grind is a little different. My talent is not the same as some guys. I have to work on the little things. What I bring to the table is a different mental side than some veterans.”"

For the Cubs, it’s addition by subtraction. Castillo had to go to bring in the veteran. But there’s one reason all fans should understand why. “The one thing I would say having won a World Series — that’s the only reason I play the game now,” Ross said. “I want that in Chicago.”

I agree 100%.

Next: Where do the Cubs stand on Castillo?